Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yellowstone Trip

We got news of a "Free Day" at Yellowstone and couldn't turn it down!

We drove up on Friday and stopped in Idaho Falls and did a session in the temple. Beautiful. We also stopped and saw an old Nauvoo friend, Randy, and his fam.

Then we drove up to St. Anthony where we met up with our friends Wes and Mandy. We had dinner, went on a walk, and played 'Ticket to Ride' (definitely a current obsession!) before hitting the sack so that we could be in the park bright and early.
We went into the park on Saturday morning and drove through a lot of this. It is so beautiful in its own way. It's very cool to see the re-growth since the fires. The little trees are so bright green and look like grass and are so thick. It will be awesome to watch the park change over the years.

I wonder what happened to this tree... so cool.

We came to our first stop... and started breaking the rules immediately...

This is Mammoth Hot Springs... I'd love to see it all wet.

And elk!!

We drove to our next spot from there and came to this HUGE traffic jam.

We jumped out assuming that it had to be a grizzly bear to create such a stir... and there was!! He was pretty small and pretty far away as you can see by the picture... but he was still a grizzly bear and they are rare!

We got quite a laff about all the people... some people had camera's that were over two feet long!

And here are the (idiot) dare-devils who needed to have a better picture. :)

Kept on driving and enjoyed more burnage and growage. I really think it is incredible and beautiful.

Next stop: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone! It's INCREDIBLE!!!

From our view, we could see all these stairs on the other side of the cliff. We made those our goal!

The hike to Uncle Tom's Stairs started with a view of Upper Falls.

And after climbing down the stairs,

we were able to see the gorgeous Lower Falls. SO PRETTY!

And pretty fab rainbow reflection at the bottom.

Here's all of us. Wes and Mandy were fabulous hosts. You can see our hoodies... it was COLD up there that weekend! At night it got down to 32! Brr! I'm sure people were laffing at me for wearing a coat (not in this picture), but when you leave 100 degree weather and go to 50 degrees... that's quite a change!!

And then began the trek UP the 350ish stairs! Here is Aaron pretending to pant... yes we were making fun of the tourists who we thought were going to kill themselves. :) Yes, we're mean. :)

A cool view of the canyon from the stairs.

We started on again and finally saw bison/buffalo!!! I thought this was going to be the closest we would get...

until we came to a lone one right on the side of the road! We came up to it going verrrrrrrry slowly and I put my camera out and...

all the sudden he looked at me and started walking into the car! The picture is fuzzy because I screamed and was pulling my arms back in! It was SO awesome! He was seriously like a foot away from me. And now I'm obsessed with buffalo. In fact, I made us buy a buffalo Christmas ornament in this fuzzy guy's honor. :) He crossed the road right after our car.

We drove past Lake Yellowstone

to go see Old Faithful. Here are the crowds of people waiting.

That little smoke puff is where it comes out of. Pretty incredible.

Old Faithful was about 10 minutes late and we were laffing our heads off at the comments people around us were making. "You'd think they could set it off on time." "Yeah and why don't they announce it?" "Seriously, they should put music to it or have music going off like the Bellagio Fountains." We were trying so hard not to laff... they totally thought this was man-made!! We were afraid it would scare the heck out of them to hear that the earth naturally made this geyser explode. :) And there she blows!!

We continued on. We stopped at a few geyser basins and emerald pools.

That's boiling water... that's insane!!


Boiling MUD!

This bad boy was created in recent years after an earthquake! In the Spring it gushes water but in the Fall it's all dry and MOANS REALLY LOUD! It was kinda freaky! (Maybe we should have double-checked it wasn't a person who had fallen in...)

I was pretty intrigued by this death and carnage.

And that was our day at Yellowstone! We went around the entire park in one day! We can't believe how much we saw and are sure there is tons more to see. We'll have to go back. I love to see how unique nature is and to learn how they different areas were created. (For example, all of Yellowstone is on top of a Super Volcano!) National Parks are the bomb. Especially when they're free. :)

That night we went to the infamous Big Jud's. To have your picture taken and be on the Big Jud's wall, you have to eat this hamburger (hand is showing the size), a full order of fries, a drink, and a huge waffle cone!!

Aaron and Wes split it and did finish it all off. (No picture on the wall though, because you have to do it singlely.) I was impressed though... that's A LOT of food!

That evening we watched a movie and the next morning we went to church with them which included many experiences that had us laffing for hours. We had SUCH a great time up there. A huge thank you to them!


Josh and Megs said...

Becky...I am jealous of all of your adventures! Josh and I really need to go to Yellowstone together sometime. We have a Big Juds here in Boise! And the Man vs. Food guy came a month ago to try to get his name on the wall. I want to take Josh there to see if he can do it. My sister did it and when she got home she never wanted to eat again. ha.

oh, and I LOVE love Love the Carpenters!

Matthew and Hillary said...

Awesome trip! Someday I'll make it up to Yellowstone...I should probably go to Yosemite first 'cause that's closer. :) So cool about the buffalo!! Those things are SO big!

Meredith said...

That is so awesome! I haven't been to Yellowstone since I was about ten years old. It's definitely time to go again. It is so beautiful and amazing.

~Wyatt~Brittney~Brecken~ said...

I LOVE big Juds, it makes me miss living in Rexburg. . .just a little bit! We went there with a bunch of our friends right before we moved. . .YUMMY!

*Liese said...

Awesome trip, Beck. I love all the waterfall pictures! And I'm really glad you broke a few rules; if you don't break some rules, you won't have any fun! The people at Old Faithful make me laugh. Seriously. I probably would have felt the need to make some comments had I been there. And just so you know, my friend, Garrett, totally did that hamburger thing at Big Jud's!

Mandy Torgrimson said...

Just thought I should let you know that my family was in Yellowstone that same day and about two hours after we left the Grand Canyon, they were snowed on them. I guess we timed our trip just right.

Sarah said...

AMAZING time. Jealous you got to see a grizzley! That's pretty sweet. Any oh my we went to Big Judd's last year.. those burgers are something aren't they?

Lissa said...

Joe and I have downed a big judd, of course it was a joint effort, and we didn't have to eat for days. A big judd is the best thing to eat before fast sunday...many calories to hold you through.

The Barlows said...

Great pictures! You were in my home town, Ashton! We have a Big Juds in Ashton also, but I'm not sure if that's the one that you went to. I'm glad you had a fun trip. West Yellowstone is the best and I also love the IF temple. Glad you got to go! Yeah for Idaho and Wyoming! :)

*Liese said...

@ Becky & Nettie--
No, but they're kinda close...Hobbitville is across the street from Westminster College and Gilgal Garden is like 750 E. 500 S. (the address is actually on the sign in the last picture).

Emily said...

Ticket to Ride - you have to come teach my parents and I how to play! We bought my dad the European version with the Switzerland expansion pack for his birthday in May and he has YET to even take the pieces out of the box. And the cameras... I totally get it. My dad and sister are totally into photography and would probably own cameras like that if they could. :)

The Judd Family said...

What an awesome trip! The last time I went to Yellowstone, I was like 4 years old. I still remember it. Yellowstone is spectacular. I hope I can back up there some day. I love the comments and pictures you post. You are hilarious. I sure miss ya.

Amy said...

I just love you guys. That's all.

Deann said...

LOL @ my sister. It's the lens :) Yes I'd love one. ROFL!!

What a fun trip! Makes me want to go even more. My kids (4 and 6 now) have been begging to go there for a year now. We are cool like that.