Friday, June 19, 2015

Beyond the Books ~ Yellowstone

Welcome to Beyond the Books. This post was inspired by Lexxie @Unconventional BookviewsUp Close and (Un)conventional, who was inspired by Cuddlebuggery. It's meant to be a way for y'all to get to know me better on a personal level ~ Beyond the Books. ;)


This trip to Wyoming, my first which is sad since I live ~3 hours from Wyoming, was inspired by books for me (naturally) and my hubs' desire to take the kids there before our oldest graduates. Y'all will get more about my trip to Wyoming and Yellowstone in a Travel by the Book post sometime, but I wanted to share some highlights of our trip! By the way, we spent our first night in Wyoming in the Grand Tetons National Park on Signal Mountain Lake. It was gorgeous there as well. And hubs and I plan to go back.


Being in Yellowstone, in the Geyser Basin in particular, gave us all a really good idea of what prehistoric Earth must have looked like prior to the arrival of cyanobacteria. <-- My oldest, who wants to go into biology and my youngest who is a prehistory expert shared that piece of knowledge when I mentioned my thoughts on the landscape. The juxtaposition of a landscape very similar to where we live and that of what really does look like a moonscape was spectacular to see.

***Things We Saw in Yellowstone or Grand Tetons***

  • Bald Eagle - we saw one fly so close overhead we could see lovely detail
  • Bison - we saw so much bison and baby bison roaming free
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Deer - we saw deer but since we see it at home, we didn't marvel
  • Elk - see comment about re: deer
  • Fumarole - these are just vents in the ground which steam but have no water
  • Geyser - they steam and blow water...amazing!
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
  • Grizzly Bear - we had resigned ourselves to not seeing any bears (totally fine with me) and then we saw a mama and her 2 cubs on a hillside on our last day. This was the best way to see a bear!
  • Hot Spring - beautiful pools of water and seem like they'd be great to take a dip in until you find out they're 250 degrees Fahrenheit and have a pH of 1-2. In other words, it'll boil and eat your skin right off!
  • Moose - we saw a juvenile moose in the Grand Tetons NP
  • Mountains!
  • Mud Pot - a hot spring that has started eating the rock around it and the liquid looks like bubbling mud
  • Paint Pot - same as mud pot only it has extremophiles (bacteria) living in it that makes the liquid pretty colors
  • Yellowstone Lake
  • Yellowstone River

***A Few Things We Learned***

  • Mosquitoes in Yellowstone are smarter than those here in our part of the Rocky Mountains. This means we got 'chewed' on quite a bit. The mosquitoes here are more like keystone cops - you can walk through a swarm and maybe end up with a single bite.
  • Theodore Roosevelt did not create Yellowstone National Park. He did form 5 other National Parks, but it was Ulysses S. Grant who signed the legislation that created Yellowstone. Yellowstone was a favorite of Teddy's though.
  • You can't fix stupid. Despite multiple warnings - BIG signs everywhere - we still witnessed people: a) step off the boardwalk onto thin and dangerous 'crust'. We even saw a woman walking barefoot through the drainage of a geyser and then lie down next to it; b) get too close to a bison. Yep, the bison actually charged the couple. Luckily for them, he was only giving them a warning.
  • Don't attempt Uncle Tom's Trail is you're afraid of heights. This grated stairway leads down into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (River) where you can get a great view of the lower falls. My daughters couldn't make it though. They tried but I ended up coming back up with them before they had panic attacks. :)

***Favorite Quote from the Trip***

Kid: But I don't want to get up early. We're on vacation!

Dad/Hubs: Yes we're on vacation, but it's not a relaxing sort of vacation. It's a see everything we can cram in sort of vacation!

***A Few Photos***

Welcome to Yellowstone!

That's a moose!

A hot spring on the shore of Yellowstone Lake

Don't get too close to that buffalo!

Another hot spring - Dragon's Mouth

That moonscape I was talking about - and a geyser

A gorgeous hot spring

A waterfall - sorry I can't remember the name :/


  1. Oh wow, Brandee, that's absolutely beautiful! Especially the moonscape, and also the waterfalls! I was totally snorting at the 'I don't want to get up early' quote from one of your children! My kids are like that, too (and sometime, even I feel like we should just be lazy...).
    I'm so happy you all had such a wonderful time! Even if it was a 'see-all-you-can' kind of vacation.
    Have a fantastic Friday, my dear! *BIG HUGS*

  2. These are great pictures. I've always wanted to go to Yellowstone. I hope that I will still make it there one day. I'm still amazed at the number of people who think that just because an animal doesn't want to eat you, that you're safe. Those animals will still kill you if they feel threatened. Great stories.

  3. Such beautiful pictures, thanks very much for sharing ! I had to look up the cutthroat trout, I see now where they got their name :) I would love to visit the Yellowstone some day - I'll beware the mosquitoes ^^

  4. What beautiful pictures! My husband never wants to get up early on vacation lol
    How awesome you got to see Buffalo, the most I see is a stray cat that keeps pooping in my garden ;)

    Wonderful Post, Brandee!!! oxox

  5. It's not a relaxing vacation... lol

    Cool photos and this vacay is trly one for the books!

  6. So beautiful, Brandee! The park too :P But you've got a gorgeous family! Love your hubs' approach to things - very soldierly-like, lol.

  7. I've never been. The moon one was so different-can't imagine. Looks like you all did get to see some amazing sights and I enjoyed seeing your children :) Next up Hawaii pictures!

  8. I read a book once that took place close to the grand tetons and the descriptions were so pretty, that I really wanted to visit. Thanks for sharing pictures from your vacation, Yellowstone looks like a nice place to visit and that landscape looks unique with how moon like it is. And that's great you got to see so many animals, although those mosquito's sound nasty. And it always surprised me how many people don't read the signs and ignore them and do dangerous things. I am glad to hear you had a great vacation :)

  9. Wow! Yellowstone is really beautiful! I can't believe how much you saw in your vacation! And bears! That is awesome!
    I like to sleep in when I'm on holidays too, so doing a trip is hard for me... because you do need to see as much as you can. Great pics Brandee!

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace


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