Road Trip 2012-Yellowstone National Park to Glendive, Montana (5/27/2012)

Last day in Yellowstone...
(Click here for today's pictures)
Keaton did better last night but did wake up once to have her bottle.  Then Robby just slept with her laying on his chest for the rest of the night.  She was happy, he could sleep and he sure didn't want to take any chances.  Her little back and legs are all covered with excema.  Just something about my kids and Old Faithful Inn-actually, probably the dry, cold air is what does it.  We need to get back to our hot air and humidity.  
Reagan asked to sleep in the bed with Robby and was surprised to find me in that bed when she woke up.  Graham also thought he was climbing into my bed in the middle of the night and was shocked to see Robby.  We did a bed switcheroo and confused them all.
We all slept really well and woke up around 7:30.  Again there was snow on the ground.  Not as much as yesterday but still a decent amount.  The first thing Robby did was call and get the road report and the roads leaving the park going north were closed.  But we knew that if today was anything like yesterday, the roads would be fine in a few hours.  And by the time we checked out of the hotel, all the roads were open.
The kids had breakfast in Grannymom's room while Robby and I loaded up and brought the cars to the front.  We didn't put on the roof bag yet because it was spitting snow and quite chilly to be climbing around on the car.  We pulled out of Old Faithful Inn at 9:34 a.m. and had driven 66 miles yesterday.  I was driving the girls and Robby was driving the boys in Grandpa's car.  About 2 miles from the inn, Reagan asked if we could have something to eat.  Seriously?  It is like they could be eating all of the time.  I think my kids have worms!  We were able to hold them off for a bit but soon I was passing out fruit snacks and juice boxes.  
Some of the drive today was a repeat from yesterday and the day before but it looked completely different today.  We were going the other way but also there was not a blizzard happening outside the window.  We again saw lots of buffalo, the boys saw an elk with antlers and we even saw some pronghorns.  We did only see one car in the ditch-looked like the snow had covered the culvert that thought was the shoulder of the road.  
A few miles down on, we came to a new part of the road for us.  Every little bit that you drive, you see a completely different type of scenery.  It is just amazing.  The only part of the drive that I didn't enjoy today was coming down the side of a mountain on some tight little turns, with cars and buses parked along turnouts, on a wet road that was probably icy earlier in the day with a 6 inch guard rail.  Things like that just make me a bit nervous and did I mention I was trying to keep up with Robby!
We our first stop was at Mammoth Hot Springs.  It reminded us of the pumpkin type thing we swam in on the Colorado river while floating down it.  It was quite a long icy trail to the springs so we didn't make to too far but we were able to see quite a bit of scenery before turning around and heading back to the car.  A bit down the road we took a picture at the North entrance gate and then traveled on to Livingston.
Just a few miles at the gate, Robby quickly stopped and made a u-turn to take a picture of Reagan at the 45th parallel.  I had seen it on the map and asked him to stop if we ever saw it to take a picture (for geography this year).  I couldn't stop so luckily Reagan was in his car and the didn't need me to turn around.  By now we were in Montana and really it is just beautiful.  Campbell even realized how pretty things were and kept looking out the window.
We made it to Livingston around 12:45 and had lunch at McDonalds.  We never found a good picnic stop so we just opted for fast food.  After eating, Robby and I worked on the roof bag and finished in pretty good time-probably helped that a cool rain and a strong wind had just started.  That truly encouraged us to work quickly-very quickly.  We gave Grandpa a very early Father's Day gift-a knit hat because he is going to need it at Glacier.  And then we said our goodbyes and the Dennies went one direction on the interstate and we went another.
A bit down the road, Robby started calculating and eventually changing hotels.  If we would have stopped at our original hotel in Billings we would have checked in around 3 and that is way too long to be in a hotel room with my crew.  So we pressed on and covered as much as we could.  We are now in Glendive Montana and Robby has even moved tomorrow nights hotel further down the road as well.  That will help lesson our 7 hour driving day that is ahead.  Moving our hotel did have us drive about 4 more hours today but we felt rested and the kids were doing fine so it wasn't a problem.
We stopped once for a potty stop, once more on the side of the road for another potty stop. (Graham did have to potty and  Robby asked Anderson if he needed to and of course what 5 year old boy would pass the chance to pee from a van on the side of an interstate up).  And then we had one gas stop-since we would run out of gas in 53 miles and our hotel was in 56, I made Robby stop-he just wanted to "try it."  I frown upon having to walk to a gas station!
A bit before 7, we made it to the hotel and check in.  Robby never encountered the elevator so he carried all of our stuff upstairs.  We put the girls in the tub and then started the first load of laundry.  Next the boys and the second load went in. The kids were good tonight but Campbell and Graham just have a spring in their step-that is probably why the hotel front desk person called tonight!  It wasn't even 8 but we did put everyone on the beds for the rest of the evening.  We do need to work on walking quieter but anytime you have 7 people in a room things are bound to get noisy.  
It is almost 10 and all the kids are sleeping and the second load of laundry is in the dryer.  Tomorrow we are heading to Roosevelt National Park and have a few other stops along the way.  I guess that our trip is half over and it makes me sad-though we still have seven more days.  We are busy making plans for the next few days-maybe a train, maybe a roller coaster and maybe a ball game.  I will fill up 3 picture albums from this trip-that is why there aren't too many pictures today!

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