Here is Easton all dressed and ready for his first vacay!
There was elk EVERYWHERE this year. In the past, it has been bison that ruled the park but this year they were off far from the road and the elk were the ones blocking the roadways and stopping traffic.
We didn't get to stop at very many waterfalls but we did stop at this one that I don't remember seeing in the past. This is Chris and Annie. I am SOOO glad that we were able to go with them. We had so much fun and made some great memories that we will laugh about years from know!
Tara, Eric and their kids had never been to Yellowstone so Old Faithful was a must! We toured the new visitors center and watched a short movie before going out to see the geyser spew it's hot self everywhere. Madi saw several of her favorite animal... mans best friend.
I think this guy was probably the highlight of her trip. She LOVED this dog and he was so friendly. He couldn't stop kissing her and she kissed and loved on him right back. (I am not a dog person and find it gross but the joy it brings to Madi is one of the sweetest things. I love to see how happy dogs make her and have even thought about getting one in the distant future.)
On Saturday we were determined to find us a bear. We planned to drive the upper loop. Across from the mud pots were the closest buffalo we had seen, so we hiked down a little to see them across the river.
Madi was excited to see the buffalo and kept yelling and pointing at them.
We stopped at Mt. Washburn for lunch and then kept going. Just past Towers by a little pond we saw our first bear. It was fun for the kids to see even though we had to stay in our cars. We just got a quick picture as we drove by.
Since we hadn't seen a bear or wolf in Hayden Valley we decided to check out Lamar. We didn't see our bear or wolf but we did see some pronghorn and bison close to the road. We only went a few miles in since there is construction on the NE side of the valley.
As we continued we on to Mammoth we saw three more black bears, a sow and her two cubs. (I am not sure where that picture is. I will add it later.)
As usual, there was elk all over Mammoth. We toured the museum, got some ice cream and relaxed in the shade before heading back to camp.
This is some of the elk in the median in Mammoth.
We got back to the camp after dark and and had our yummy taco salad before turning in. Madi didn't sleep as well as she had the night before which means neither did we. As soon as we got up we had to pack up camp and shower so we could stand to be in a car together for the ride home. (OK, I don't think we really stunk THAT bad, but the showers were definitely nice.)
As we left the park we stopped at the Yellowstone sign to capture a picture of our first family vacation.
Chris and Annie...
Tara, Eric, Braden, Alex and Brynlee...
(It was so fun to spend time with them. It has been a really long time since we have seen them!)
(there was an elk that walked across the river right at the bend. It was cool to watch it go in. In the center you just saw her little head bobbing across.)I love this picture of Madi. We almost didn't stop for pictures because Madi was asleep. I am so glad that we did.
Madi and Brynlee... the two of them are only six months apart. It was fun to see them with each other. Madi enjoyed having some new friends around. She is a social butterfly when it comes to kids and warms right up to them.
Tara and Eric had to park their van over by the laundry/showers due to the camp vehicle limit. When they went to get it on Sunday morning they noticed that a couple of visitors had tried to get in during the night. They had bear paw prints all over it. There was at least two, a cub and an older bear. This is about the best picture I could get since there was a glare and a little someone put his hand print over the top of it.
Madi slept a lot of the way home but enjoyed playing games on the phone too.