Learning to serve the Lord and my family one day at a time.

Learning to serve the Lord and my family one day at a time.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday Photo

I stumbled across a new photography blog thanks to Pinterest last week. I've been feeling very bored and quite frankly bad at photography lately and really needed something to get the creative juices flowing again, challenge my photography skills and teach me to use my camera better. Each Sunday, at the blog Ashley Sisk, she posts five items to photograph each week and a link up from the previous weeks challenge. So here goes my first week. 

If a picture is bad or mediocre....make it black and white, thus the two black and whites this week. 


View from the Top


 Faceless Self Portrait

 Pulled this last one from my archives but here's my nephew Benjamin stacked on his momma's knees

Monday, October 15, 2012

Yellowstone Adventures

Or how we drove 24 hours in four days and got the stomach bug along the way.

Let me just start off by saying I think David and I are a bit crazy when it comes our determination to enjoy living out west this year. Don't worry, I don't think I'll be skiing while wearing Laura in the Ergo but we certainly don't let having a baby hamper our adventurous spirit.

David had a four day weekend the first weekend of October and we planned a trip to Yellowstone a few weeks prior. We knew it would be our only chance to go while living so "close" (if a 12 hour drive is your idea of close) and wanted to take advantage of his coveted time off of work.

I haven't completely lost my mind luckily and we decided against camping and rented a (heated) cabin in the park instead. I'm very glad we chose not to camp because the temperatures were as low as 9 degrees one night and we even received a light dusting of snow.

We decided it would work best to leave around 2 am Friday morning and drive while Laura (hopefully) slept since it would be her normal sleeping time. T- 2 hours David wakes up throwing up. Gulp. I practically cried and I fell back asleep knowing we would have to cancel the trip. We awoke the next morning and David was feeling much better and we decided to go ahead and make the 12 hour drive to Yellowstone. The car was already packed so I grabbed some coffee and hit the road.

The drive went very well and David was feeling well enough to drive by the afternoon. Laura got a bit crabby so I broke out the laptop with a few Signing Time DVDs I had borrowed from the library. We arrived at the East Entrance around 7pm and by that point, I wasn't feeling so well and it had begun to snow. Fortunately we drove out of the snow at it stayed about freezing so we didn't have to put the snow chains on the car.  It took nearly two full hours to drive to the far northwest side of the park where I cabin was located. We checked in and settled into our cute cabin (without a bathroom) for the night.

We didn't get much rest that night as I was up the entire night throwing up. Read 10 times!! At first I would run out to the communal bathroom behind our cabin but I eventually gave up and just threw up in the trash can! Laura couldn't sleep because she had a cold and spent part of the night asleep on David's chest.

Grand Tetons

I felt reasonably better in the morning so we set off in the car once again to see the park. Yellowstone is so huge you it takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to get between the different features in the park. We stayed in Mammoth Hot Springs and enjoyed seeing the elk herds who frequent there as well as the mineral deposits and steam vents. The landscape and scenery in Yellowstone are for the most part, not as awe inspiring as Yosemite or the Tetons but the landscape is very unique and dotted with thermal hot spots and geysers that make the park interesting and beautiful in it's own way.

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone was probably my favorite stop on our trip. The water falls drops 300 feet and we were able to get near the drop off point as watch the water gushing over the massive falls.

The thermal activity in Mammoth has created calcium-carbonate deposits that look like snow from a distance. You walk to the different thermal spots, geysers and mud pits via a board walk that protects you from boiling steam and water and keep the thermal features from being destroyed by the 2.3 million people who visit the park each year.

We saw Old Faithful and another geyser erupt as well as the thermal pools and gurgling mud pits. One place smelled so badly I nearly gagged. Laura was such a trooper the whole trip. She's such a great little traveler.

Old Faithful

Boiling river where a hot spring meets the Gardner River and you can swim

Yellowstone River water fall at the canyon

We drove home through the Teton Mountains to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Again I was wishing for more time but glad we were able to see these incredible mountains on our way out of the park. We stayed a few hours at a motel and got up at 2 am to drive home. After a sausage biscuit breakfast around 7 I started feeling badly again. David passed me a tupperware and I threw up three times on the drive home. Somehow if we both get sick I always get it much worse than him.

Finally made it home around noon on Monday morning and I slept the day and night away trying to fight off this nasty bug. By Tuesday I was mostly recovered but sure glad to put all that behind me. Maybe many moms feel this way, but I'm starting to find vacations no longer relaxing but just stressful and draining. I planned this trip for several weeks, took three days shopping, cooking and packing and just felt exhausted after we got home!

I really enjoyed our trip but I wish we had time to savor the different areas of the park more. We didn't do much hiking as I was still feeling rather weak and tired from being sick and we always enjoy our hikes together. I'm glad we were able to go but if we ever go again, I'd love to spend a whole week there.