We had a great time looking through the town, showing the kids where I lived and played, went to school and looking for the tricky tree (which is no longer there, bummer).
This October will mark 20 years since my family moved from West Yellowstone, MT to San Jose, CA and the growth of that small town sure shows it. The last time I was there we saw much of the growth, but even in the two years since that visit, a HUGE time share complex has been added. There was also a McDonald's. Growing up we had the D & R drive-in (no longer there) and the Dairy Queen (still there and looks the same!). I even looked for the Bargain Depot which was a trinket store in an old train car. This was the place I bought a pair of black leather pants that I actually wore. (What was I thinking?) We stopped along Canyon Blvd where the first two stop lights were installed the summer before we moved. Along Canyon are the majority of the tourist shops, diners, and other small town attractions. Sydney happened to be the only child without a hat for the weekend, so she and I jumped out really quick to buy one before heading into the park. Later that night when I was looking at the receipt, sure enough we had gone into the Bargain Depot.
We showed them the school I went to which has since been converted into more shops and a new school was built in what we called the New Addition or Madison Addition.
We then took the kids into Yellowstone National Park for some fun sights and not so fun smells. Just as we were approaching Norris Geyser Basin, Jason and I rolled the windows down for the unsuspecting passengers in the back. Austin was sure he would not be getting out of the car since it smelled so bad. I actually thought the smell was pretty tame compared to my childhood memories of the stinky sulfur emanating from the geysers and fumerals.
We hiked in a little ways to Artist Paint Pots to see the beautifully colored pools and the hot mud pots. We were glad to have bug repellent because the eraser size mosquitoes were out in force.
We also made the long hike down to the rim of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone. A hike I was not looking forward to but was pressured by The Dad to come anyway. Lucky for me, Kelsey stopped holding hands on the narrow steep trail and had to sit out the rest of the hike. At the end of the hike, The Dad turned to Allynn and said, "Now, when you come back here with your husband and he insists that you take this hike, you tell him that there are other look-out points and that you have already done this hike." I tried to warn him.That night the town had a parade and fireworks to celebrate the holiday. Unfortunately we didn't make it out of the park in time for the parade and we didn't make it to the fireworks either. When we came back to our campsite for dinner, we discovered it had rained during the day and all the sleeping bags and blankets got soaked. We spent the evening drying everything so we would be ready for bed. So - we listened to the fireworks and saw a few done by the ranchers next door.
The next day we went back into the park and hurried into Old Faithful. There we hiked around the different paths and watched Old Faithful erupt. Then it was time to get back into the van for the long ride home. We didn't see very many animals.
- Maybe 5 Bison - although the kids did get to experience
- A Bison-jam when the Bison is on the road walking like he is the only thing around and cars have to wait for him to get out of the way. Poser Bison - who sits right on the side of the road and looks from camera to camera helping each tourist get the best face shot.
- One bald eagle sitting near the nest.
- Several Elk - but not the huge herds I remember as a kid. Mammoth Hot springs had a small heard sitting on a grassy island which caused a traffic jam.
- One white wolf that was scared off by another kid yelling, "Hey I just saw a white wolf!"
- No moose.
- No bears. We were so disappointed. Then four days later Aunt Julie saw several bears. We will just have to go again and look harder.