Today we headed off through Yellowstone and out of the south entrance. We stopped at Grand Prismatic Spring as we haven’t seen that yet. It was amazing. There were lots of colours, reds, oranges, browns, blues and lots of steam. The colours are made from different coloured bacteria called thermophiles. You are not allowed to throw anything in because it will block the geysers and spoil it for everyone else.
On our way we saw a frozen lake. We looked on the map and it was called Lewis lake. We stopped to take a photo and I threw a snowball at daddy and put one up his t-shirt.
Into the Tetons and Jackson lake
We stopped at Jackson lake for a picnic lunch. It was beautiful. I threw some stones in the lake.
We got to the hotel in Driggs which is in a new state, Idaho and it has a pool so we all went swimming. We went to a pub for dinner and I made two new friends.
Today when we stopped I realised I had my shoes on the wrong feet and my trousers on back to front. Mummy said that was typical Martha and took a picture.
We went to the Lower Falls again but the road is open now so I saw it from the other side. We walked down a very big, steep hill and got to stand right next to the waterfall. It was amazing.
We went to look at more Geysers at Mammoth and we saw a black bear on the way. It was a long way away but we could see it on mummy’s camera. There were some Bison in the road and it was a traffic jam.
The geysers at Mammoth were cool. It was like being on another planet.
We saw some Elk lying in a field.
We walked down another big hill and Mummy and Eliza saw some bear hair. Daddy and I saw a ground squirrel. Daddy said it was a chipmunk but I said it was a ground squirrel. Daddy didn’t believe me until I showed him my book. I was right!
We stopped again to look at the view and saw a man with a spotting scope. We asked what he was looking at and there was some pronghorn on the cliff and they had just had a baby.
We stopped at the north entrance. It’s called the Roosevelt entrance. We stopped at the 45th parallel. This is half way between the equator and the North Pole. It was by a cool river with lots of rapids.
There were lots of nice views today because we did the upper ring road where there are less people. It was a long day and Mummy said you see lots of wildlife as it gets to the evening. Then we saw 2 coyote more Elk and a grizzly bear with 2 cubs. It was amazing and then best bit so far. I was so excited!
Today we went to look at Geysers on the West side of Yellowstone. We went to look at Old Faithful again and did a very long walk around all the other Geysers around there. I saw lots of different poo so I took pictures of lots of it so I could check what animal did it. You aren’t allowed to go off the paths in case the ground is on fire but some animals had and we saw their tracks on the ground. The Geysers were lots of different colours like a rainbow. We went to look at a waterfall and we all had a picture. I don’t want to write any more tonight because I’m very tired.
Oh and I took a picture of a Bison and it stated to do a poo so I checked the camera and I took a picture of it.
Each night we upload the pictures from Martha’s camera and there are lots of funny videos she has taken of herself whilst sitting in the back of the car. Unfortunately at the moment our wifi signal isn’t strong enough to upload video but we hope to add some later on in the trip.
Today we went to the Museum of the Rockies. It was brilliant because we got to look at dinosaurs and crocodiles. There was a crocodile part with real crocodiles, an olden days part, a dinosaurs part and a geology part. I went in the gift shop and bought some pretty rocks, one was a crystal, one a peacock stone and one a geode. Eliza bought some dinosaur shaped rocks. We went into the planetarium to watch a programme about space and time and gravity. My favourite part of the museum was when I got my rocks.
After that we went to a cool cafe that had a bison head on the wall. I had soup and some homemade bread and I got a cake to take with me.
We drove back to West Yellowstone and we are staying in a new wooden cabin. It has a toilet and shower, not like the other one. We have sent Daddy out for Cheesy Pizza and we are playing outside.
On our way here we stopped because Daddy thought he saw a bear but it was just a monument. We also stopped to see people white water rafting on the rapids. I really want to have a go but Mummy and Daddy said we’ll have to see as the rivers are really high with all the snow melting and going into them. They said I might have to go on a gentle river but I told them I would be fine on the river we saw the grown ups on.
West Yellowstone is at about 2000m above sea level and almost exactly halfway between the equator and the North Pole. The coldest it’s ever been here is -54 degrees Celsius.
We left Cody to go to Bozeman today but we decided to go through Yellowstone rather than the boring way. First we went to a big waterfall it was very epic. It’s called The Lower Falls and the place we watched it from is called Artists point. We couldn’t go to the other side of the waterfall as they are digging up the road. Eliza thought this was very funny as they dig up the road in Peppa Pig and she keeps doing the voice where it says ‘we’re digging up the road’ ‘it will take as long as it takes’. She does this in a funny voice like Mr Bull.
On our way around we saw lots of animals. Lots more Bison, a fox but mummy couldn’t get a picture before it ran away, a bird of Prey (we need to look it up in a book) and big horn sheep.
We saw lots of geysers and stopped at old faithful in case it was about to go off. We got there just in time and saw it explode. A geyser works from under the ground water is on hot rocks. The rocks get hot from the volcanos lava. When it gets too hot lots of water and steam shoots out of the little hole like a big fountain. On our way back to the car Mummy said to let go of her hand as I was messing about and she had Eliza on her back. I said to Daddy ‘can I hold your hand Old Faithful’ and everyone laughed very hard. So Mummy said that can be Daddy’s new nickname.
We stopped at the continental divide. The continent is split in half like a cake and if you pour water on one side it runs to the Pacific Ocean and the other to the Gulf of Mexico. In Yellowstone there is a bit of the divide that goes in a bit of a circle and the water flows around and then goes out in the opposite side.
We’ve moved into another state now called Montana and it’s really nice with lots of mountains. Mummy is going to tell you about it.
Oh I forgot. I’ve been having big waffles for breakfast with lots of syrup on them and they are very yummy.
Montana facts from Mummy
- Montana is at the top of America and shares a border with Canada.
- The highest point is Granite peak 3905m.
- The animal of Montana is the Grizzly Bear.
- It’s slogan is ‘Big Sky Country’.
- Montana has the largest migratory Elk herd in America.
- Montana has the largest grizzly bear population in the lower 48 states.
- The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman gained fame through the work of its chief paleontologist, Jack Horner. Horner was the prototype for the character Dr. Alan Grant in the best selling novel/movie, “Jurassic Park.”
- Just south of Billings, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and his troops made their last stand. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument features the Plains Indians and United States military involved in the historic battle.
- Montana’s name comes from the Spanish word mountain.
- The most visited place in Montana is Glacier National Park, known as the crown jewel of the continent. It lies along Montana’s northern border and adjoins Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada, forming the world’s first International Peace Park.
Old Faithful has a webcam where you can watch it live. Here’s the link! https://www.nps.gov/features/yell/webcam/oldfaithfulstreaming.html
Hi, it’s Mummy here as I’m the only one still awake. It’s been a long day and Martha is exhausted! I’ll try and add a little update from Martha in the morning. She’s been asking if she can do a video blog so perhaps we’ll try that and add it in.
Firstly for those who have been struggling with our riddle from yesterday.
If a cowboy rides into town on Friday and three days later leaves on Friday, how does he do it?
The horse’s name is Friday!
Sorry if that’s been driving you mad for the last 24 hours!
Well today we decided to venture into Yellowstone from Cody. It’s about an hours drive to the East entrance of the park from here. I really had forgotten how beautiful this place is, the sun was shining, there’s still snow on the mountains and there are animals everywhere. We decided to stop at the Buffalo Bill dam on the way in and I’m glad we did! (Apart from the part when we thought Martha might fall down the compost toilet!) It’s really well set up with a visitors centre and the staff were super friendly. The volumes of water the dam holds are hard to comprehend but Eliza loved watching it all shoot through the other side. After our stop we reached the East entrance to the park, literally the other side of the kiosk and we saw 3 large bison. Yellowstone really is brimming with life! A little further on we had a play in the snow and despite getting upset that her hands were cold when she touched the snow Eliza was committed to carry on picking it up. One of Martha’s snowballs got Daddy in the head but unfortunately we didn’t get that one on camera. Just after this we saw a marmot run across the snow and onto the rocks and managed to get some great pictures. We followed the road until we hit the circular road that runs around the park, stopped for a quick ice cream and carried onto the mud pots.
Although I have been really looking forward to this holiday I was also worried that it might be a bit much for the girls or they might get a bit bored in the car. Well today certainly proved me wrong, they have not stopped talking all day and although we have only seen a fraction of the park they have been interested, animated and excited throughout.
When we got home Martha saw a bunny rabbit in the park and managed to do a trick on the rings I had taught her yesterday. Both made her ecstatic and she told me she was going to write about them in her blog.
There are so many photos from today, some taken by myself and some by Martha. Ive tried to narrow them down but there are still a lot! Enjoy!
Today we went from Cheyenne to Casper. It was 178 miles. I sat in the back and took lots of pictures out of the window. I found lots of snow and bear poo and lots of places for them to live in caves. I needed the toilet so we stopped for a rest and it was raining really hard. Mummy took me and we both got soaking wet. It was really hard. When we got there we went to an outdoors shop called Sportsmans Warehouse. I bought a map and compass so I can learn to map read. There were lots of big animals heads all around the shop and lots of bears and lions too. Mummy explained they were dead and stuffed like teddy bears and it is called taxidermy.
Alison’s cat has the same name like Casper it’s amazing. The hotel has a pool but it’s outside so we can’t go in it. Not even a water baby like me. I’ve been tired today. Eliza was sleepy too.
Last night we crossed the state border from Colorado to Wyoming. Cheyenne is the largest town in Wyoming and Casper the second largest. Although the largest town it has a similar number of people as Leigh! Wyoming so far has been quite flat and empty, wide open prairie on a high plateau. At times you can see the Mountains up to the West and they look stunning covered in snow.
We had a classic Martha moment in the Sportsman shop today! We lost Daddy looking at fishing rods whilst we were looking at bow and arrows. I said to Martha, right lets go and find Daddy. She walked off and sniffed a chair near by. I asked her what she was doing and she said she was picking up his scent! I think we may have been overdoing the wildlife programmes but I’m still laughing writing this now and thinking about it.
Some facts about Wyoming
- Wyoming is slightly bigger in area than the UK
- It has a population of 680000 about the same as the city of Glasgow
- Wyoming was the first state to give women the vote
- Wyoming produces 3 million tons of coal a week
- The red desert in the south of the state drains neither to the East or the West. The continental divide splits and goes around the desert on all sides leaving the desert without normal drainage
- Wyoming has an official state dinosaur which is the Triceratops
- During the 1880s Cheyenne was the wealthiest city in the country and possibly the world due to the booming cattle industry and the gold rush
- The average height of elevation is 2042m twice the height Scarfell Pike
- The lowest point in Wyoming is a similar height to the highest point in England
For quite some time we have had to tell the girls how many sleeps it is until our holiday. This morning when Martha asked I got the response
‘That’s gone quickly, how can it only be 1 more sleep? We must have missed some days out’.
Well I am glad to say we are almost ready! The thing with going on holiday is that there is so much to do before you go that you feel like you need a holiday to recover. Trying to pack (without it being unpacked by a 2 year old), making sure the things you want to take are washed, ensuring you have filled the hand baggage with enough to keep two small children occupied for a long haul flight, charging the iPads and loading them with content so that if all else fails in your well thought out bag of goodies you know you’ll be able to keep them quiet with that, trying to leave the house tidy so it doesn’t feel like you’ve been burgled when you get back, finishing everything at work so you don’t leave your colleagues with everything you haven’t got around to, finishing an assignment that you have to hand in today (didn’t mention I’m a student nurse training in Mental Health) and today is my Birthday so I’m going to make time to sit down, put my feet up and enjoy a glass of wine. Ok maybe just the wine whilst still trying to get everything done before midnight when I turn into a pumpkin.
We’ve been checking the weather around Yellowstone and it’s quite variable at the moment which I think will be perfect. The thing with Yellowstone is that you really can get 4 seasons in a day. It would be fab to see some snow, Eliza hasn’t really experienced snow before and is very excited by the prospect. I will be happy as the snow will make it easier to spot the wildlife and I can test out my new camera. In contrast to that it would also be nice to have a little bit of heat and sunshine just in case we get another typical British summer when we get back home.
I’m completely new to blogging but the initial idea was that Martha would do most of the writing when we get away. She loves taking photos so we will use a lot of her pictures in the blog. There’s many interesting things to learn about Yellowstone as it’s so unique, so I’m going to try and put my teaching qualifications to use and explain some of the geology and nature facts it in a way children will hopefully understand.
Thanks for reading the ramblings of an inexperienced blogger 🙂
Snow in the Rockies!