Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thirty, Nerdy and Driving Day 3

Day Three of our adventure brought us up out of Utah, through Idaho and Montana and in to Wyoming. {We didn't know it at the time, but Wyoming would be the most expensive state we'd visit.}

Our end goal was Old Faithful. Yet another item on my 30 by 30 list.

It was also the first day that it was legitimate cold. I mean, those states have a Fall that feels more like Winter {as opposed to California, where Fall feels waaayyy more like Summer}...and it was pretty awesome.

When we saw this bear outside of Yellowstone. Obviously, we had to take a photo...and obviously, Sara had to pose like a bear.

When we entered Yellowstone, we were prepared to see beautiful scenery...but we had no idea how much wildlife we would encounter! Lucky for us, Eagle Eye {Cathi} was watching from the backseat and spotted these two Bald Eagles in the trees across the street! We quickly got out and raced through the woods {before realizing we should probably be quiet} to take some photos. Sorry about the spots...still trying to figure out where on the camera they are coming from.

Three girls {okay, mostly my crazy self} can't be in the middle of the woods without taking dozens of pictures. Here is a sampling:

 Cathi's rap album cover

We crossed the Wyoming border and were that much closer to Old Faithful!

What the what? Seriously, nature. Well done. Bison + lake + Sun over the mountains + most adorable family ever with their four kids taking photos on a rock near the lake with the bison in the background = memory magic

And then there was this guy. So brave. We tried for a good 3 minutes to take a photo without him in it, but he was walking alongside of our car. Turns out, he was walking toward a herd of bison about 100 yards away and we were the dummies trying to capture just the one.

When I was in college, my mom and I went on a women's retreat to the hot springs, so I wasn't all that hopeful about the Hot Springs part of Yellowstone. Until we got there. Those suckers are gigantic! And gorgeous! And smelly. Sara had the camera, so the photos are much better than those I took earlier in the day.

We returned to the car, turned on James Taylor "Country Road" and drove the last few turns to our destination.

And, at last, we were there! We'd made it! Old Faithful!

We had made it a little too early...

We waited about twenty minutes to see her erupt. It was pretty chilly. And there was no wifi {which, for three girls on a rad road trip, we really wanted to instagram what we had seen that day while we waited to see more!}

Cathi has a video of the eruption...mostly as a cover for a way to record the conversation of the three adults next to us. Classic old people humor.

"Thar she blows." Am I right?

No trip to Old Faithful is complete without a big cup of hot chocolate. Or, in Sara's case, a heaping pile of chili fries!

We drove on toward Jackson Hole as the sun began to set. We parked for a few minutes so Sara could explore the lake and watch the sunset over the mountains. It was really, really beautiful.

We had a few more hours of driving to go--through the Grand Tetons, as we would discover the next morning. To celebrate our arrival in Jackson Hole, we sang along to a perfect Wyoming anthem: "Part Of Me" by Katy Perry.

We hurriedly unpacked the car {at this point, taking fewer and fewer Trader Joe's bags into each hotel} since it was so chilly and checked in to a really nice {and really warm} lodge. We knew it was a lodge based on the antler chandelier in the lobby.

We ate at an unexpectedly fancy restaurant across the street from our hotel and, once again, Sara's confetti table decorations scored us a free dessert!

I finished off our day by stitching a felt fire next to the fireplace in our room.
I was really enjoying Wyoming...and that would all change on Day 4.

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