Sunday, August 21, 2011

Yellowstone - Day 2

We went to church in Island Park this morning and it was bigger than Stake Conference. We were there about 5 minutes early and the gym and chapel were already totally full. The outside A-frame building, primary room, Relief Society room, and priesthood rooms were also filled to overflowing with TV transmission. Oliver set up a few chairs along the side of the gym wall at the back and another couple joined us. When the bishop welcomed everyone he said that it is like this every Sunday in the summer! They have their "ward" service at 9, another visitor service at 12:30, and again at 9 pm. However, they said that if you planned to stay for the whole block your kids needed to attend your meetings with you because their primary is just too small to accommodate all the visiting children as well.

What we heard of the meeting was nice - but mostly we wrestled Addison.

After church we went home for lunch and naps and then we decided to drive into Yellowstone to plan out our week of day trips. We drove in through the west entrance and headed to Old Faithful. We arrived about 20 minutes before it was going to erupt. So we waited and had a snack and let Addison play in the sandy dirt - yes, her dad thought her church sandals were perfect for the dirt and sand...

It was beautiful and short. Oliver swears that the eruption lasted longer when he was little. It was also more spectacular the last time we were in Yellowstone because we watched it during sunset and the backdrop of the brightly colored sky made amazing. Watching it with clouds in the background was just a little disappointing.

After watching Old Faithful we went into the visitor's center. We watched two 15 minute informational movies about how the geysers work and what there is to see in Yellowstone. Then we toured their science/history exhibit. Their exhibit is new and phenomenal - it is interactive with short explanations. There is also a kids area with facts and games and climbing thins. We would love to spend more time there but reading in a museum-like setting just isn't in Addison's attention span right now.

So we stopped to talk to the ranger about hike options (our theory is if the first one doesn't know what she's talking about, wait a few minutes a talk to a different one). The first girl told us she didn't really know anything about hiking in Yellowstone and we could go to the Back Country office for more information. The second lady gave us a pamphlet about day hiking areas in each part of the park, a paper that shows where large mammals are most often located (bears, elk, buffalo, wolves, etc), and a map with highlighted sections of where you can swim in Yellowstone.

We headed back to the cabin where crock-pot dinner was waiting and then put Addison to bed. Oliver spent the evening planning our Yellowstone adventures and I spent the evening reading The Help. Have you read it yet? It was awesome (one other reason I love vacation is I can read a book every two days)!

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