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Big Sky Country – Day 2

June 22, 2009

Our second day in Montana found us in the car again for a day trip to Yellowstone National Park.  The experience actually turned out to be a spiritual one for me for a couple different reasons:
1. I hadn’t adjusted to the altitude quite yet… and as we climbed higher at Yellowstone.  I spent about 40% of the day walking around feeling like I’d downed a bottle of whiskey.
2. I could never comprehend the beauty of nature… more on that later.

Trying to keep this photo-heavy post easy to follow, check under the pictures for a little blurb.

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Ignore the completely handsome cowboy dude in this photo. It’s my husband after a long day in the park.


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This is the view just inside the park. I just about died because there was a deer standing just on the road, hangin out…

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Shortly after we entered the park (before I felt the strange drunken-ness brought on by altitude hypoxia) I saw a walking trail that led to the top of a small mountain. I asked if we could climb and we all hopped out and shot some pictures from the top of the mountain.

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From the top of said mountain.

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The white in the center of the photo are the hot springs as we were driving near them.

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A source of water for the hot springs.  I would show you a picture of The Husband testing the water but it turned out to be a picture of his butt in the air with hardly any of the water showing. I have NO IDEA how that happened!!

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The hot springs from across the bridges.  The Husband tells me these hot springs will be active for hundreds of years before they dry up and start hot springs elsewhere in the mountain. Fascinating.

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Dried up hot springs.

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More dried hot springs. I thought the trees were amazing.  Obviously they don’t have leaves, but the bark appeared to be alive and healthy.

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I’m not really sure if this was once a hot spring or not, but it’s a cool structure.  Photo props: The Husband shot this.

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I think I’m in love. This is Al. My buffalo. I wanted to take him home with me and contemplated throwing a tantrum until I got my way. He wouldn’t have fit in the trunk though.

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This is a lake inside Yellowstone with an absurd name that I will not repeat.  I thought it was great because you could see the clouds rolling in the distance.  Montana (I guess the entire Wild, Wild West) has the strangest weather.  It’s sunny one minute, cloudy and rainy the next.

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This is a canyon I thought was beautiful.  The trees across the way were huge (just to give you an impression of the size of this canyon).

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Again, ignore the totally cute cowboy.  This is the beginning of the falls.  Strangely enough: this trail that takes you to the bottom of the falls.

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This is the absolute closest you can get to the falls.  The water was unbelievable.  The power behind it was surreal.  You had to read people’s lips to hear what they were saying because of the water being so loud.

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After we explored the bottom of the falls, we hopped in the car and made our way to the top of the falls.  By this point I was giddy with my drunken hypoxia.  I seriously laughed like a drunk college student. It was terribly embarrassing, but apparently funny.

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My in-laws took the time to get a little cuddle action.

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Again, the top of the falls.

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From there, we made our way to Old Faithful.  They actually have benches set up around the perimeter of Old Faithful so people can watch it erupt.  It all happened pretty quickly and it was pretty darn cool.

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This is Frank.  Frank was shedding his winter weight… only had a few more pounds to go.  See Lulu behind? That’s his wifey taking a nap.

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Frank was hungry. I think we watched him eat for about 20 minutes.

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Frank and Lulu left presents. I really shouldn’t have shared a picture of this but couldn’t resist.

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Mountain, sky, hot springs, grass, river… the complete picture.

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We found a couple herds of buffalo, but this is one of the best pictures I have.  Shortly after taking this picture, my Mother-in-Law, who was walking the side of the street with me watched the car fly by us headed to the next pull-off spot.  Hearing stories of buffalo attacking people throughout the day… I started to get a little panicky.  I mean, this heard of 100+ buffalo weren’t more than 200 feet from me. Apparently, buffalo can run fast.  To top it off, see those two jokers a little left of center?  Yeah… they were having a disagreement in the worst way.

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Safely back in the car, we ran into another heard of buffalo.  This dude, Paco, was about 4 feet from the car.  Shortly after The Husband snapped this photo, Paco decided he wanted to cross the street… so he waltzed himself within an inch of the car behind us, looked both ways and cha-cha’ed across the street.  Paco and I are going to have lessons on Pedestrian Crosswalks soon.

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Ahh. My second love. This is Duke.  Duke was all alone out here in the midst of the fallen trees.  I think Duke was tired and was attempting to nap.  I love him. I wanted to take him home too.

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There are hundreds of photos from Yellowstone but I felt that these were probably the best to portray what happened that day.

Emotionally, I wasn’t prepared for this.  The In-Laws said we were spending the day at Yellowstone and I thought we were going to hike through Yellowstone, I had no idea it was so large.

As we passed through the gate to leave, I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude come over me.  Had I been 10 years younger, I would never have appreciated nature… raw nature, in all it’s beauty the same way.  I imagine as a child I would have been bored, as a teenager I would have been irritated that I’d be spending my vacation at some stupid park.  Pushing 30, I realize how incredible it is.  I had to sit back and marvel at God’s handiwork and sit in awe at the magnitude of everything I witnessed.  God sure knew what he was doing when He created this earth.  It is filled with such beauty!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2009 15:09

    Oh my goodness! Your pictures are gorgeous! I have always wanted to explore that part of the country. Glad you had such a good time!

  2. Trudy permalink
    June 24, 2009 13:40

    Looks like Frank and Lulu could use more fiber……your pictures are beautiful, feel like I was on the trip with you.

  3. June 24, 2009 16:03

    Next time you go, have them take you up to the National Bison Range. It’s a day trip, too, between getting there from Helena and then driving the range……didn’t I mention that? Yeah, there is a road you can take to drive the entire range (and get out and walk around, too) where you’ll see bear, deer, mountain goats, antelope and bison, bison, bison up close and REAL personal.

    One note about bison…..if they start to herd around your car, get moving quickly. My sis and I didn’t one day, and while it’s true you can’t rollerskate in a buffalo herd, you can have lunch. Because, well, that’s pretty much the only option you have at that point.
    0>;~}

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