Welcome to Beyond the Books. This post was inspired by Lexxie @Unconventional Bookviews' Up 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
- 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!
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 :/