Not that I didn't want to tell the world I was leaving, it just happened so fast that I didn't have time.
A friend of ours has a place in the mountains and offered it up for our use, so who would decline, right? Usually when I go somewhere I like to have months to prepare. The original dates we chose to take another mini trip away from home didn't work out, instead we had a week to get things in order for some time away. First stop: Big Sky Montana.
This is looking up toward the mountain from where we were staying. Very beautiful spot. We were told upon arrival that a black bear was visting the homes but we never did see it. It would have been nice to get a glimse from a far away window or balcony :)
A short nature walk just down from where we stayed. I love nature walks with my little tribe. The best!!
The girls went horseback riding and while I hung out with Aiyana waiting for them to return I crept over to a group of horses to sneak a photo of this little baby born 3 weeks prior to our arrival. Isn't he cute!!
I know this will sound crazy to those who don't have children but I took this picture of my 2 1/2 year old in her first bouncy house because... well... I almost cried I saw her in there jumping up and down. Her sisters were too old to go inside and any other time in her life if her sisters couldn't go she wouldn't go either. This time she just marched right in and began to jump. She was so excited. She smiled and laughed the entire time. It was adorable. She was the last one out and she only came out because I pulled her out by one leg. LOL!!!
After staying in Montana 5 days we decided to move onto Yellowstone Wyoming. Of course, no trip to Yellowstone is complete without seeing buffalo. We entered on the West End of Yellowstone and didn't see a single buffalo but once we made our way around to the East they were everywhere. Notice the little baby?
This is one of many that decided to hold up traffic. LOL!!!
Don't ask why but I'm a sucker for sap dripping off of tree photos.
Yellowstone burnt to a crisp. Remember the 1988 fire in Yellowstone? I've always been more fascinated by the area that was burned than the area that wasn't. After 21years the bulk of the burned trees are still standing. Of course, not many feathered friends or four legged creatures roam around this area.
My first, in the flesh, viewing of a coyote. I always thought they were bigger.
Who could visit Yellowstone and not check out Old Faithful.
I don't think I've ever seen a bald eagle in the wild. My kids and hubby always point them out when we are on the road. "Hey mom, check out the eagle flying overhead." But my eye site is horrible so I always get a blurred vision. This time I could see the little white head but not much else so when I got home I enlarged the picture enough that I could see. Sure enough, it is an eagle. Blurry but still an eagle, sitting on her nest.
Not the most unusual animal to find in the wild but what I found to be rare about this little bunny is its willingness to let me come right up to it and take a picture. No camera zooming here.
Not sure what these are really called. Geysers, hot springs? Well, they are beautiful but stinky. Aiyana would approach holding her nose telling me it smelled like eggs. Um... sulfur.
This picture is my hubby "deliberately" standing in front of one of these stinky pools waiting to get sprayed with hot water. Yes, my hubby is goofy like that sometimes. I told him beforehand that if he walked away stinking of rotten eggs he would be walking back to Minnesota!
I'm no animal expert so I'm going to have to guess that this is a moose.
After our short jaunt to Yellowstone and onto Cody Wyoming we decided to move onto South Dakota. For anyone who loves to travel with their kids, South Dakota (Keystone) is an excellent spot. There are a ton of things to do, even when it is raining.
Now this would have been a great picture had there not been a finger print on the lense over my face. ARG! Way off in the background is Mt. Rushmore.
This area of S. Dakota is definitely "biker" country. Sturgis officially begins on August 2nd this year (I think) so the bikers were moving in. I love seeing all the Harleys pass by.
Have you ever been to bear country? It is probably the only place on earth, besides the wild back country, that bears and wolves can walk freely up to your car. BTW/your pretty safe if you remember to keep your windows closed. Which we sometimes don't.
I wanted this wolf to come up to the car window but it hung out with its pack and ignored us. I've only seen a wolf in the wild once while driving through the big horn mountains in Wyoming around 3 am back in 1990. It was eating road kill and I almost hit it.
If you go to S.Dakota and want to try something really bizarre, go visit the cosmos. It is definitely strange. I don't know if it is all illusion or something else but it made me want to vomit and I barely made it through to the end. In fact, I ran through with my eyes pasted to the floor trying not to look at anything other than my shoes. This picture taken from a safe spot says it all.
Ok. This post wouldn't be complete without a rant. I was going to save this one for a day that I had major PMS but I can't hold back, I must mention it now.
Who on earth has a dvd player in their car? LOL!! Ok, Ok. I'll try not to be so crazy and judgemental on this one but here we are, driving through Yellowstone, and the van in front of us has a dvd player on with the kids perched in the backseat watching it. Um... we are in Yellowstone. Why exactly do families take trips to Yellowstone? Maybe it is just me but I just don't get it. That is all I will say for now. I'm not in my usual "I want to offend" people today mode so I'll just leave it with a picture (license plate deleted to protect the crazy and misguided people driving this car)LOL!!!