Wednesday, September 21, 2016

National Park Trip 2016 {Yellowstone: Grand Prasmatic Spring}

Wow!  Just wow.  Driving into Yellowstone really did feel like an iconic thing.  It felt very American.  I also felt grown up, "taking the family to see Yellowstone."  When we first drove in the park, we all kept looking around, amazed at what we saw, because we had never seen anything else like it.  A friend of mine, who traveled there earlier in the summer, described it well as "other worldly."  It's beautiful for sure, mountains, valleys, huge lakes, rivers, forests... and you will be looking at a beautiful valley and see little pools of bubbling water coming out of the ground.  So strange, the completely normal right next to the completely bizarre.  
Anyway, more on that later.  We drove in the south entrance.  It's just a stone's throw from Grand Tetons and already we were surprised with the harshness of the landscape, and the variation.  Our first stop was Grand Prasmatic Spring.  We had to make our way to the west entrance to spend the night so this seemed like a good stop.  Also, the timing wasn't going to work out to see Old Faithful that night, although we were passing it.  
It was an amazing night in Yellowstone.  A little storm was blowing in, the wind was blowing pretty hard and it was a cold wind.  But as you walked closer to the springs, it was like the best facial you've ever had (actually, I've never had a facial, but I can imagine).  Warm, salty mist and steam blowing in your face.  One of the best parts of this whole trip was getting to watch the boys be in awe.  And for that reason, this night was magical for me.

Turquoise Lake, appropriately named.

I loved it so much that I had Samuel take a picture of us.  Don't we look nice together?

 When we left that area and continued to driving toward our hotel, we passed a valley that was so magnificent that we had to pull over.  The pictures don't even do it justice, the colors from the rain and the sun and the yellow flowers and the green grass.

Mother/daughter selfie

Every 13 year old boy wants a selfie with their parents in Yellowstone, right? :)

++When you see pictures of the Grand Prasmatic Spring, it is generally a view that you can only get from hiking above it.  I was a little disappointed to not be able to see all the colors that you see in pictures online.  When you are standing close to it, you can't see all the colors.  It was still amazing, don't get me wrong.  If we come back, I'd love to do the hike so that I can see it with my own eyes++

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