“F” if for Flowers, Floats, Fourth Festivities and Fire

Enjoying more time in the gorgeous forest just outside Yellowstone; not sure we’ll ever tire of this neighborhood. Joe makes an almost daily round of taking pictures of flowers in the different light. The forest floor is literally carpeted in these beauties, such a great time of year to visit!

We’ve held marshmallow roasting competitions, because why not make a competition out of everything? The “perfect” mallow to us is a crunchy lightly golden brown exterior with a gooey fall-off-the-roaster center. Our level of competence in marshmallow roasting is definitely increasing.

To celebrate Independence Day, we went out to eat at a cute little Mexican cafe on the Snake River. After a too-filling lunch, we went outside to explore the area a bit. There were SO many people! It really felt like a happy summer afternoon. People were using kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, inner tubes, and anything else that they could float on the river. The water was calm and probably only a few inches deep on the edges. Toddlers splashed around with their life jackets and laughter and chatter filled the air.

After lunch, we went to the hospital to have Ethan’s stitches removed, and then hit up the town for some holiday fun. The kids jousted, raced, bungee-d, bounced, and generally got stinky kid sweaty and hot, then cooled off with some shaved ice.

On the way back to camp, we saw a moose standing in the river. I had to pull over and get a pic. On the way back to the car, Joe says, “Ha! That’s ironic! A moose in the Buffalo river!”

Although it’s fuzzy, Jillian looks so stinkin precious in this picture it had to be shared.
The colorful flame was mesmerizing!

The next day we decided to make campfire donuts for breakfast and then go for a float on the river in a raft. The river was shallow in spots, so we had to do a bit of pushing, but it was a really cool way to spend the late afternoon.

We saw hundreds of wildflowers and beautiful river foliage, a moose, a beaver, cranes, seagulls, a very talkative orange-spot-wing-bird, a bunch of large fish in the water, a teeny minnow in our raft next to Eric’s feet (Jill wanted to keep it as a pet, we named it Meryl and set it free) and thousands of hungry mosquitoes.

At the end of the float, our whole crew was confident in their paddling abilities. I’m getting excited about the possibility of some whitewater rafting!