July 31, 2009

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!!! Yellowstone Scenery. More scenery. 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!!!
FuturePrimitive Soap Co. said...

what a beautiful lucky girl x

Anonymous said...

It looks like you had an amazingly fabulous time! *jealous*

I'm loving that bunny pic!
Welcome back.

egassner said...

Lol...I TOTALLY agree with you on the DVD players! I've thought about getting one for long car rides, but half the fun is seeing new stuff while traveling!!
Oh, and the mystery animal is an Elk... :)

Anonymous said...

You took some fabulous photos, M!! Really, really beautiful!

I have a burning question: how was Cody, WY to you? Did you guys try to go into any restaurants? I'm hoping it's a touch better in the 4 yrs that have elapsed since we were last there. Or maybe it was the place we chose to eat (although it was recommended in a guide brochure we picked up).

Is there anything cuter than foals?? Ok, kittens and puppies, but foals are still adorable. ;)

I love that look of pure bliss on your little one's face - glad she had such grand fun without her sisters!

As far as I know, geysers shoot water up into the air, and hot springs just sit like ponds, but other than that, I believe their sources are the same (same stinky mineral water).

The moose looks more like an elk, actually.

That is pretty nuts of that family to let the kids watch DVDs while going through such beautiful country. Heeey, maybe they were watching a DVD of Yellowstone?! LOL! That'd be surreal.

Incidentally, while people use the term "buffalo", those are really "bison". Buffaloes are native to Asia, bison to North America. :) And "antelope" are really "pronghorn" - true antelopes being native to Africa.

Michelle said...

Thanks for the comments everyone.

Elizabeth, thanks for the education. I can never tell the difference between the Elk and Moose. Is the horns?
I know, I sound like idiot. LOL! But seriously, is it the horns.

Hey T, you must know, I had you on my mind the entire time we were in Cody. As soon as we drove into the city I told my hubby what you and I had talked about. Honestly, I loved Cody back in 1990 when I was young and carefree. Wanted to spend my days riding horses and rock climbing. This time I seriously didn't see in Cody what I use to see. We arrived around 8 pm, rented a hotel room, drove out the next morning at 7 am. I don't think I'll ever go back. The only reason we stopped was because it was getting dark and we're big chickens about being on the road in the mountains at dark. LOL! I felt the vibe though. My hubby stayed in the car while I booked a room. I had this nagging feeling they'd tell us there were no rooms if we all came in to the hotel together.

I have some stories for you about Bozeman Montana though. We wanted to spend the day in their little town and I'd imagine our expience was eerily similar to the one you had in Cody. I'll never recommend that town to anyone I care about nor will I ever return.

You always read my mind. At first I was going to type bison and then I wondered "are bison and buffalo the same thing" - another great education. See, you always teach me new things. Aiyana calls them "tanka" - shortened version of "tatanka" - remember Dances With Wolves? My hubby taught her that :)

Marisa said...

Welcome, what a great adventure...I would choose this over a vacation at a beach resort hands down.

Anonymous said...

I guess your family and mine will just have to stay away from most of MT and sad. I'd like to hear those stories, but not if you don't want to relive them. I'm bummed for you that it didn't work out better than you expected.

I need to rewatch Dances With's been years and I don't remember the I have a bad memory anyway. ;>


Amy W said...

I'm so glad you were able to get away - and to such a beautiful place! I've never been to Wyoming or Yellowstone. We have a portable DVD player that we put in the van for long rides across Kansas. Nothin' to see.

Michelle said...


I agree. Much better to hang out in nature instead of a resort. It is very peaceful :)


We went to DT Bozeman to do a little shopping. They had antique shops, cafe's, bookstores (which we love). I must admit it was a strange experience, I've never had a similar experience ANYWHERE.

Eyes fell upon us the moment we stepped out of the car. It was as if we had leprosy. And they weren't just any eyes, but angry eyes instead. We had frowns and stares. People couldn't take their eyes off us, you would have thought hubby and I were Angelina and Brad Pitt with maddox, zahara and whatever. I'm not kidding. We couldn't enter a store without being watched over the entire time. Funny how we were the only people they felt needed to be watched. It was just a very negative place to be. I got angry at one point and just stared back and then you get the mumbles and grumbles. Of course, my kids and hubby were the only brown people there. Maya made a comment about how the white people hate brown people but they spend all this time hanging out in the sun to get brown. She couldn't figure that out. LOL!!! Maya felt the worst about the experience. She didn't even want to drive through Bozeman a couple days later when we left Montana. BTW/I googled Bozeman Montana Racism when I came home and found quite a few blogs and forums dedicated to bashing anyone that isn't white that either visits Bozeman or lives in Bozeman. Apparently if you aren't white you are somehow illegal, stealing jobs, on welfare, and gang bangers. That is the mentality that comes out of Bozeman. I shouldn't over generalized because I'm very sure there are very nice people in Bozeman (we met a lady at a bookstore who was friendly) but it appears for the most part mixed race couples and their kids aren't accepted.


I'm the same on airplanes. I let the kids watch DVD's when we fly to keep them occupied. I can totally understand wanting to occupy the kids while driving through some place like Kansas. That's how it is driving to Iowa and Nebraska. Flat and nothin' to see :( I'm just always shocked when I either see DVD players in cars in the city or in scenic areas where we deliberately take our families to experience nature. For me personally, I'm of the thinking that our kids our so "plugged in" all the time and as parents we struggle with trying to "unplug them" that I'm always a little puzzled when I see kids watching DVD's in such fabulous areas like Yellowstone. Feels like a child is really losing such a valuable experience of such a great place :( But I'm sure some people would say the same about me using the DVD on a plane.

foodcreate said...

Beautiful ~ your pictures are so lovely ... I'm glad your back ... and that you had a great time...

Thanks for sharing your vacation:)

Have a Wonderful Day ~~~~

Carrie Garvin said...

Wow! Such an excellent post- I LOVED reading all of it! Wonderful adventures and your pictures were great!

Oh my the baby---growing up and having fun in the jumping area--too cute!!!!

Really all the pictures are just amazing and your family is just precious!

Thanks for sharing!

Anne-Marie said...

Gasp! These are amazing pictures (the baby colt is my fave)! It looks like you all had a blast! Congrats to the first time bouncer as well =)