Sunday, August 31, 2014

Summer Time--Reunion #4, Yellowstone

Hyrum's grandparents have taken their family to Yellowstone every ten years for a while to commemorate their wedding anniversary.  in 2009, they decided maybe every five years was a better idea so we've now been able to go twice.  This year was great.  The kids enjoyed it and I think they will remember a lot more.  We had some neat experiences and saw some really beautiful sights.  It was our last event before heading home and so was a little more relaxed than the rest of the trip thus far.
Mystic Falls in Yellowstone's Biscuit Basin
The crew
Since we headed there from Island park we arrived in the park much earlier than the rest of the clan.   Our family decided to hike a few miles before checking into our cabin.  It was a good hike with a pretty steep point but we all made it.  I was really surprised by the mosquitoes that attacked us on the way down--it ended up being a portent of what was to come.   At one point we looked behind us and realized we could see Old Faithful erupting in the distance.  The kids thought that was pretty neat. 

Old Faithful Eruption from Mystic Falls Hike

We stayed in the cabins near Old Faithful and that is always fun.  Saturday morning started with family pictures with Grandma and Grandpa and of course the whole group.  This part of the family add up to 60 people.  We were only missing four--all of which are currently serving LDS missions.  Pretty crazy.  in the next few months we'll add three more people to that number with a wedding and two babies.  They are all amazing people too.

We went to Fishing bridge after that and let the kids wade in Yellowstone Lake.  This was the high point for them.   They loved letting the waves crash on their legs.  Next time, we'll go equipped with swimming suits though. 
Wading in Yellowstone Lake.  It was cold.
This boy loves the water.
Sunday we had all day before church meetings that night so we met Hyrum's parents and siblings for a photo-op at Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  It dates back to the first year Hyrum's parents went and his mom took a picture with the kids in front of the falls next to a particular pine tree.   Every time we go and re-take the picture with the original 6 and then add in those of us who've have come along through the years.   It's a fun way to document the passage of time.   Afterwards we drove down the road and enjoyed a picnic with everyone. 

Yellowstone Canyon overlook with the cousins.
We headed north while everyone else headed south.  This is where the highlight of this trip happened for me.  Every time I've been to Yellowstone my only wish has been to see a bear and a moose.  We're still working on the moose and that wish has tempered a bit but, I finally got my bear.  We were driving a long and traffic got really backed up.  We expected bison or elk were the culprits but no, there was a black bear enjoying his lunch by the side of the road.   There were plenty of silly people getting way too close but we enjoyed the view from our car. 

Black Bear

View from our drive near Mammoth.
Monday we left bright and early and headed northeast out of the park and stopped at Mammoth.  The kids enjoyed the formations there and it was fun for Hyrum and I to re-visit our honeymoon spots of nine years before. 
The kids at Mammoth Hot Spring formations.
It was a crazy long trip but I'm glad we were able to see all the family we did.  We love all of them and we are glad we can be together forever through the promises of our Heavenly Father.  We also enjoyed seeing so many of His wonderful creations.  I spent more time outside on this trip than I had in a long time and it was lovely.  I am so thankful for this wonderful planet and the beauty that surrounds us if we'll open our eyes a little wider and pause for a little longer. 

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