We made it to Yellowstone!

Trip Start Jun 18, 2008
Trip End Jun 25, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Saturday, June 21, 2008

We arrived in Yellowstone around 10:30am today and after entering the park, we stopped at the first pullover, which led to a very short walk to Moose Falls.  The kids were more excited about the snow patch on the ground (it was even old and dirty) then the actual waterfall.  It was a very pretty waterfall (aren't they all?) and this one was special because it in and around the water were pieces of obsidian which is a natural black glass formed out of volcanic lava.  As we drove on, admittedly, I made David get of the driver's seat as there were quite a few cliff overlooks that didn't have any guardrails and the only way I felt calm was if I myself was doing the driving. 

We stopped at Old Faithful right around lunch time and discovered that the next geyser would be sprouting in a about an hour so we figured it would be a great time for lunch.  Of course, everyone else thought that was a superb idea too and the line for the cafeteria was insane.  Fotunately, there was also a small vending area that offered soups and cold sandwiches which was right on par with what we wanted.  We then joined the hundreds of people wrapped around the geyser boardwalk and waited...and waited.  Old Faithful ended up being about 15-20 minutes late and was rather unimpressive once it went up.  The best part was getting sprayed as the wind shifted.  It's hot going up but by the time it reached us the air had chilled it. We walked back to our car and continued to make our way north as the cabins we were staying in (Mammoth Springs Hotel and Cabins) are located in the northern section of Yellowstone.

We arrived at the hotel around 4:30pm, picked up our keys and drove to the cabin which was not too far away from the main hotel.  There were several loops of cabins, ours was located very close to a steep hill, which our kids immediately took off to conquer.  The cabin was small and quaint with 2 double beds.  They did not offer roll away beds, but that was OK, since Jacob actually prefers sleeping on the floor.  The cabin also had a small vanity with a sink in the room and a small bathroom with toilet and shower.  The cabin was very clean and we were told they had recently been renovated.  No TV, radio or phone, but never missed it.

After the kids came back down the hill they discovered our largest family of neighbors.  Ground squirrels, nicknamed "Pig Whistlers" by the locals.  Very cute and yes, they make a whistling sound (especially in the morning - who needs an alarm clock?!).  The kids spent so much time trying to coerce them closer and having fun naming them, finding all their homes/holes and counting them all.

At 6:30pm, it was time to meet the rest of our group.  For those of you who don't you, we signed up with the Yellowstone Institute for a program called "Yellowstone for Families".  It's specifically for families that have kids between the ages of 8-12.  There were 2 other families present in our group this week.  One family was a father and daughter and the other family was a grandmother and her grandson.  After a bit of confusion on where to meet, we finally joined up with our guide, Shauna, who took us on board a special bus and we headed to the Educational workshop building, which was located approximately 10 min. away.  It was here that we had orientation, where we all got to learn each others names, went over the itinerary and of course, all about safety in the park.  As an added bonus, a video camera crew (husband and wife team) were also present to film our group for a Yellowstone Institute DVD that will be distributed to potential future program guests. 

We got back to our cabin by 8:30pm.  This is normally bedtime for the kids, however, this is very hard to conform to when the sun is still out!  We were all in bed by 9:30pm ready to dream about our adventures ahead!
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