All 50 Road Trip-May 15, 2018, Day 4



It was after 1 when both loads of laundry were dry. I sorted things back by outfits and put them neatly in zip lock bags. Then by that time, I was tired so I just shoved those zip lock bags into their backpacks. Since they weren’t all nice and neat then it did make a bit more difficult to store all of the bags this morning under the seats, but we were able to fit them in finally.

I thought for a few minutes that I would not be able to go to sleep last night, but when I did go to sleep I didn’t wake up at all. We all started stirring around 7. When Robby looked down to check on Whitman, he couldn’t see him until he looked in bed with Campbell and Reagan. Later when he woke up, he told me that he climbed in bed with Campbell because he thought that shew as me! Soon after getting ready, we all headed to breakfast. Today they had cinnamon roll waffles which were very good. So far all of these hotels have had chocolate chips for oatmeal, I guess. My crew has found them and gone to town on them.

Robby took some kids to help with the ice chest while the others helped me load the cart. Soon we were on the road headed towards our hotel in Jackson. I had only 2 stops on the road to Jackson. One was an ice cream place that we would pass around 9 which we deemed too early for ice cream.

We weren’t too sure exactly where we would end up today. Our goal was to get to Yellowstone and hopefully do the bottom half of the park loop today or tomorrow. There was much conversation about when would be the best to do this so we also had time to enjoy the cabin and most importantly, do laundry not at 1 in the morning.

We arrived at our KOA cabins a little bit before noon. We didn’t think that we could get in, but Robby tried anyway. Our cabin was ready so we ran in to unpack and explore. Everyone claimed their spots and there is plenty of room for at least 2 more folks.

It would be the perfect tiny home-there is a kitchen area, a pull out couch, a bedroom, bathroom, one room with a loft and queen bed underneath and then a loft with a double and twin mattresses. It is pretty quaint and just how I remember them being a few years ago when we stayed in them,

Soon we were back on the road headed to Yellowstone. We drove through Jackson and remembered to take our Red Box back, yet we forgot one other important thing! More on that later. The plan is to go to Jenny Lake and the Grand Tetons tomorrow.

We did stop one to take a picture of the Grand Tetons since we didn’t want to risk it tomorrow. The last time we were here, it was cloudy and our Grand Teton pictures are just of clouds. It is amazing how much snow is up here still. The kids have enjoyed walking through it each time we stop for a picture or even touching some of it! The lakes are even partially frozen, yet we are comfortable in shorts.

Once in Yellowstone, we took a picture stop at the entrance and then headed to the West Thumb basin. Keaton was thrilled when we stopped there since she had to use the restroom. We all took advantage of hem even though they were porta pettish.

It was pretty impressive watching the water boil and the mud pots shoot mud in the air. We weren’t there too long because we needed to move on since we had lots to see today. We were about 30 milks to our next stop when Robby remembered what he had forgotten-GAS!

Since we didn’t have any cell service, I went scrambling through all of the literature that we had received trying to find where the closest gas station was. We knew then that we would probably have to pay 5 bucks a gallon, but Robby said he would happily pay whatever!

Next up was a quick stroll around the Mud Volcano area. We weren’t going to stop but how could you pass it up. We could smell the Sulphur when we were still in the car, It was foul! We read a book lately about Mt. St. Helens erupting and it talked extensively about the smell of Sulphur before a volcano exploded. Smelling the Sulphur caused lots of questions and concerns. Graham was ready for us to get out of there!

Around this time, I made and passed out sandwiches in the car. It is always a fairly challenging! There was a Nutella sandwich, peanut butter one, ham and cheese, just a cheese and two turkeys and cheeses. Then I made Robby and my sandwiches. Of course by the time, I had put the first bite in my mouth, everyone was asking for seconds. I ate first and then passed out seconds.

We began seeing buffalo around this area. We passed one walking along the side of the road and quite a few more. Hopefully, we will see many more when we get to Custer State Park. While taking a video, Campbell narrated that we just saw wildlife that were out of their cages. Now, since we didn’t have cell service, we weren’t able to listen to my podcasts about Yellowstone. Maybe some of them would have answered my questions about this amazing place or even helped Campbell understand the idea behind wildlife not having cages.

We saw an artic fox or a wolf walking along the snow in one area. The animal walked right along with us. I spent most of my time watching the car in front of me. One man opened his door and got out of his car. Then he saw the animal (wolf or fox) and jumped back in his car!  I laughed loud enough that Robby was afraid that the man could hear me! He couldn’t though, since he was back in his car!

Robby held his breath until we made it to Canyon Village. We had over 30 miles of gas to spare but that wouldn’t have been enough to make it to the next gas station though. It was a bit above average price but not horrible.

We then back tracked just 3 miles to see the Grand Canyon of the West. It was beautiful and would have been even better if I could have gotten a back picture. There just wasn’t a good spot for all of us to sit safely!

It was a beautiful stop. The water was flowing down the falls so fast that there was a cloud of steam over the falls. Anderson was pretty impressed that we could hear the rapids from high above. It was a great stop and afterwards, we had a snack.

The kids spent a lot of time looking out of the windows for wildlife. Robby told them that if we saw a moose, he would pay them each 10 dollars. This is our 3rd Yellowstone visit and have yet to see a moose so he felt fairly confident about his bet.

From the Grand Canyon area we hurried on to Old Faithful. One of the times that I had internet service, I was able to tell when the next eruption was. We had time to grab our jackets and use the restroom before grabbing a spot on the benches.

We waited with all of the other people for about 20 minutes for Old Faithful to erupt. It is pretty neat to see it. The kids were all impressed with the geyser. Whitman acted like it was the best thing that he had ever seen.

From there we headed towards the cafeteria but opted for ice cream. We ate in the lodge area which Reagan though was so incredible. A few minutes later, when we walked through Old Faithful Lodge she was in awe. It is a wonderful place.

Reagan was quick to point out that we should definitely come back. Graham certainly agreed and began suggesting ways and trips for us to come back here. Of course, walking around the lodge just made Robby and I bit disappointed that we weren’t staying there this time. On my bucket list, I intend to go back and stay for 4 or 5 days at Old Faithful Lodge.

We found the last room that we stayed in and even showed the kids the communal bathrooms. That didn’t deter their plan to come back. Wonder if we could convince them to come here next year instead of Disney. Anderson and Reagan have been to the Wilderness Lodge at Disney which is like Old Faithful but they were itty bitty and don’t remember this. Now, Graham, Reagan and Anderson all do remember Old Faithful Lodge from last time. Campbell and Keaton were too little, and this is all a first for Whitman.

It was still light at 8:00 when we got on the road back to the hotel. It is nice since it stays light a long time. I passed out our second meal of the day as we drove out of the park-cheese, crackers and sausage. It was a winner too and everyone asked for seconds though this time I refused since we planned on buying a snack somewhere before the hotel.

We did buy pizza and cinnamon sticks way too late to be eating and even way too late to be out an about (around 10). It was so nice that we were already checked back in the cabin and things were semi unloaded for the car. They were unloaded but still unorganized. This place is twice as big as a hotel but I feel twice as crowded. There are bags and shoes and coats everywhere. It is nice to spread out though!

We ate our pizza and cinnamon sticks once we made it back to the cabin, and then the kids started on their showers. They ran through the showers fairly quickly and soon it was time for bed for them. I worked on some of the blog today and the rest of it before the kids went to bed, but Robby still had to post the blog and the pictures. Since the internet is spotty here, he had to go to the office area to do all of our evening computer work!

Same as Yesterday:
Current Dennie Kid State Count (May 15, 2018):
Reagan-needs Alaska
Anderson-needs Alaska
Graham-needs Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington
Campbell-needs Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington
Keaton-needs Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington

Whitman-needs Alaska, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington

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