I actually survived staying in a camping trailer with two kids, a baby, my parents and 13-year-old brother! While the trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons was very fun, it was nice to get home (my parents spent the entire trip looking concerned and saying, “Brooke, I hope you’re having fun,” and I spent the entire time looking concerned and saying “Mom, I hope we aren’t ruining your trip”).
But it WAS fun. Jeffrey joined the Yellowstone Junior Rangers and took his duties VERY seriously (his application said “I want to help make the park a perfect home for animals”). When he earned his official Junior Ranger Patch he insisted on carrying it around in his pocket for the rest of the day.
His favorite part of the trip was swimming in the Firehole River and the String Lake. Everything with him was cool once we convinced him that a bear wasn’t going to jump on him the second he stepped outside. (Darn those “Camper Beware” signs with photos of bears invading tents! Don’t they know that paranoid five-year-olds are going to see them?)
Jeff also acquired a coonskin cap, which he wore while strutting around shirtless. Oh, he was also wearing this cheesy leather ‘n’ lanyard “medicine bag” he got at the Shoshone museum in Colter Bay (which I had to lace together for him, arrgh). All in all, he looked like a kid who went off to Camp Gowanagin, circa 1952.
Eleanor spent a good portion of the trip in a sparkly green and pink “Ranger Girl” t-shirt, and kept a ladybug flashlight in her pocket. She was a little too frightened of the lake and river for much swimming, but she loved hiking, getting shoulder rides from Grandpa, and sharing a bunk bed with Jeffrey.
William, owing to our cramped living space, didn’t get much crawl-around time, but I did let him play in the dirt quite a bit, which he LOVED LOVED LOVED. Oh, the love affair with Le Dirt: it starts young don’t it? His main souvenir was a Folkmanis wolf finger puppet. He loves to give it “loveys” and chew its tail. Kicking his feet in the Firehole River was also a plus.
Okay, now for the vital stats of the trip. You ready?
- Bison (including two juveniles butting heads)
- Coyote (it was lounging under a tree and flicking its big ears at us)
It was right off the side of the road! I haven’t seen a bear that close in the park since forever. My dad teased my mom by pretending to want to get out of the car and “get a closer look.” She totally fell for it and freaked out. Ah, Mom and Dad: some things never change.
Things we saw fall in the hot pots:
- two hats
- an umbrella
Yeah, it was a windy day.
Number of states whose license plates we saw during our four-day trip:
- ALL FIFTY!
Yes, EVEN Maine and EVEN Hawaii. BOO-YAH, BABY!
That was pretty much my proudest accomplishment during the trip, other than the ol’ “nobody died” thing.
‘Cause, y’know. Fifty states. That’s a lot to keep track of.