yellowstone national park. the entrance, the arch, the classic photo op. let me just say, my photos don't do this place justice. i highly recommend seeing it in person.
the mighty elk that caused a major traffic jam. he was a beauty. i guess it's mating season so they can get pretty fierce. no worries, cops were on the scene since this one was wandering so close to our campground. there are hardly any restrictions in this place, so to speak; animals roam free and plenty of cliff drops without fences. (of course there are scenic safe viewing areas for families and even wheelchair access too.) it's the closest i've come to really being in the wild. you have to be on your best behavior in these parts. and be sure to keep your shoes tied in yellowstone. you do not want to trip into a thermal pool.
since so much of yellowstone was experienced from the comfort of our vehicle, i took hundreds of drive-by snapshots. i love when these shots turn out cooler than i could have hoped. i was trying to get a good one of the classic yellow yellowstone bus in the distance. thanks to our little passenger, BUS quickly became the word of the trip. more bus-dedicated photos to come.
the boys are pros at setting up camp. thankfully dan knows how to work a rainfly, we would have been sopping in the morning if i had attempted it.
here we are overlooking what's referred to as the grand canyon of yellowstone. that high ridge held incredible views. however the winds were crazy up there. luckily i caught benji's cap before it blew away forever. we met a father and son up there who were super nice and friendly. (i took a photo of them with their fancy schmancy camera which i held on to with dear life. we were all very close to the edge at that point.)
that's the thing about national parks, strangers become friends to chit chat with and revel in the scenery with. people to swap stories with. in fact, a stranger at the ranger station had suggested that very hike the night before. and, as it happened, later that evening, we told another couple about it who planned on going back and hiking it themselves. all the retired couples loved watching benji. more than one older couple told us it goes so fast. enjoy it while they're little. a couple who had recently become empty nesters told us that it seems like yesterday when their twenty year old was only two. they were glad to see we were starting a family camping tradition early on, like they had. they assured us they were totally okay with benji jumpbing and jabbering during the whole ranger program. people are so nice.
this is norris geyser basin. completely incredible. dan took this picture right as it began to snow! we hustled back to our camp and marveled at the dusting of snowfall on the tall trees surrounding us. mugs of cocoa warmed us right up. however, at that point, i began wishing we'd brought gloves. next time i will be bringing three pairs. even if it's june.
me and b waking up in our nest of sleeping bags. the early mornings all bunched together in our tent made for some of my favorite moments. b really earned the name happy camper. and yes, i am wearing every layer i packed.
wild animal shots coming up next.