Monday, September 20, 2010

Great Falls for Labor Day Weekend

So this post is a little late, but over Labor Day Weekend we spent some time with my grandpa and my aunt and uncle.  We took the kids to my favorite park, Gibson Park, where I used to feed the ducks when I was Heidi's age.  We had such a wonderful time there, and the kids had lots of time to play at the different parks that are around town!  When Chad gets down here we will go again, and to a few others that the kids have not seen yet.

Hanging out with their great grandpa Paul!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yellowstone Park #2 and Beartooth Hwy.

Yesterday the kids, my sister, and I all headed out for another road trip.  The day started cool and cloudy,  but after driving only 30 minutes we were in full sun!  We were headed to Yellowstone Park and exiting by way of the Beartooth Hwy and then through Red Lodge.  The day went very well and the kids were good for the most part.  Mason had a few instances where he was ready to be done with his car seat, and threw a few fits, and sometimes the girls were not as into the scenery as I thought they should have been! :)  What a wonderful day it was though.  We saw lots of buffalo and elk, and bikers, and fisherman, and we got out at Manmoth and walked around the hot springs which were beautiful, but Leah and I were reminicing of days when the whole thing was flowing and the colors were so vibrant!  It is sad that these things can dry up, and it appears that Manmoth is on its last years.  What is left of it is still so beautiful.  After Manmoth we went to have our picinc lunch and then as we were driving we decided to take a detour on one of the back roads.  It was only 6 miles long but took us a good 30-45 minutes to get through it because the driving was slow.  It was nice to see a different part of the park, and we actually saw a forest fire.  Then we drove through the Beartooth mountains and saw some awesome sights.  We saw deer and crickets :) while we were out running around on the tundra at the top of the mountain, then we drove down into the white clouds that turned into dark ominus clouds and made the temperature drop 30 degrees with rain that was too close to snow for my comfort.  Actually some parts of MT did get snow yesterday!  Glad it was only rain for us!! We had dinner at a wonderful little pizza place and then headed home!

The Northeast entrance to Yellowstone Park in Gardiner, MT

You can just see the tops of the heads of the local elk herd sitting in the grass!

The fall colors were bright and vivid!

This is looking at Manmoth Hot Springs....most of it is dried up and so the color is also fading....this used to be vibrant oranges and blues and whites, now it is white and black in a lot of areas


Juniper tree

stopping for lunch, most spots the picinic tables were full so we found our own spot and plopped down on the ground!

we took a back road in Yellowstone and we saw this forest fire from there.  The kids wanted to go drive to it so we could get  a close up!!  We told them no :)

The poor biker!!!  He waited until the cars got the buffalo to move so he could continue on!  The bus is the one that actually drove right up to the buffalo to get them to move off the road!

looking back at Yellowstone Park, headed toward the Beartooths

There are lakes everywhere along the Beartooth Hwy.  It is one of the most beautiful drives if you ever get the chance!

Heidi is examining all the plants :)
We saw a cricket....can you find it?
Auntie Leah helping Heidi come down.....or is it Heidi helping Auntie Leah?
She just had knee surgery and can not bend her leg past 90!  She did well and felt great though, she is ready to go hunting again! :)

This is looking down at what we will be driving on.  Beartooth Hwy

We stopped at a rest stop along the hwy, and these little chipmunks are all over you!  They were not afraid to come and check us out and beg for food.  The kids had fun feeding a little :)

          Looking down in the valley towards Red Lodge, MT