YELLOWSTONE & WEST
The drive out to the Pacific Northwest started on Thursday afternoon. We took Hwy 16 through the Big Horns and stayed that night just east of Yellowstone (not far from Wapiti, Wyoming). The next morning, Elijah said he felt a little sick, but after a quick throw-up he was good to go! Thus commenced a long full day through Yellowstone National Park.
We visited Old Faithful first, arriving just minutes before it erupted (the timing couldn't have been much better). After a bit of ice cream, a quick peek at the Old Faithful Inn and a stamp in my national passport book (I've had it since I was young and had it stamped when I visited Yellowstone 20 summers ago with my family!) we headed north to the Lower Geyser Basin where we walked around the Fountain Paint Pot and saw the Great Fountain Geyser erupt as well.
From there we made the beautiful drive up to the east and north (while the boys both took a much needed nap) until we reached Tower Fall. I had remembered visiting this waterfall when I was twenty years younger and doing the hike all the way down to the base of the fall. Unfortunately, the trail was under construction and we weren't able to hike down to the waterfall, but we did hike all the way down to the river.
After the grueling hike back up, we started the drive towards the northeast gate of the park (Mammoth Hot Springs). But just a few miles before we left the park, we had the privilege of seeing a mother bear and her two cubs right next to the road.
We stayed the night in Bozeman, Montana (just an hour's drive north of the park) and the next day had a reasonable day's drive to Spokane, Washington where we stayed with dear friends from seminary days - Liv, Casey and their son Arlo. It was a delight to catch up with good friends and also to attend worship at Salem Lutheran Church in Downtown Spokane on Sunday morning with Pr. Liv preaching and presiding. After a relaxing Sunday afternoon, Monday morning was off to Seattle, Washington.