Road Trip 2012-Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Yellowstone National Park (May 25, 2012)

(Click here for today's pictures)
Reagan and Anderson slept peacefully in Grannymom and Grandpa's cabin last night and the rest of us...well, the rest of us managed.  Instead of playing musical chairs, we play musical beds.  Keaton started out in our little room and when we went to bed she woke up.  She fussed for a bit before we put her in bed with us and that woke Campbell up.  She cried out but was fine after I rubbed her back for a few minutes.  I had to keep Keaton in bed with us until she went to sleep but I went to sleep first.  So at 4 when Graham woke up, he also ended up waking Keaton as well.  I don't know what Graham needed at 4 but I was a bit afraid that he was going to try to get down from the bunk beds without help (much, much higher and steeper than at home) or, even worse, he was going to call me back.  So I just brought him in bed with us and that actually woke Keaton up again.  Robby then left to join Campbell in her bed.  And that is when the fun was just getting started in my bed.  Keaton patted and pulled on Graham's face and occasionally said "hi" to him while I tried my hardest rubbing their backs and heads to get them to sleep.  Eventually, everyone went on to sleep and we did rest fairly well.
I told Robby today that when he goes back to work, he will have to take Campbell or drop her off at someone's house. She is majorly attached to him and I do not want to be around when those two get separated.  Her first words this morning were "where's my daddy?" After we found her Daddy, we sent Campbell and Graham to Grannymom's cabin to eat breakfast while we loaded up.  Before too long, we had headed out at 8:35 a.m. (having driven 301 miles yesterday) and were stopping to get gas.  The weather was looking ominous-low clouds, sprinkling and cold.  
Our first stop in Grand Teton National Park was Mormon Row.  It was sprinkling and cold so just a few of us jumped out to take a picture.   If we could have seen the mountains through the low clouds, it would have been even more beautiful but it was still pretty-just a different pretty-like the pretty you want to view from the window of your warm, dry car while holding a cup of hot cocoa.  (I was able to view quite a few things from the warm, dry car while holding my hot cocoa later today when Robby bought me a cup at one of our stops.)
The first time that everyone got out of the car today was at the Teton visitor center.  They had really neat exhibits and we were able to touch tracks and fur from lots of different animals.  The kids really found all of this to be interesting.  I stamped our passport books and we headed on.  I bought mine and Robby's passport book when we were in La Jolla California years ago and have nearly filled it up and since then we have bought one for each of the kids so they can document the national parks that they visit.  Imagine standing in line behind me trying to stamp your passport book-I have 6 books and most of these places have 3 stamps.  Ha!
5 years ago at Jenny Lake
After leaving the visitor center, we stopped at Jenny Lake.  Last time we were here, we stopped here and I have the cutest picture of Robby holding 1 year old Reagan by the hands and her lifting her feet up so she didn't have to put them in icy Jenny lake.  Love that picture-now I have a picture of most of the kids shivering in front of Jenny lake.  At this point in the day it was still spitting rain and a wintery mix.  We then drove around the Jenny Lake Lodge.
When we left that lodge, there were lots and lots of people.  We could tell they had seen some animal.  Rangers were out and Robby pulled over to check it out and when he stepped out of his car, the ranger said to get back in his vehicle. Of course, Robby quickly complied and apparently the ranger was thinking the bear was coming right that way.  That didn't happen and we never really saw the bear but there was lots of activity and commotion around and it was mighty fun.
Graham was really taking in all of the bear talk.  He saw the rangers and we explained that they were keeping the bears away from the people. We pointed out their bear spray and he continually wanted to talk about all of this.  By now we were driving around the Jackson Lake Lodge and the snow was falling and it was beautiful.  Pulling out of that parking lot, we almost saw the same bear again.  He was further down the road causing a stir.  Robby did see it out of his rearview mirror but that really didn't count since none of the rest of us saw it.
Graham is obsessed with talking about the bear and Campbell is happy as she can be sitting with Keaton.  Campbell has also named her baby doll Katie.  I don't know where that came from but today is the first time that I have heard her call the baby something.  She called her "baby Katie."  They are all taking turns riding with Grannymom and Grandpa. And occasionally Grannymom will ride with me and Robby will drive their car.  Not much is around here in the way of food, so we huddled in the back of the car and made sandwiches and then ate them on the road.  Our day is going a little bit different than planned because part of the loop to get to the lodge is closed so we have to make the big loop on our way to Old Faithful.  This is fine but we were planning on doing that tomorrow.   
So we headed on down the road and I saw a bear!  Probably 10 feet from the road.  We hit the brakes and Grandpa did too and we pulled over to have our own personal bear sighting.  Robby told Campbell and Graham (who were riding with us) to unbuckle.  Campbell couldn't so Robby jumped out (on the other side of the bear) to quickly unbuckle her.  And Graham said "I don't want to unbuckle" and then he continued to ask Robby if he was going to call the Ranger.  Back in Grannymom's car, Anderson was wondering the same thing but he was so excited.  Later he said it was "awesome."  That bear moved a bit suddenly and Robby shut my window before I knew what was happening.  Then the bear walked in front of car and moseyed across the road.  After that we were okay with the lousy weather because we had seen a bear-a real live bear.
Speaking of the weather, at that time it was 36 and had warmed from 33.  Later in the day, we hit 40 and it wasn't even raining.  It was like summer!  But by the time we made it around the loop to Old Faithful, it was back down to 33 and snowing like crazy.  If we were home and it was snowing this hard, every business and school would have already been closed for hours.  Heard it was supposed to snow all weekend-kind of makes things exciting.  Just hope we can get out of here on Sunday though.  But it is beautiful, the only downside is the massive fireplace in Old Faithful Inn is being restored and is not working.  That would make this snowfall perfect-but I am getting ahead of myself.  Where was I in our day?
We jumped out at Lewis Falls and the kids found some more snow and snow balls to throw at each other and me-I got one all down my shirt.  Brrr!-especially cold when you are walking around in soaking wet shoes.  My shoes aren't really made for wet weather so they become quite chilly and wet!  We then stopped at West Thumb and walked around a thermal area.  There we walked past some elk-seriously, they were about 6 feet from us.  
We did a people swap at Lake Village Lodge.  Robby and Grandpa had Campbell and Graham with them and they must have been getting rowdy (Campbell and Graham) so they were sent to my car in exchange for Reagan and Anderson. After a few snacks and finally turning the movie back on, they calmed down pretty well.  On our way to Artist Point, Grannymom spotted an elk with antlers and we walked over mud to view that.  We were hoping that it was a moose since that is the one elusive animal that we have yet to see.  By the time we made it to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, the sun was shining and we were even brave enough to do a back picture.  Poor Anderson was a nervous wreck sitting on that rock and we weren't that close to the edge-we were close but not THAT close.  As we were leaving there, Graham needed to potty but the line was too long so we drove on.  We told him we were just going to pull over and he said "pull over where there are no bears Daddy."  And we found a bear free place for him to go.  I even had to stand outside to protect him from bears when really I just needed someone to protect me from his splatter!
At that stop, it was sunny and 40 and by the time we completed the circle and made it to Old Faithful, it was snowing hard.  The kids first saw Grannymom's room in the "newer" section of the hotel (they have their own bathroom) and then they walked through the dimly lit hallways, through the massive lodge and then to our room and they were pretty impressed.  And this place is impressive-old, beautiful, just perfect-even with no bathroom in our room.  We are fortunate because the women's bathroom is just right across the hall.  
After checking in and exploring our rooms, we walked beside Old Faithful to go and eat in another building's cafeteria. Of course, as we were walking by Old Faithful, it was snowing and the boardwalks that we were walking on were slippery but we all made it.  We had our supper and even watched Old Faithful erupt from inside the cafeteria area.  Robby said that we really need for the clouds to move away so the kids can get the full effect of Old Faithful.  
Robby picked up the car after supper and we went back to Grannymom's room for some cookies before bed.  Then Graham stayed for his turn in Grannymom's room.  Back in our room, almost everyone is asleep!
Right now Keaton is fussing and it reminds me of the two nights we spent here five years ago. (click here and here and here for pictures)  Anderson was just about 5 months old and he was so incredibly fussy.  He didn't sleep any those two nights and I spend many, many hours walking the halls with him in this lodge.  It was his first time to have excema and we didn't know what it was or what to do about it and that was the reason for his fussiness.  Now Keaton's reason for fussiness is simple-spoiled!  Ha, I didn't think a 5th kids could be spoiled but she is.  And really she just probably had a bit of gas just then!
The plan tomorrow is to go to West Yellowstone to eat pizza for lunch-but that is all dependent on the snow!  

No comments: