Somehow going to Yellowstone National Park and Wyoming I thought the cell service would have been better. Little did I know or expect T-mobil would have very little presence in Wyoming and a complete absence in the park proper. "No Service" was a phenomena experienced by all guests great and small and the only wireless was available at the hotel accommodations around the Old Faithful geyser. Therefore I have not had to the chance to relate any of the goings on of the last few days.
Tuesday was a day full of cowboys, and natural adventures. We got a late start and ate at a dinner called Granny's Family Dining. Loren said he was glad we stopped there because we got a good taste of local flavor. It was amusing to sit there and talk about the culture of the rural west. Then we went and bought Orion a cowboy hat. He was so excited. He tried to convince us to buy him some boots too. After explaining to him the boots were nearly $100 he finally accepted the inevitable.
There was a large replica of a Parker Brothers board game from 1898 called the game of Buffalo Bill. You have to go around the game board and collect buffalo heads. Whomever collects ten heads first and makes it back to camp wins the game. However beware you can get hauled off to the Indian camp and loose two turns! We were having a fun time playing on the gigantic version they had at the museum, but since it went on until someone collected enough heads we had to stop and let others have a turn too. It was a cool that they even had a video of some of the live performances from the end of the thirty year run of the Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West Show. I would have like to look over all of the stuff there but since we had a bored seven year old we decided to go look at another exhibit fifteen minutes before we left. He picked the guns and fire arms exhibit.
He got bored of that quickly too but seemed interested in the "knife-guns" where bayonets were being shown on some of the guns from WWI. (He wanted Poppi to see this photo).
We then embarked on our two day long Yellowstone adventure. We were fortunate to see a lot of bison not long after entering the park. We saw and recorded one near some heavy construction equipment grazing, and later stopped top observe one that walked around our car so close I could have reached out and touched it if my window had been down. We got to see cows with their calves on two occasions (one of which caused an hour long traffic jam) and several elk and geese. We were given a wildlife bingo sheet at the park gate and Orion had a good time going through and marking off the animals as we saw them. By the end though Orion confessed that he was fine with not seeing any more bison for a while.
Since Orion had forgotten his Sea World dolphin plushie dubbed "Splashy" we promised him we would buy him a stuffed animal when we go to the park. He went straight for the bison and decided to christen his new friend "Buffally" (boo-fah-lee). I can only attribute this latest name trend to his recent interest in Pokemon games and cards as he continued to explain in some detail that his new toy was a new evolution for one of the Pokemon in his book. I told him he was just like his Uncle Laursen, but that my brother had named his toy "Charger."
We camped in the park and were pleased to find out that this was Orion's first experience really camping. He had never roasted hot dogs or made tin foil dinners, or even slept in a sleeping bag except in a house. It was a privilege to give Orion so many firsts. Since this is our second big trip as a family there were definitely some ground rules that had to be set and some learning to be done. We are constantly growing as a family and as parents.
We go to visit the mud volcanoes (the Dragon's lair is for Grandma Black) and the Artist's Paint Pots.
Orion said he liked the viscous paint pots the best with their gloopy sound and throwing mud several feet in the air.
We had fun joking about how stinky but invitingly relaxing some of the hot springs looked. It was fun to se all of the hydrothermal attractions of the central park.
Our crowning visit was for seeing Old Faithful erupt. Orion said in the end so far it has been his favorite part of the trip. We were amazed how many people were there and speculated on whether the walkways had been moved since Loren and I had visited the park last.
It has been a full two days. We got to see so much wild beauty and amazing human ingenuity. The Yellowstone Inn was amazing! So now exhausted and finally clean I bid you good night from Idaho Falls. Tomorrow is a new day with new adventures.