Saturday, August 29, 2015

The August Outdoors

For the 4th weekend of August we went camping in Yellowstone with Jon's parents!

We have been wanting to visit Yellowstone for quite a while, but when our original plans of going to California and camping in Lake Tahoe fell through we threw together this trip and had so much fun.

Steve and Chris drove out to Rexburg and spent the night on Wednesday the 19th so we could get an early start on Thursday.
Day 1 we headed over to the Tetons (Jackson Hole, Wyoming) and hiked at Jenny Lake up to the Hidden Falls.

Edwin kept reaching up to tickle Jon's neck while we were hiking:

Kate had a great time leading Nonna and Papa:

She would hold their hands as we hiked over the big rocks and would count with them holding one finger up in the air:


Look, the water!

Steve was able to get a good picture of our lake view from the hike. You can see how hazy it was from the wildfire smoke in Idaho :(

The kids were great sports and still had an awesome time!

Until Kate tripped and face planted on some rocks :(

She insisted that Jon carry her for a while.

This picture turned out blurry, but I just loved how Edwin would stroke Kate's arm to comfort her. He knew that she was hurt and just wanted to make her feel better. SO CUTE!


Baby blue eyes:

HAHA this shot of Edwin leaning around the side of the pack while picking his nose is just my FAVORITE!

Jon spent the last 1/4 mile of the hike like this:

We made it to the falls!

At Hidden Falls we stopped for a snack:

 And some cheesy pictures:

Nonna and Kate watching the falls:

We took a boat ride back across Jenny Lake:

And then headed up through Yellowstone National Park to camp at Bridge Bay (the Marina campground next to Yellowstone Lake).

immediate dirty toddler face

Jon unfortunately injured his finger within an hour of us setting up camp. He had it in a splint for most the rest of the trip:

I love our tent! The set up was so nice. Of course our dreams of having one child in the pack-and-play with the other on our queen size air mattress with us didn't last very long. Every night we ended up all together in the big bed like sardines. *sigh*

Edwin and Kate had a great time playing in the dirt!

look, no shoes, ma!

Sharing Vanilla Cream soda with dad:

Campfire snuggles with Nonna:

Campfire snuggles with Papa:

Edwin was so great and would immediately bust out a smile whenever a camera was near:

Of course as the night wore on he just became tired and grumpy:

And very often would be sighted with a pouty face like this:

He took to camping right away and was great at using the cup holders in the big camping chairs!

He brightened right up once we had dinner and put on some warmer clothes:

Little Lumberjack Man!

Kate wanted to be with Nonna and Papa everywhere they went:

Jon taught Kate how to use the tongs to move charcoal on top of the Dutch Oven safely:

And of course a picture of us!

After a SUPER fun night of car alarms, neighboring campsites blasting their music, and children half-waking up and crying to be in our big bed with us, we jumped into Day 2!
The morning was brisk, and WINDY. All I wanted was a hot chocolate and 3 more hours in bed. Instead, the camping stove decided not to work. So we loaded the kids in the car and headed to the Old Faithful village in search of breakfast. We made it just late enough to miss the breakfast food. HAHA. But I still got a hot chocolate and we were in perfect time to watch Old Faithful erupt!

We had a nice hike around the geyser area and the kids LOVED it.
The colors were just amazing! It's really cool to see these bright hues in natural environments.


Kate was not loving the wind, so I carried her around for a bit in the Ergo:

At the gift shop Kate picked the newest mug to add to our collection:

We had a great drive back to camp:

Edwin spent most of the ride hiding his head under his blankie:

That night we had a Bison in camp!

He was grazing just a couple sites down from us. He didn't seem too worried about the people around, but settled down in a nearby meadow for a while.

The weather remained SUPER windy all evening and even blew a couple of our tent poles out of the pegs. Kate insisted on having her owl blanket wrapped around her everywhere.

Edwin had a great time feeding me dinner:

And to stay warm we all bundled up:

Day 3 we checked out the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the Mud Volcano area. The whole day was COLD.

Although the wildfire smoke was blowing through, you can see how hazy it still was in parts of the park:

Kate LOVED looking at the water through Papa's binoculars:

We visited a couple lookout points to see the falls from better views:

Edwin loved crawling up the stairs! (Much to the entertainment of Asian tourist paparazzi.) We expect him to be famous in Japan any day now.

Getting a group picture is always an adventure!
(Kate's face, bottom right, HAHAHAHA)

The boys took a hike around the mud pots while Kate and I napped in the car. Jon's mom saw a bison walk right past our car in the parking lot! It was quite the afternoon.

Back at Bridge Bay, Jon and I went in search of firewood before dinner:

And I got a nice shot of my fake ring for camping, inspired by Bay!

Back at camp, Edwin was pretty cranky, as usual.

pick me up!

fine, I'll just brood and eat my sweatshirt.

He was also very dirty, as usual.

What a face!

Kate was having a great time reading with Nonna:

Jon's dad taught Edwin how to blow bubbles through the bubble wands, so we took advantage of the breezy evening and blew some more :)

Edwin loved it when Jon caught bubbles on the wand and let him pop them:

So happy!

signing "thank you" for the bubbles :)
Day 4, Sunday morning we had a deer grazing in our campsite!

He just walked on by our tents while Jon and Edwin watched from the trees.

 It was definitely the most beautiful weather of our trip so far. We walked through a small wildlife museum near the Fishing Bridge and then had a picnic at Yellowstone Lake and spent the rest of the day enjoying the beach.

Kate went to the water right away! We were the only ones out on this sandbar most of the time so we watched the boats and kayaks and canoes go by while Kate and Edwin dug holes and splashed in the mountain lake. They just had such a good time!

Back at camp that evening we took pictures and enjoyed some s'mores after dinner :)

Jon loved that Edwin looked like Mikey from the Goonies with his beanie on:

 The funniest part of our camping trip was that every night right after dinner Kate would ask if I would put her to bed. She didn't even want to stay up for s'mores! Nonna also unfortunately had a headache on our last night and went to bed early. But thankfully everyone was feeling great and energized the next morning!
Day 5 we packed up camp and headed to the Norris Geyser Basin where we walked around some more geysers and learned about geothermal activity.

The colors here were just so amazing! The icy blue pools and the vibrant green bacteria. It was just incredible.

Kate wanted to walk everywhere with Nonna:



Kate and Edwin both enjoyed seeing the bubbling water and steam coming out of the ground. It was so fun just to watch their faces and see them point at all the natural beauty around them. They didn't want to leave!

I just especially love this girl modeling behind Jon:

Sharing water from Papa's camelpak:

Edwin was CRANKY for most of the walk:

So gorgeous! Even with the smoky haze:

On the way out of the park that afternoon we saw Elk in the river!

We finished out our drive through the corner of Montana and back into Idaho through the Targhee National Forest.
It was such a beautiful trip! Exhausting and relaxing all at the same time. We're so grateful that we could spend this time with Nonna and Papa before they leave for a mission in England in January :) What a wonderful time to be OUTDOORS!


Retired ~ Off and Runnin'n said...

What a fantastic trip we all had. Nonna and I can't wait to go camping with you guys again!

Thanks for the wonderful memories!

Bay said...

Yes!! The fake ring! Haha I still do that all the time :-) Miss you guys and we missed camping with you this year! Crossing our fingers for next summer.... let us know when you're visiting Sac again so we can come see you!

lilbailey said...

Yay, so fun, it looks like you all had a great time!