The items you see here under the van are dog food bowls and dogs. There were 3 dogs. They spent the night under the van. (Gotta love long range camera lenses!)
Here's a real homemade one for you. I spied on this family until it got too dark to see. Mr. Build-it-Yourself puttered around outside for a long time. He pulled a ginormous generator out of the storage space under the back "deck"; spent some time hooking it up to the "house". Then the plastic chairs came out of the same place and went into the house. I saw a wife and one kid. They were in Walmart most of the time - hopefully, they were looking for a can of exterior paint. Tim was impressed with the windows - they were pretty nice. I wanted to get out of there really fast before Tim could get any ideas. Too late. I'm sure he's been designing floor plans in his head for the last two days.
One of our first views coming into Yellowstone.
This is the Yellowstone River. One nice thing about coming here at this time of year is that all the rivers, creeks, and streams are brim full! So much water!
We all had the white water rafting itch.
But do you have any idea how cold that water is? Yeah - COLD.
This is a pretty neat piece of trivia.
More of the Yellowstone River. (Warning...this is a blog with lots of scenery pictures.)
Mammoth Hot Springs. There is a visitor center here. The elk were lounging around like they lived here! Just as happy as can be.
Hot bubbling springs. Really neat colors.
We wanted to get away from tourists. Yeah, I know. We ARE tourists. But we are AMERICANS. Enough said.
So... we pulled over at a non-designated scenic turnout. No one was there. By now it had started snowing. So cold!
Of course, there was a "You-can't-go-here" sign. (Abe hates national parks. They always tell you where you can and can't go.)
And of course, we had to get off the designated trail. How else can you believe that those springs are really hot? You must try it for yourself to know for sure.
It was so cold and snowing hard. Angi looked so funny trying to keep her pants up off the ground. I don't think we were properly dressed for the crazy change in weather. Over a period of a couple hours we experienced sunshine, rain, snow, and high winds. Back and forth, back and forth.
This is one of the best parts of my day. I saw this beast off to the side of where we were exploring the hot springs. I was so excited, I think I might have hopped up and down. Might have. I actually felt like I had won a prize. I'd been wanting to see some wildlife so badly. So glad this guy showed up for me.
Okay. I'll go ahead and admit it. I pretended (for a mere few seconds) that I was Sacagawea. I actually crept through the fallen logs to sneak up on him. I'm so Indian! I think I could actually lead a Lewis and Clark expedition; I could sneak up on game for them and shoot it dead!:)
A little later, we saw a small herd of buffalo.
We saw several hot springs, small geysers, the artists paint pots, and lots of bubbling mud. Then, the one that is famous.
We were excited about seeing this. My family went here back in 1977 - in matching red gingham outfits, no less - but Tim and the kids had never seen it. The other cool thing, is that we know someone named after this national land mark! Yep, it's a fact. This person goes off on a regular basis just like this geyser. You can count on it -without fail.
Walking to Old Faithful. It was SO COLD! It was snowing and the wind was blowing like all get out. Like I said, we weren't dressed for the sudden change in weather.
Old Faithful simmering...just waiting to blow.
We had a 40 minute wait before Old Faithful was to go off. We went inside and ate at the lodge. By the way, this lodge was not there back in 1977.
Here's a shot of the crowd that was gathering waiting for the eruption.
There she blows!
This geyser, while not the largest, is one of the most popular in the world. It erupts approximately every 90 minutes, shooting up to 8,400 gallons of boiling water 145 feet up in the air. The eruptions last from 1.5 to 5 minutes. Amazing! What an awesome God we have that makes wonderful things like this for us to enjoy.
We drove out of Yellowstone and right into the Grand Teton National Park. A somewhat cloudy view of the Tetons.
This is a quick breeze-through of our jaunt through two national parks. We took an entire day going through them both. We stopped numerous times to get out and hike, take pictures, test the waters, etc. A little tiny hike down to the Gibbon River is a blog post in itself. That one will be coming up soon. It is Angi's moment to shine!
Look for "Angi faces extreme danger" coming soon! :)