Friday, September 28, 2018

Going Home from Montana

After so many great adventures on our summer vacation (see Part 1Part 2Part 3, and Part 4), it was finally time to go home. But first we took a detour over to Bozeman, Montana, where my friend Mimi Matsuda was set up an art festival. It was so great to see her and her sister Erika and take home some fantastic art (check out her website for her whimsical wildlife art).

Also in Bozeman is the Museum of the Rockies, and I wanted to take a look. The kids almost got eaten up before we even entered.

There were plenty of opportunities to get eaten (maybe my imagination gets a little carried away).

I enjoyed seeing the paleontological exhibits.

We also spent a little time in the guitar exhibit.

But the kids seemed to like the kids' section best, with geyser simulations and a place to "fish" in the Yellowstone River.

And then we went to Yellowstone. I worked there years ago so didn't feel a huge need to go. But when I asked Desert Girl if she remembered what a geyser was and she wasn't sure, I knew we had to go. We went in at West Yellowstone, where to my surprise, there was no line at 3 p.m.  Our first destination was the Firehole River, where we saw a bison sharing the road with us.

I had really enjoyed swimming in the Firehole River when I worked at Yellowstone, and since we had swum (or at least touched water) in most other national parks we had visited on this vacation, this seemed to be a good bet. We went to a spot that was much calmer than the section in the photo below and floated through a narrow canyon section a couple of times. It was a lot of fun (even if I lost my sunglasses!).

Next up was Grand Prismatic Spring. It was so crazy busy.

But the amazing colors really are worth seeing.

We checked out the new visitor center at Old Faithful. I was impressed that they had an exhibit on insects and spiders.

We wandered around a bit, admiring hot springs.

And then Old Faithful blew! It wasn't much an eruption, but at least the kids got to see a geyser go off.

I was really enjoying the area, and it was hard for me to leave. But we were hungry, so we got some food.

And then we headed south. I had to hit the brakes when this elk crossed the road.

And then we had to stop again to avoid these young moose. Their mom soon followed them across the road. This was the Grassy Lake Road, a road I had never taken before that cuts between Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. We drove quite a ways and then found a place to camp.
The next day we got up and drove the rest of the way home. It was a fun trip. And now Desert Girl says she won't complain about driving to Las Vegas---it's way shorter than driving to Montana!

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