If you have ever been thinking of taking a road trip out west DO IT!!! There are so many beautiful sights to see and life just seemed better in the mountains. Everything was so relaxed and there was no hustle and bustle. If we spotted some wildlife or even just a beautiful sight we pulled off the road and went adventuring! It really gave perspective to the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson "Life is a journey, not a destination". The road isn't always smooth and sometimes you go too fast or too slow, but life happens on that journey...don't be too focused on the destination.
Yep that's snow...in JULY!!! It was a blast having the kids play in the snow in their flip flops on Daddy's birthday (7/8). The kids didn't believe us at first, they couldn't believe they were touching snow in the summer!
The wildlife out there is amazing. Animals literally on the side of the road! This was the most exciting part of the trip for me...searching for wildlife! Here you can see (maybe) one of a band of long horn sheep on the side of the mountain.
A lone bald eagle sitting in a dead tree.
Many of the trees in Yellowstone have died from a beetle epidemic spurred by climate change and rising temperatures. It was heartbreaking to see so much of the landscape deteriorating, you could imagine how different the landscape looked with full, green trees. The loss of the trees can have a huge impact on the ecosystems in place and scientists are putting forth efforts to reinforce regrowth.
We saw deer, lots and lots of deer
And even a grizzly bear! Can you spot the bear below?
Elk and bison were abundant in the area. This big guy was grazing in some fallen trees just off the road.
And this guy was just across the road!
If you look closely in the picture below you can spot a grey wolf...we were really far away. Just up the road a bit from this location was a huge group of people waiting to see the wolves come down the mountain to hunt. I don't know if they saw any, but we saw this guy off in the distance. I think he was stalking some waterfowl.
If you go about a finger width to the right of my logo and then down just a bit you will see the wolf on the edge of the water. It's there I promise...it was the closest I could get and shortly after this shot the lil guy disappeared into the brush.
Searching for wildlife was only one of the highlights of the trip! The landscape was breathtaking! Everywhere you looked was a gorgeous scene. This amazing mountain sunset was just across the way from Old Faithful.
Old Faithful must have been having an off day, she was about 30-45 minutes late but for those of us that stuck it out (and braved the cold & mosquitoes) she gave us quite a sight!
Sometimes in the expanse of the Rockies we forget to notice the details. Here is the shell of an insect about an inch and a half long.
Lush green landscapes...
with pops of color everywhere.
This past winter dropped the heaviest amount of snowfall in the Rockies. Because there was still snow melt happening, the rivers were flowing with unbelievable force!
You can really ses how quick the water was moving even is this little stream.
Then there were the "Stinkin' Springs". This area used to be filled with trees until a rash of earthquakes sparked changes to the landscape. While the trees held strong through the shaking, the boiling temperatures happening below the surface cooked the trees from the roots up. Now the area is covered with hydrothermal features such as mudpots, fumaroles, hot springs and geysers.
There is a feature called "Dragon's mouth Spring".
My kids may or may not believe that a dragon is living in that "cave". What can I say, we love using our imagination!
The water in Yellowstone Lake was so blue! It was picture perfect!
The next (and final) post on our journey will be the trip home. That will take you through the Grand Teton's and the Children's Zoo in Lincoln Nebraska! Thanks for joining me on a replay of our time in Yellowstone National Park! Have I convinced you to make the trip yet?