Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Trip to Yellowstone

The first part of June, we were invited by our friends, the Hopkins, to go to Jessica's family cabin in Island Park.   We had been there once before and had such a fun time that we were excited to go.  I was excited that we would be going in the spring time and not the snowy winter.   I must have forgotten that we were in Idaho-where it snows year round!   Yup, we got snowed on but still had fun!

 Happy Blake playing in the cabin.   He was not his usual jovial self with weekend but was still a pretty happy little guy!

 The kids went for motorcycle rides and thought that was the most fun thing ever!
 Garrett especially liked it because he got to drive the motorcycle (with one of the dads riding on back but he was in control.)

 On Saturday, we went into Yellowstone Park.  It was free entrance day, which made the rest of the day a little more bearable!   This waterfall was huge!   We were kind of in a canyon and the wind coming up off of it was icy cold!

 We might not look like it here, dressed in jackets, but we were freezing and wishing for winter coats and hot chocolate!  Brrrr!

 We didn't see much by way of animals this trip.  Some bison on our way in to the park.

 We stopped to see the artists paint pots.  Again, chilly but not too bad here.  Not as windy.

 It had rained/snowed the day before and I had to keep reminding Ryan to stay out of the puddles.  The kids were having a good time, though.   There is a walking path that circles the paint pots, so we followed it around.

 It was getting colder and staring to snow.   The hot pots were getting especially steamy right here.  This picture makes me look so short but just for the record, even though I am short, I am standing on an incline, lower than Blaine.  Haha!  (No really, I am.)

 Our view from above.  The kids were fascinated by the boiling mud.

 Our trip was cut a little short because it was snowing/raining and the kids were cold and tired.  On the way back out, there was a bison really close to the road.   They are big!   There was also a baby in the road and a not-so-smart tourist standing just feet from it, taking pictures.   That makes mama not too happy.

 Time to cross the road!

I think the one on the far right is the baby.  Look how shaggy these guys are!

Afterwards, we did a little shopping in West Yellowstone and then back to the cabin.  It snowed again that night and the next morning and was a little chilly outside but we still had so much fun that weekend!  Thanks to our friends for inviting us to go!  We loved it!!

Memorial Day Weekend

Blaine and I had Memorial Day off together this year.  A first in a long, long time.   We decided we wanted to take the kids on a hike and have a picnic together if the weather was nice.  It was a little chilly that day but we went anyway.  We went to the Heise area and did the little Cress Creek Hike there.  It was perfect and very kid friendly!

Blake loved being in the backpack.  He could see what was going on and just hang out!

              There are lots of scenic views along this hike, as well as benches, 
                picnic tables and signs showing points of interest.
 The trail is not super steep and the first part of it is paved and totally handicap accessible.

 The views are awesome.  You get to see the Snake River Valley and all the fields and the river, along with mountains in the background.

 There is a creek that runs through the hike (Cress Creek) and the water is not super cold and filled with watercress.  It grows year round according to the sign.

 After the hike we went to Heise to have a picnic with our friends the Hopkins family and their friends, the Hansens (I think I got that right).   We ate and then the kids did some rock climbing.  Ryan is all harnessed up and ready to go!

The dads are putting on some special climbing shoes.

 Look at him go!   He didn't go very far up.  This was his first time but he did great!
 Next was Garrett's turn.  He has done this before and loves it.

 No fear.  He climbs like a pro.

 He seriously climbed right up the side of the rock wall.  He appeared to be fearless.

 He made it to the top and touched the ring!   So exciting!   Now the scary part.  Coming down.

Here he is, in perfect position to descend.  It was very scary for him, though.   Kevin was holding the rope and talking him through it.   He was so good and helpful but in the end, Garrett was just too scared and a little tired, I think.  Tyler went to the top to try to help coach him down but he ended up climbing back up and walking down.   We are so proud of him, though!   I am proud of his strength and courage.  Next time, we will conquer the descent!