Monday, August 9, 2010

And the road trip begins...

Before I begin blogging about Yellowstone, I want to start at the beginning of the trip. This is my Mom and I in Spokane before the road trip began...and before we would inevitably strangle each other (out of love of course...)First drive was through Idaho, which went by a lot quicker than I expected. It was really pretty and I'm kicking myself for not picking up a few potatoes....and I can't believe I never went and visited while I was in Spokane...oh well...I was only there for less than 2 months. This is a picture of our drive in Idaho my mom attempted to take while going across a bridge with her in the passenger seat...

After Idaho, Montana came up really quickly and it is soooo gorgeous! I love the wide open spaces (I hope that song is now stuck in everyone's head) and the big sky. So relaxing. I miss it already.

We drove to Missoula for lunch, making a few pit stops on the way. In Missoula we came across this gentle giant and I melted....

He was whining and whimpering and I felt the urge to steal him away and cuddle him forever. But alas, we had to move on. Mom took control of my Civic and I almost had a heart attack since it was the first time someone really drove my car. It turned out to be OK....but I took over about 30 minutes later haha. Then we hit a really big storm- lightning, high winds, pouring down rain....So we decided to take cover in an Applebee's (shout out to Marc!) and experienced the lightning storm in a safer way.... After that we still hit some storms but I didn't feel like I was going to fly off the road while being electrocuted in the process. We headed towards our destination for the day... Gardiner, MT...
There are more dead animal pictures...but I think you get the point. It was a room of death...and it was also where we ate breakfast. Awesome. Good fluffy scrambled eggs though, I will give them that. The night of our stay there we learned about the killers who escaped from prison in Arizona and killed a couple in New Mexico on the loose in Yellowstone National Park....extremely dangerous and armed. Bonnie and Clyde type of scary. We were staying 3 miles outside of the park, so they could have easily walked through that town or driven through the country highway that we drove up on that was right next to our hotel. Needless to say, I couldn't sleep and it was awful. I woke up at 5 AM panicked and wanted to get the show on the road. My mom wasn't letting down on going to the park, so we ended up leaving for the park at 7 AM...and I'm glad we did...SO gorgeous!

After driving through the first part of the park, we stopped at Mammoth Hot Springs. Very cool looking but surrounded by you can imagine what it smelled like. Found these drawings at a geyser....I could not stop laughing. Best warning signs EVER
We saw plenty of geysers and smelled plenty of sulphur. Pretty amazing how bubbling hot they are. We saw a TON of buffalo/bison so I was really excited about that. One walked up right next to my car, so close I could reach out and touch him...but I didn't. As you can see in the picture above, you have to STAY SAFE! STAY AWAY! I really just think he wanted to play though ;) Here are a few of the many pictures I took of them.

We also saw a bear and her cubs, but the park ranger was telling all of the cars to keep moving so we couldn't get a good picture of them. Apparently there are about 500 bears in Yellowstone , and we saw 3...good enough for me! You can see them in the middle of the picture...

Other animals we saw were caribou, moose, eagle, pelican, elk, osprey and her babies...and I think that was it for Yellowstone animals....I wish I could have seen a wolf!

Aside from the animals we saw, we also visited the good ole' Old Faithful. That was exciting for 5 seconds. But, like Mom said, one thing off the bucket list.

We stopped by the Lower Falls and some other amazing landscapes...

Overall, Yellowstone was pretty cool and we did a good job for only being there one day. The only thing that would have made it better is if A. there were no killers on the loose and B. it wasn't stormy.
As we were driving down and around a mountain towards the East Entrance of the park, we hit some crazy weather with rain, hail, snow, rainbows (double rainbow!), lightning, and thunder....but we survived!! Here are some pictures I was able to take during the stormy weather from inside the car...

After leaving the park, we ended up in Cody, WY that night, right down the block from where the killer who was captured was locked up in the local jail. Can't seem to get away from those guys. We had dinner at a local Italian restaurant which felt a bit ridiculous with country music blasting out on the main strip and people wearing cowboy boots and cowboy hats...but oh my god was the lasagna and tiramisu amazing.
The next day (the day I finish writing this) we headed for Mount Rushmore, which I will blog about soon....but sleep is awaiting me in Rapid City, SD....Wisconsin tomorrow.


  1. Great post and great pictures! I'm extremely jealous and wish I could take this road trip with you!

    Drive safe and keep documenting as much as you can.

    I love you - Janio

  2. How cool Kelly!! Seems like you guys are really getting to see EVERYTHING!! Tell your mom I say hi!! :-)