Have We Lost Our Minds?
Pregnant with our fourth child, my husband has a moment of inspiration and suggests a cross-country family trip during maternity leave.
Day Twenty Six - Yellowstone
Baby boy has been up since the rain at 5:00. I drifted in and out of sleep but with all the cooing and grunting coming from the baby, I decided to give sleep up. I can hear snoring from the opposite side of the tent and looking at the girls wonder how are we going to break camp early tomorrow. There will be a line of people waiting for our spot and we wanted to not be the ones that take forever to leave.
This morning Tiny decided her sister needed to be awake with her right before baby vomited on me causing me to wake up George for help. Baby got comfy on my chest and I passed back out. Until 10:45.
George had bacon frying when I emerged from the tent. Add eggs with bread and I am a happy. Girls are causing mischief and run up to the bathroom about forty-seven times. Baby and I get ready in the bathroom. A face wipe does wonders for your spirits. Girls are in their seats when I return and we set off for the day. Old Faithful, gas, eggs, coffee creamer, bread, and showers are on the agenda.
Beautiful views outside and sounds of Biscuit singing Toto's Africa inside. She also calls for us to turn the window up. Turned off main road to see Fountain Basin.
Old Faithful Village where I was dropped off for groceries and George went for fuel. When I was buying food, caught a sign that said Old Faithful was erupting soon. Got back together and shared the news. Found parking and a log to wait on. Girls worked on books until the show.
Checked out the Inn. Bubble used waiting for the family bathroom for book work as well. She is doing well. Spend what feels like forever looking/waiting for George. Went back to the car. He was there.
Head to the Visitor's Center. Past experience told me that a Junior Ranger program happened at 4:00 pm outside the Visitor's Center and I still had two children that needed a Ranger's signature. Learned how to deal/encounter wildlife in the park. Read stay safe. Completed the books to the level each child could outside on a bench.
They were sworn in by the sweetest ranger we have talked to so far. It was touch and go if Biscuit was going to become a Junior Ranger from behavior. She made it.
George wants to see Mammoth Hot Springs which is the northern end of the park. Girls are hungry. Few snacks in the car and they are on board with the plan for dinner at Mammoth. We realize how much Yacht Rock XM the girls have listened to when they start singing Rosanna.
Stopped at the Golden Gate and a rocky outcrop for climbing on the way. Girls loved climbing for a bit.
Mammoth Hot Springs included lots of stairs and it started drizzling. Spectacular though. Lots of elk in the 'village'. Still looking for a spot for a picnic dinner. 9 hours after our last meal.
After bathrooms and elk spotting, we drive through Mammoth Village. Dinner location secured on Lava Creek. More consistent sprinkles started, Bubble and Biscuit found shelter for eating. I retreated with Brogden to the car to keep him from being pelted in the face. Tiny got caught up in the moment and peed in her pants. Again. She has does that two or three times now. Enough that we had to buy her a new pack of underwear. Underwear that is back at the campsite. She rode back in PJs. Commando.
We thought showers were in Mammoth Springs. Turns out they are in Grants Village. At the other end of Yellowstone. Over 75 miles away. At 35-45 mph. Like driving from Raleigh to Greensboro for a shower. New plan. Showers after checking out and on the way to the Grand Tetons.
Took a gravel one lane road for 6 miles off the main road looking for bears. You heard that. I didn't vote yes to the turn.
No bears. Just longer to get to the campsite. I think I fell asleep on the way. Zipped up in mummy bag at 10:45. It is cold.
Steps taken: 11,868
Miles driven: 142.4
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Mother of four children living up the maternity leave from the job of an agriculture teacher.