The fourth day of vacation, we decided to go to Yellowstone. I’d never been there before and was rather looking forward to it. We picked out our route and decided to take the loop that swung through Old Faithful and back around by the big lake. We took along fixings for a picnic lunch and the day was looking grand.
But after two hours in the car I was about to go insane. I think we traveled about 30 miles in that time, and I had seen just about more trees and mountains than I could handle. The day was not looking so grand after all and I was beginning to wonder if we would ever get out of the park.
I think everyone in the car was sensing my impatience, though I can’t imagine how as I was sure I was covering it really well. So they suggested I start making sandwiches while they found a place to pull over for lunch.
Great idea! Finally, I could do something other than watch the trees and mountains and mountains and trees crawl by.
They found a nice little picnic area with shaded seating and a clean restroom and an air conditioned visitor center. Just what I was hoping for. Things were looking up!
Oh wait. Just kidding. They actually found a pullout along the road with access to the river. But first you had to cross 200 yards of mosquito-infested swamp in the blazing sun and 95 degree heat to get to the river.
“I’ll just wait in the car,” I said. “You guys go ahead without me. I don’t want anyone to…” I couldn’t really come up with a good reason to stay in the car. “I’ll just wait here.”
So everyone frolicked off through the swamp without me. They acted as if they didn’t even care that they had left me behind. Huh. I couldn’t believe it. They sure enough just left me.
I got back in the van to wait on them. (It kinda reminded me of a family vacation we took when I was a kid. I had decided to wait in the car that time, too, only Joe had to stay with me because everyone was afraid I was going to drive off in the car and head for home. Hmmm. I see a pattern here. Could it be that I am a bad travel companion?! Slightly emotional and highly impatient? No. Surely not.)
Anyway, back to Yellowstone. I sat in the car a good three minutes waiting on them before I couldn’t stand being alone in the car anymore. And it kept replaying in my mind how easily everyone had just walked off and forgotten me as if, as if, as if they didn’t need me. Sniff.
So I got out of the van, and to Will’s credit, he was waiting about half way across the swamp. (How did he know I would change my mind?) He walked back over to me and kindly assured me that they really didn’t want to leave me, it was just that I told them to and he was so glad I’d changed my mind. (I may have paraphrased a little there.)
But anyway, I walked across the swamp, only getting water in my shoes a few times, and joined the fam. Ahh. Much better. And, you’ll be happy to know, that I changed my Debbie Downer attitude and made the best of the rest of my trip. Sorry for being such a stick-in-the mud, guys!
After our fishing and picnic lunch, we made it to Old Faithful. Now that place was cool. Kind of freaky knowing all the activity is going on just beneath your feet, but mostly it was fascinating.
While we were waiting for Old Faithful to go off, the Beehive Geyser just across the way went off. Now that was neat. And a couple minutes after the Beehive went off, Old Faithful went off.
And here we all are in front of Old Faithful.
I’m so glad I stuck it out and got to see this part of Yellowstone. It turned out to be a fun day. Though we did decide just to head back to the cabin instead of our original plan of looping around past the big lake. (I hope I wasn’t the cause of that decision…)
We headed back to Iowa the next day. To pass the time in the car, we read three Louis Lamour books and played the Windmill Game. And here’s another interesting note. Boys Team did not skunk Girls Team in the Windmill Game this year. Abby and I were able to pull off one upset victory on the trip. Which made it Boys’ Team-8; Girls’ Team-1. (Never mind the fact that we had a five point headstart…)
All in all, it was an absolutely wonderful vacation!
I hope you have a good day! And I hope my whining and complaining about Yellowstone didn’t bring your day down. I’m usually an upbeat person. Really, I am!