Friday, July 27, 2012


We had some other business to take care of up that way and decided since we are driving all that way, we may as well stop by and discover Yellowstone for a few days.

I won’t bore you with the story of how we got a flat tire on our 5th Wheel half way there, or share about how we were broken down for two days in Idaho Falls.  I will tell you how lucky we are that we have amazing family there that made it all bearable.  I will also share with you how amazing the people of Idaho Falls were for us, they delayed service on their cars so our truck could get pushed through and fixed since we are not locals.  I won’t share how we spent half a day cleaning oil off the trailer, or even talk about how I ended up extremely sick and ended up in urgent care.  I am not even going to tell the story about how my husband was so upset with our camping spot that he almost got us kicked out of the RV Park.  I am also not going to dwell on the fact that my camera broke for the second time halfway through the trip, and this time it is not under warranty any longer.

What this post is about is the fun we had once we got there.  We stayed in Island Park, Idaho, which is about 30 minutes from West Yellowstone, we arrived 2 days later than we had anticipated. We tried to fit as much in as we could in the short amount of time we had left. 
Our first day we went to John Sacks Cabin in Island Park.  Here we were so lucky to see not one, but three moose, a mom, a dad, and a baby drinking from the river.  Johnny Sacks cabin is an amazing cabin that John built in just 3 years, P1020497including all the furniture and cabinets using only hand tools.  He also created a pump to pump water from the spring into a holding tank up the hill and gravity naturally pressurized his home with water.  Another neat thing he did was install a water wheel where the spring come out of the mountain and used to to power his home, by way of a generator. 

Here we are waiting for the cabin to open.

After that we took our first trip into Yellowstone. On our way there, each day we stopped by another spring and filled our water bottles up with fresh water.

We stopped at the Fountain Paint Pots and hiked around, staying on the trails, of course.
Katey told me she had no idea this is what Yellowstone is, she said she thought it was just shopping.  She must be thinking of West Yellowstone.  LOL

We went in and saw Old Faithful, these are phone pictures.


We were very lucky to see a mama and a baby bison crossing the road.

It also started to storm on our way out of Yellowstone.  We were able to see an amazing double rainbow as well as an amazing sunset! 

Katey had so much fun working on the animal scavenger hunt that was given to her as well as working towards earning her Jr. Ranger Badge.
There are many kid geared areas in the visitor’s centers.  It was really neat to see how a geyser works from underground.

One of my very favorite spots in Yellowstone is Isa Lake.  It is a lake that sits on the continental divide.  It drains into both oceans.  I am just fascinated by that.

We continued on and had a picnic, walked on the shore of Yellowstone Lake barefoot, as well as went to a ranger led activity (I recommend going to any ranger led activities that fit your schedule, they are amazing, you just learn so much) so that Katey could earn her Jr. Ranger Badge.  We also were able to see 3 bears,  a momma, a daddy and a baby in Hayden Valley, Yellowstone, as well as countless bison. 

We finished Yellowstone up by going to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, we saw Upper Falls, where the power of the water hold you in awe.

The next day we were to be packing up and heading to Mesa Falls.  We ended up sleeping in a little and packing up took longer than we thought, so we had to skip that this trip.  We are planning on going back very soon and next time taking all the kids.

Here are a few tips I have acquired while traveling Yellowstone.
Pack a “hiking backpack” with
  • snacks
  • water
  • binoculars
  • camera
  • sunscreen
  • bug spray
  • bear repellant
  • compass/whistle/flashlight
Plan most of your meals picnic style, there are restaurants to eat at in Yellowstone, as well as plenty in the surrounding towns.  But taking advantage of their amazing picnic areas allows you to experience so much more of Yellowstone.  (It is usually also less expensive).
We packed a small Coleman type barbeque that takes those mini propane tanks. 
Some Picnic ideas (some using a grill) are:
  • hotdogs – chips- fruit
  • hamburgers- fruit- pasta salad (premade in a Ziploc bag)
  • sandwiches (cold or grilled)- veggies with dip
  • salad bar style fixins (precut and in Ziplocs)
  • Mac and Cheese (in a pot)- veggies
  • Soup (in a pot)- rolls
Other picnic items to pack:
  • paper towels
  • paper plates
  • plenty of drinks
  • cooler with ice
  • pot
  • garbage sacks
  • grill
  • spatula
  • can opener (if needed)
  • spoons/forks/knives
  • cutting board (if needed to cut fruits or veggies, or to prepare sandwiches on) – sharp knife
  • table cloth or blanket
All these items with exception of the cooler and grill can be packed into a tote for easy organization and carrying.

Be sure and keep your swimming suits, life jackets and towels in your vehicle as well, there are plenty of places to swim in Yellowstone.  Our favorite is the Fire Hole River.

I hope you get to experience Yellowstone with your family soon.

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