We meet one of these guys
Heath and I woke up about 5 minutes before my alarm went off. I was kind of surprised, we had gotten to bed later then I wanted and I expected us to possibly scrap our get up at dawn idea. Instead we were ready to get going. We jumped into action and stuck the kids in the car, still mostly asleep then dropped the tent and stuck it in too. We were on the road and out of the campsite super fast. I think we maybe spent 30 minutes total in Peanut’s village campsite awake.
We pulled onto the main road around 5:30 and were immediately glad we had gotten up. Elk were everywhere and people were not.
Our favorite was the momma and nursing baby one of course.
I thought Peanut may sleep in the car for most of the morning but he was also awake and pumped and in a great mood. We started driving back north toward Canyon on a different road along the lake. This was for a change of scenery and recommended as a good place for wildlife watching.
It was a great morning cruising along the lake eating snacks and watching the animals and the sun getting going.
Even the hot water was going.
After seeing a few more elk…
…we saw something bigger in the woods.
It was a buffalo and that was exciting then we rounded a corner and saw one right in the road.
This freaked us out and we took a million pictures then I had Heath film as we crept up on him then slowly passed him. We had no idea if he would charge the van or what.
There was a car behind us and they followed our lead. We rounded a corner and realized 1 buffalo in the woods or on the street was nothing.
I don’t think I will ever forget that morning when we entered the foggy field. Visibility was next to nothing from the fog but you could barely make out steam coming up in places and you could definitely see the huge dark bison everywhere.
Not only are they huge and pointy but they know just how to creep you out with their noises. Listen close
There were other cars around but the bison did not care they ran the show stopping traffic whenever they wanted. We eventually made our way to the other end of the field and parked near some cool spots. The bison were still all over the place and we had to adjust our hike around them to make sure they had plenty of space.
We stared hiking around some pools and sulfur pots and stuff and looked back.
Sure the pool is neat but look closely at the parking lot.
We just missed a parade and that’s our van on the far right. Luckily they didn’t stay long. It was a awesome 75ish most all day long but when we got up super early the thermostat read 32 so we were bundled up.
The fences you see are just so people can look out over the water the buffaloes can and will go anywhere they want and we saw broken boards where they had broken through the walkways and hoof prints in the mud where it had to be hot.
We saw some really cool hot water and rock things and some other animals,
but the bison really stole the show that morning. Another momma and nursing baby
of course baby could still stomp your face in.
After we had seen all the water and animals we needed to we turned around and headed back south. We stopped by our old campsite to get 1 last picture
and at the ranger station to pick up another Jr Ranger badge then zoomed on out of the park.
We really never left the park we just switched from Yellowstone to Grand Tetons as they meet in the middle.
I was kind of expecting Grand Teton National Park to be just like Yellowstone with less people and geysers. There were less people but it was pretty different, the main attraction being the unique mountains.
The land was all pretty flat and then this row of mountains just come strait out of the ground. They look way steeper then most mountains and the weather was about the same but they look cold. We went to the first visitor center we found and got the Jr Ranger book. We found a program about the park and hit it up right away and learned about what to see and what to do while there. Peanut got his signature then we headed out for a super quick hike. We went behind the ranger station on a nice flat trail about 1/2 a mile and came to a lake.
It was pretty overcast and I think if it had been clear and calm we would have gotten some nice reflection in the lake.
We headed back to the car and worked our way south through the roads closest to the mountain and checked out a few overlook points and kept our eyes pealed for Moose.
(we didn’t see any moose, if you were looking for some in this picture give up)
While at the visitor center we stopped by a general store and got a small bag of sun chips and 4 big Italian sausages. This was sort of our dinner plan from the night before but we turned it into a great pick nick lunch. We pulled into a pick nick area and the overcast clouds turned into a light rain. We almost resorted to peanut butter and crackers but in no time the rain was gone and it was quickly clearing up. We gathered a pile of wood from the area around us keeping an eye out for bears and then lit a fire in a pit and dumped a can of western style beans into a pan and stuck the sausages next to it.
The fire was hot and both were cooking fast. The beans handled this ok but the sausages were burning on the inside and raw inside so I chopped them up into bites and then simmered them in the beans till the wood was all burnt up and we had added all the wood.
In no time it got sunny and as we were eating it went from chilly to hot. The pick nick table was up on a little hill overlooking the lake. Peanut ran down to the bottom to wash his hands.
We finished up lunch and packed up our gear.
We drove on down the road working on the booklet and stopping at points of interest for pictures and mini adventures.
Pumpkin slept and we stayed near the car. When we got to the bottom of the park there was another visitor station and we finished up Peanut’s book then he and Heath went to find the rangers while sleepy baby and I waited in the car.
At the visitor we turned down a short road a little out of our way and drove a few miles then pulled over near a trail head.
We hiked about a mile on a really nice trail with huge boulders along it and worked our way to the lake that was looking really cool.
We looked around a bit and apparently Peanut caught and 1800 lbs fish with just a walking stick and he drug it back for at least part of the hike.
We got back to the van and high tailed it out of the park. We left the park and drove right through Jackson Hole and all the touristy excitement around there. We were kinda worn out and ready to drive so didn’t stop till we were low on gas.
We got gas across from some elk preserve but didn’t see any. Then we drove on through Wyoming. As it was getting late we needed a plan for the rest of our trip. Peanut and I were really excited about Rocky Mountain National Park so we decided to get on the main highway (80) and get a hotel around 9. I found one on the internet and called and got the 2nd to last room. We checked in took some quick but much needed showers and then headed to a brewery restaurant. Peanut got a great pizza, Heath and I got some good burgers and some great bears and Pumpkin chowed down on peaches.
It was a great night and being clean and full felt great. We went back to the hotel and crashed for the night. Pumpkin slept all night in the crib and Peanut got a big bed all to himself.