Saturday, October 20, 2012

Snake on the Plains, Bugs on the Boardwalk and Mammals of Mammoth

Here's a few more pics from Grand Teton that got hidden away and didn't make the last post.  Here's James playing with his iphone's panorama:
And Catherine meditating on the enormity of it all:
These were the kiddos at about 11pm when we arrived.  Catherine didn't sleep at all in the car with the exception of a possible 5 mins. right before we had our buffalo scare. Catherine was bouncing around the room and Matthew was just being a goober:
 Catherine enjoying herself at dinner:
 More sunset photos from the restaurant:
 The park as we left the next morning.  There were some elk off in the distance:

 As we headed back north, our first stop was the West Thumb basin.  We saw lots of geysers and Matthew spotted more wildlife.  This one wasn't as skittish as the marmot so I could get a picture:
 We also saw this guy both from the trail and from the car as we pulled around:
As we were driving in the car the kids were getting a little antsy.  I was going over the itinerary with Matthew and he informed us "NO! I don't want to go see geysers."  The back story on this is that he is totally freaked out by the fake, incredibly noisy geyser at the Museum of the Rockies.  We've been trying to explain to him that sometimes we do things he likes and sometimes he has to do things that just mommy and daddy want to do.  So, he had to go to the geysers (which he actually really likes once he gets on the boardwalks) and then he could pick an activity.  His activity was throwing rocks in the water.  Shocking I know.  It was a good choice I think we all enjoyed the stop:

 Catherine just wanted to retrieve rocks and have someone else throw them:
 She kept holding rocks until someone would take them from her:
 Matthew meanwhile kept challenging himself to find bigger and bigger rocks.  Luckily we were at Pumice Point so he was able to pick up some pretty sizable chunks:

 Of course, we had to let Catherine drive for a while:
 We hit up a few more geysers.
 On the way out there was quite the herd (harem?) of elk hanging around Mammoth.

 While we didn't see any bears or moose, we did see a lot of small mammals including a long tailed weasel carrying a sizable dead mouse, the Marmot that Matthew spotted, a pika, a river otter and (according to the park literature) 25% of the reptile species in the park with this guy, who I believe was a bull snake:
I find this all truly amazing as Matthew is neither light on his feet or quiet when he hikes by any stretch.  

We saw the snake on our last hike of the day as we went to check out the Boiling River:
 We couldn't help but take a dip!  Catherine got in for a bit but was a little overwhelmed so she and I got out to change and take a pic!
The next day Catherine and Georgina rocked out before it was sadly time to say goodbye:
We sure did have a good time and love it when they can visit.  Matthew has been packing my suitcase (with the ever practical smorgasbord ever since and heads toward the door (or out the door if he's feeling ornery) announcing he's off to the airport to see Ed and "Gorgina".  

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