Yellowstone…the Finale

I caught a little bug (non-COVID) so we spent most of our last week in Yellowstone just hanging around camp and living. Once I started feeling better, we did our last few days of tourist sight-seeing in Yellowstone park.

One awesome thing about this lifestyle is that I can sit with my computer and work outside. The other “perk” is getting REALLY close with nature. And by that, I mean a teeny caterpillar decided to land on my laptop keyboard as I was typing. I gave the cute little guy to Jillian and she enjoyed his company so I could not worry about smashing him with my feverishly pounding type-ings.

Since it stays light until 10 pm every night, we are able to get a lot of sight-seeing in after work! We went to Gibbon Falls, Golden Gate Falls and the Mammoth Hot Springs one day after work. We didn’t make it down the path to the bottom of Mammoth. People were tightly packed and many were not masked so we felt like it was a COVID-y situation. Maybe we’ll come back someday and do it again, we decided to be safe just in case, though. The trail had some beautiful wild roses and the road to Mammoth Hot Springs went through an otherworldly boulder field that made me want to get out and climb.

On our way back to town, we passed a herd of what looked like a bunch of female elk. Someone in the car asked where the male elk were. I yelled, “LADIES’ NIGHT!” so excitedly that I even embarrassed myself. We later saw a few males down the road. I, however, stick with the ladies’ night comment.

Eric and I went to the grocery store while we were in town. I get the following text from Ethan beanz #notafazemom so of course we grabbed him two cans of beans. Quick note, he didn’t even ask for beans before we went in…just a random ism of Ethan.

We decided to go souvenir shopping. Ethan and Joe went straight to the hundreds of SHARP knives (as you may remember, he’s still healing from the last knife incident).

Then Ethan used his best negotiation skills to try and convince me that he needs a knife. He promises to pay more attention to the knife skill lessons Eric teaches, and will not even get the knife until lessons are complete and Eric is comfortable with his level of knowledge.

Side note: we found a knife with the name, Russ, on it. A while back, Eric and I decided that we were Griswolds, and that the boys were all Russ, and Jill was Audrey. So, in the car, every now and then, Eric will randomly yell out, “Russ!” or “Audrey!” to see if they are paying attention. Gabe doesn’t miss a beat and acknowledges the Russ comment. The other Russ-es and Audrey forget what’s going on more often than not, but we’ll keep practicing. Stay tuned.

The next day, we went to Grand Prismatic Spring where we saw the springs rushing into the cold river making a cozy warm area to soak in the frigid river.

The crystalline pools were mesmerizing, and it was easy to stare at them and get lost in your thoughts.

The steam blanketed the colorful pools at times, so I wondered what temperature would make the steam nearly disappear so we could see all the way down.

Up at Grand Prismatic, the largest spring, we saw tracks of an animal who had wandered through the spring water.

On our way back, we saw one huge buffalo. All the buffalo we’d seen up to that point were from our car, and although this gentleman was not close, it seemed much more dangerous when we were standing exposed without metal between us!

After the springs, we had a little pb&j picnic next to the river. I was surprised at how aggressive the little ants got, dozens of them running up my legs and biting me. It turns out I was making sandwiches while stepping on their anthill. Lesson learned, watch where you plant your feet! Regardless, it was a beautiful 80-degree day and we were soaking up some good old fashioned vitamin D!

I was so excited for our next stop and loooong showers with unlimited water supply and no dumping/packing up, so off we went for a little slice of civility.

One thing we’ve learned about ourselves, we often feel compelled to start it off with a bang. About an hour down the road, we blew a tire. It ripped through some of the flooring under the kitchen slide and chewed up a bundle of wires. Once the tire was changed and the cords were zip tied and duct taped out of the way, we kept on to our new home, preparing ourselves for yet another of Eric’s 457 projects to work on, and an investigation into what the wires control and how the tire blew in the first place.