Day 14 . Yellowstone National Park

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Road trip across America… daily reflections by Ema and Elle.

By Ema ~ The scent of the sage in the air brings back so many memories and makes this area of the country feel so familiar to me. I love how when I travel, I become acquainted with the different scents, and sense that a place holds, and when I return I am comforted by that familiarity. I awoke to a pond with two huge swans swimming with their babies and the Gallitan Range with snow covered peaks soaring over the hills that framed the pond. The sky grew a brighter blue as the sun rose and wispy clouds and fog faded away as the morning warmed. There are animals calling in the distance, yet I cannot see what makes the sound. I imagine it is an elk by it’s trumpet like call. As it fades away, rather than coming closer, Elle awakes.

Our neighbors who stuck out the storm with us came to greet us and offered to take some photos of us. They also gave us a tour of their RV and their land rover in the back of it. Elle pointed out how much he looked like our grandpa, which is ironic, as I was thinking that the women looked like my grandma who just passed away this New Years Eve. They gave us a group hug and parted on their way to Montana. We told them to enjoy more for us too!

Before parting we took a little hike to the lake and got closer to observe the swans and their babies.

It was time to carry on and find a visitor center and get Elle’s Junior Ranger book. We also found out that there is no age limit and I too could have been collecting patches and badges. Since I was working hard completing the book with my sister, the Ranger blessed me with Yellowstone patches too.

We hiked to Steamboat geyser at the Norris Basin and got to see it still quite active as it had just erupted the morning before. We also saw Cistern Spring empty which only happens about 24 Hours after Steamboat erupts and then will fill again the next day. This is quite exciting as this geyser is very infrequent, and the largest in the world reaching up to 300 feet high at its peak point of erupting.

We also attended a Ranger led talk about the hydro-thermal features in Yellowstone as part of the Junior Ranger Program.

We continued on the route through the park and saw the bubbling mud of the Artist Paint Pots which thrilled Elle so much that and I had to pull her away in hopes to see Old Faithful before dark.

We stopped through to see the bacteria mats and had to take the hike across the river and up the basin as it was just captivating, all the colors from ocean blues to bright orange.

We also found our first bison, wandering in a pasture along the roadside, but still quite far away, so we shall hope to find more before we part the park. We made it to Old Faithful just after sunset, and in time for an eruption, but somehow missed it in the rush to find some dinner. The Visitor Center was also closed, so we joined the other RVs in the parking lot and shall wait until morning to see the world famous geyser, and complete the Junior Ranger Program for Yellowstone National Park. 

By Elle ~ Today we woke up got ready and a elder man came to our car. We talked and got some cool photos. It was weird because I felt like I knew him. He looked familiar to me. At first I thought the man from Up, but I soon scratched that idea then all of a sudden, grandpa, that’s who he looked like. It was so weird cause sissy said his wife looked like her grandma. Which was odd because they were from 2 completely different sides of the family. We talked with them, then said goodbyes. I was really tired when we woke up and became alive we went down to the lake. We slept by swan lake and funny enough there were swans, which is kinda funny to me. We hiked down to the 2 swans and they had a bunch of babies with them. As we got a closer look, we saw 3 babies along with a male and female. We took some video and left on our way to Old Faithful, which was a short little drive. We got my jr ranger book and found there was no age limit for it, which was exciting. We attended a ranger talk about the Steamboat Geyser, but in the middle of it this weird kid came with a piece of wood and said he was worried about someone trying to set a fire and when doing so he stepped on my book. It was rude and he left as quickly as he came. Just before that the ranger was explaining that the forest had fires and it helps support the trees because the seeds had to be burned to exit the pod. After a while of jr ranger and looking at boiling springs and mud we were hungry and decided to get some food from the cafeteria. We decided to get this fish and noodles. They were yum. We also got apple juice and sat to eat. We were going to watch Old Faithful go off that night, but it went off when we were eating so we didn’t see it. After food I headed to bed.

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