Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Weekend in Jackson

 Cody has many perks to being the Secretary of the Utah Dental Association. Last weekend our entire family was able to partake of one of them. He had meetings with the UDA and other delegates from around the region at the Teton Village in Jackson, Wyoming and we didn't want him to have to go alone. We took the kids out of school Friday and drove up. We stopped for lunch in Jackson Hole and walked around town taking our photo with one of the famous antler arches. The poor lady that tried to take our photo took about 5 shots before getting us all in. It's the one picture of all of us together on the trip. We actually came up last fall to visit Cody's extended family and have a picture here, but I wanted another one "when in Rome". : ) Awesome I'm wearing the same shirt. At least Cody's not flipping Jayson off this time. 
 We were able to utilize the free 4th grader National parks pass and drove through Teton national park on Friday. It was beautiful as always. If our kids don't appreciate those mountains, Cody didn't say it enough. I'm pretty sure he wanted to stop at every viewpoint. 
 We stopped and walked across the damn at this turnout and wished we had our boat with us to carve up the glass on the lake. 
 It's been on my bucket list for ages to see a bear in the wild. I figured I'd see one at some point this weekend. A group of cars were pulled off to one side so we pulled over too and saw this cute bear cub running through the weeds. Made my day! Not sure where Momma bear was, so of course we stayed in our car. 
 Bison are everywhere in Teton and Yellowstone. This one was the lone buffalo on the opposite side of the road. After I snapped its picture it decided to cross the road behind us. The large animals sure can cause a traffic jam. We waited 20 minutes the next day for a herd to cross the street in Yellowstone on Saturday. 

Here's a bull moose we saw relaxing in a stream.
 On our way back to our hotel Cody saw this herd of elk. The bull is back in the trees. 
 And this majestic eagle sat on this pole for a couple hours while we went to and from dinner the first night. 
Saturday morning Cody had meetings starting at 7:30 so the kids and I got ready, grabbed some McDonald's and drove the 2 hours to Yellowstone. I was pleasantly surprised to see that one of my friends I worked with at the ice castles a couple years ago was the ranger that checked our pass upon entrance to the park. Small world. After that fun friend moment we continued our drive to Old Faithful. Right as we were parking the geyser was going off. Bad timing. The geyser only goes off every 1:45. I didn't know that and my smart phone isn't so smart. I'm on a borrowed old droid until my plan renews in November so I was guessing on the next time it would go off. We decided to walk around the board walk and keep an eye out for the next eruption. 
We passed this cool looking formation which was called the Beehive geyser.
 There was lots to see, smell and try not to fall into. With my boys they like to balance on the walkways. Thankfully no one fell into the water, just the woods. We made it back around with what I thought would only be 10 minutes left. It turned out to be 20+ minutes. All the benches were taken so we found some spots on the ground and waited and waited. After driving a full day before and a few hours that morning, needless to say the kids were done and I had about had it by then. It was hot and they were trying to will the geyser out of the ground with their super powers. 
Each time some steam or water would start boiling out Cole would tell me to take a picture so we could go. He didn't realize that wasn't it and when it was ready, he would know. Finally - Old Faithful emerged and blew up. They will all agree it was worth the wait. The wind was blowing our direction and we were cooled off for a bit. 
 By the time I got a picture of all of us it was dying down. 
 Our next stop was supposed to be the Grand Prismatic spring, but I didn't see a sign on the road for it. I should have stopped at the Midway Spring/Geyser. Being the driver and navigator you tend to miss things. I knew we would have a long drive home and didn't want to turn around so we drove along to our next stop. The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. 
We only stopped at the Lower Falls Overlook. It was fun seeing people in their BYU and having strangers tell you "Go Cougs!"

 Our last stop of the day was at Fishing Bridge. The more we drove through Yellowstone the more smoke we saw in the sky. It was very apparent at Fishing Bridge. The fire was 10 miles away from here. No danger to us. It was started by lightening the Wednesday before. After we walked across the bridge we went to the Lake lodge and had dinner before heading back to the hotel. We skipped lunch, just ate snacks in the car. 

 The views are really spectacular. I haven't been to Yellowstone since I was a little girl. I remember my Mom buying bear bells when we camped.  
Before we entered Jackson on the drive home cars were stopped on the side so I pulled over and grabbed my camera. They were watching this bull elk coming out of the trees and work it way through the grass down to the river to drink. I let the kids get out to see it too. 
 I caught this sunset while I was out. 
 We got back to the hotel at 9. Cody had driven down to Provo with his cousin Jayson and his friend to go to the BYU vs. BSU game and then was coming back right after for more dental meetings Sunday morning before we drove home. I wanted to watch the game on tv, but I had promised the kids I would take them swimming in the hotel pool. We swam for 30 minutes before I made them go to bed. Blake fell asleep fast, but Cole and I stayed up watching the game until almost midnight. BYU won in the last 30 seconds of the game.

Cody made it back to the hotel at 6:00 Sunday morning and then got back up an hour later to attend his 7:30 meetings. He was exhausted, but said it was well worth it to see BYU beat Boise State in such an exciting game.