Sunday, July 24, 2011

Last Day in Yellowstone - Mammoth Hot Springs and going home

Our last day in Yellowstone.

Jeff spent a loooonnngg sleepless night up with a bad tooth. It broke when they were trying to fix another one of his teeth and had been bugging him most of the trip. It was most likely infected and needed a root canal. It was so bad that he was getting desperate. We considered the clinic that they had in the park but it was $200 to see him and it would be at least $80.00 to get him an antibiotic that he could pick up outside the park. Well then he thought he could just call the dentist and have his prescription filled himself. Brilliant.

So after we picked up the camping clan we all drove up to Mammoth Hot Springs ...
Buffalo herds dotting the hills.

It's funny they have all these signs telling us to stay on the trails and not walk directly on the ground because you could fall through the earth's crust and get burned by scalding water...but the flats would be filled with Buffalo droppings...these guys walked on it all the time why didn't they fall through the crust??

Jeff dropped us of at the visitor's center which was luckily 5 miles away from the entrance to the park and from the little town of Gardiner, Mt where Jeff could pick up his prescription.

We checked out the visitor's center in Mammoth Springs and when we came out we saw elk all in the middle of town.

There was a park ranger keeping people from getting too close to them. I asked why they would want to be so close to people in the middle of town and he said that they water the grass so it's always green, and having people around keep the bears and wolves from getting them so it's a good place for them to keep their young protected.

The babies in the background are nibbling on the grass around the tree.

Dale and Mo had to turn back around for a sick family member and Jeff was getting his prescription but miraculously we all ended up meeting in the parking lot at our next hiking spot.

After seeing more uphill staircases Mo commented "We were hoping we'de hook up with you after you were done hiking"

Ha ha they all got there just in time for it.

This used to be covered in water that created these limestone shapes...I guess as early as 30 years ago they started drying up.

The brown parts are where the water was, the whole hillside used to look something like it.

The brown color was organisms that liked to live in the hot water. It was temping to want to touch it...

but we followed the signs.

Back in the town it was interesting to learn that the government made Yellowstone the first national park and used soldiers to secure it. They reassigned soldiers to become Park Rangers and actually had to content with residents in the early history of the park that didn't want to give up their land.

This was the fort they lived in.

Liberty cap was the largest limestone formation there!

On our way back to camp we stopped in at Norris. We poked our head in here ...

and I learned about a geyser there that exploded at 3 times the height of Old Faithful but you could never predict when it was going to shoot off...the last time it did was May, 2005.

So none of us hiked down to it, except for Dale.

We just looked out at the overlook and then went back to the cars (the kids were done at this point) well Dale went all the way down to see it and he said it was one of his favorite. I guess it was constantly spouting pretty high.

The kids were like this....and were refusing to hike any more so we just had to take Dale's word for it.

After resting back at camp and eating lunch we decided to take who wanted to on horseback rides for our finale activity.

Jacob feeding the horse grass.

We weren't allowed to bring cameras on the ride so all we have are the shots from before.

Jacob's horse was named Carheart and during the ride he had to answer to that name.

We all were responsible for directing and controlling our horses though they were trained to stay in a line, go slow and there were lots of wranglers to help us.

One of the wranglers admitted on our ride that we had gotten farther than her last group. A buffalo had spooked a bunch of the horses on the group before us and their ride was over so she had a bunch of extra guys "protecting us".

I liked riding but for some reason they seemed to give me the biggest horse and I had to get quite a bit of help to get up. Jacob was the only one who didn't enjoy it very much. His feet kept slipping out of the stirrups so I think he was pretty uncomfortable.

All in all I think it was really fun to be able to go horseback riding as a family.

Our final dinner we all ate at the cafeteria.

Ashley got the hot dog she had been craving all week.

Jared ate the hugest burrito ever and still ate the leftovers we pushed his way!!


This was our last hotel of the trip. It was called a frontier cabin and it looked like it was built in frontier times. Plywood walls, warped boards and doors it was the smallest of all our rooms but we had the most amount of people in it ;) 

It was Jenae and Elsa's turn to come and have a sleepover...but the boys were done with camping. One night of not sleeping the best and they were ready to hang out with us.

Soooo showers for all. A movie for most...

Taylor wanted to do his own thing...and then out for the night with wall to wall people.

We said our goodbyes the next morning and started the drive back to Idaho Falls to drop off the car and fly back home.

We have a little souvenir for car rental place...from backing into a rock...we're still waiting to see if and when they will bill us for it.


Matt and Maggie said...

That is so neat about the deer. I saw a geyser in Southern UT, once, but didn't see it blow, and I don't even remember what it was called! I hope that car rental place will go easy on you, Christine!

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

What a fun trip! It was fun to see all of you photos. I can't believe that geyser get 3x as high as Old Faithful!

We used to got through Yellowstone with my family when I was younger--so many great memories. :)