Marie, Eli, Gray, Ashlynn and Caden arrived on Sunday ready and excited for some Yellowstone adventures. We quickly made it out of the airport and headed to our Colter Bay campsite where everyone learned how to set up the tents they’d be calling home for the next two weeks. On the way there we saw Caden’s second favorite animal, a bear, and we could all agree it was a fairly good sign for how the rest of our trip would go. While Ashlynn, Caden, and Gray started to prepare dinner, Eli and Marie set of to collect wood so we could make a fire. Gray, a great camp cook, made delicious hot dogs to go with our mac and cheese. After sitting around our impressive fire for a while, sharing stories as well as what we were most excited to do on the trip, everyone headed to bed after a long day of travel.
Monday morning was our first day hike. We first stopped by the Moose visitor center in order to learn a bit about our surroundings. Caden was really interested in learning about the Elk in the park after watching a short educational movie in the center. We soon head down the road to begin or hike to Taggert Lake. The landscape was breathtaking, with rolling hills juxtaposed with enormous snow capped mountains and clear blue skies. Marie led the way eagerly, stopping us to point out small wildlife like ground squirrels and to ask about some of the plants that lined the trail. We stopped for lunch right on the lake, taking in the surrounding environment while we ate our lunch of walking tacos (salami, cheese, and salsa on a tortilla). After four miles we made it back to the parking lot. Once back at camp we started on dinner, a pretty great chili, and another warm fire. That night we were joined by John, the sea kayak specialist, who would be leading us the next day.
Tuesday we woke up bright and early in order to get a good start on our sea kayaking adventure. We bundled up and head for Yellowstone Lake where John gave us all we needed to get on the water. Eli couldn’t wait and was visibly delighted the entire paddle. We zoomed across the lake until we reached an area where we could see a number of geysers. The water was incredibly clear but we all agreed it would probably be chilly to swim in. After paddling back to shore we took off for our new campground at Lewis Lake. With a bit of extra time once our tents were set up, we headed over to West Thumb Geyser Basin to take a closer look at what we’d seen from the water earlier in the day. Now falling into a bit of a mealtime routine, Eli and Marie made a delicious goulash. A bit of an improvised culinary adventure, it turned out great and everyone went back for seconds.
Wednesday morning we decide to sleep in a bit before taking down our tents and driving out to see Old Faithful. Although she thought she might have seen the geyser erupt once before, Ashlynn was really looking forward to seeing it an once it began to skyrocket water into the air, she couldn’t stop taking pictures. This impressive sight was made even more incredible by the enormous bison that wandered across the boardwalk to lie nonchalantly in front of Old Faithful. We then explored the old inn where we bought ice cream and visited the gift shop. The whole group is still in awe at how many products are made out of huckleberry out here, Ashlynn and Marie both tried the huckleberry ice cream. We got to our new campsite where we’d be staying for two nights in the middle of the afternoon and decided to go on a short hike to explore and see where we’d be swimming the next day. Afterwards we played some games, planned for the rest of our trip’s meals and ate delicious gooey grilled cheeses and warm bowls of creamy tomato soup. Everyone gathered around the fire to wind down after a long day and to talk about what we want to do in the future and what we liked about the day.
Today was grocery day so everyone took their shopping lists and we set out to West Yellowstone to get what we need. After lunch in one of the town’s parks we will be heading to the Wolf and Grizzly Center to learn a bit about some of the impressive wildlife in the park. We will then head to Firehole River where we can relax in the sun and swim. Everyone is greatly looking forward to rafting tomorrow!