Robby Poore

Day: June 29, 2017

The Grand Tetons!

Our tent after the hail

Going to the Tetons by boat reminded us of the Jurassic Park movie

Happy family, Hidden Falls

Hike in the Tetons

Desmond and Dad in Dad’s favorite environment, the mountains!

Our poncho’d hobbits

The banana family!

Leaving the Tetons in the rain

Campfire and marshmallows before the rain

June 27, 2017

Our day in the Tetons started off well; a young well-groomed couple were jogging through the campsite holding a selfie stick in front of them to capture every step. Gretchen said “what extravagant, wild creatures here in Yellowstone! I thought they were native to Facebook!”

We stopped again in the Grant Village supply store–sometimes I’m beginning to wonder if we are in a “Gift Shops if the National Parks Tour”! When we were there, a huge storm rolled in and dumped an inch of hail! It looked like it had actually snowed. We felt the need to drive half a mike back to the campsite and check on the tent but the REI Kingdom 6 was standing tall. Whew!

The drive south to the Tetons is beautiful, with lakes and forests, and some amazing wildlife. The jagged peaks of the Tetons rise straight up out of the valley in spectacular fashion. (Candy reference: see a Toblerone wrapper).

We had a picnic lunch at the Jenny Lake visitor center, then took a ferry across the lake to Cascade Canyon to go see Hidden Falls–recommended to us by our good friends Mike and Rita. I felt like we were taking the boat to Jurassic Park; huge jagged peaks wrapped in misty clouds with lush wet trees, and a small dock with “be bear aware!” signs all around.
We took the hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. We saw a marmot and a pica along the way, Gretchen was delighted to check these off her “animals I’ve seen in Yellowstone” list. Desmond found that jumping over puddles was pretty entertaining, and really enjoyed scrambling over the rocks and searching for new “wands”. It was crowded until the rains came. We got a little wet, then donned our outrageously yellow Grand Teton National Park ponchos and headed for the boat when the rains got heavier. Several younger, more fashionably dressed millennials laughed when Gretchen said “we’re the banana family!”
Desmond thought he and Gretchen looked like hobbits.

We dried off and headed back to our campsite pretty late. Along the way we got into another animal-influenced traffic jam, but this time it was a mama grizzly bear with two little cubs! She was way out on a field by the road and several rangers were managing the onlookers. We watched with binoculars until the bear turned to saunter our way, at which time the ranger demanded we get back to our cars. They felt she intended to come cross the road. Desmond even got a picture of her which was not bad if you zoom in.

It had rained all day at our camp but we managed to get a fire started and dinner cooked. Quesadillas are a great campfire food, by the way, it was a big hit.

Just as we were getting ready to go to sleep, the skies opened up, and rain continued most of the night. Good to listen to, but I was dreading packing up the next morning.


It might look complicated, but it was a simple breakfast

And here we are!

Old Faithful.

The Prismatic Geysers

Two sets of Junior Ranger twins!

Desmond and Gretchen talk to Ranger Jeff at Black Sand Geysers

June 26, 2017

Our big day to see Yellowstone! We started with a quick breakfast and coffee, Desmond carved several Harry Potter wands for some spells he hopes to use on our journey, he loves to whittle. Then we got in the car and drove up to Old Faithful. We saw a few bison and one or two elk. The day was beautiful, sunny and warm. The Old Faithful geyser erupts every 90 minutes or so, and there’s a calculation sheet in the kids’ Jr. Ranger packets, which Gretchen naturally filled out, and got me to help time the duration of the geyser. There were several hundred people there, in varying degrees of loudness, sitting on convenient benches placed in a semi-circular display area. The geyser was still pretty great, and its really remarkable how predictable this thing is.
We had a nice picnic near the visitor’s center, then packed up and went to the Black Sand Geysers, where we went on a fascinating ranger-led talk with Ranger Jeff. Gretchen, of course, asked a ton of questions, and we learned a whole lot. Ranger Jeff reminded us all to make sure to put down our cameras and cell phones from time to time, and appreciate this landscape without all the distractions.

We then went to prismatic springs, this huge and remarkably beautiful cauldron of colors and steam. It was crowded, but we managed ok. We bumped into Ranger Jeff again, who talked to us about the animals of Yellowstone, the plants and geology, and really inspired Gretchen with science and nature. Gretchen asked Ranger Jeff about the bison scat and wolf tracks around the edge of the geyser, and wondered if the animals ever get hurt in the hot waters. The ranger told us that they rarely ever get hurt here–the bison and wolves have lived around these features for millennia and have adapted to the strangeness.

We wandered our way up to the Fountain Paint Pots, burbling sulfuric mud pits and colorful blue pools of hot water… it was an odd sight to see amidst the green forests and mountains. On our way north to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone we got stuck in a “bison jam”, one of the all-too-common traffic delays caused by bison crossing the road.
We took a side trip on the Firehole Lake Drive, and got to see the White Dome Geyser erupt, which apparently is a very rare thing.
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is a weird sight; yellow rock and steep cliffs, constantly eroding, with an impressive waterfall that spills into an active geyser– creating a huge plume of steam and mist. Gretchen longed to hike to the bottom, but we were too tired.

We were pretty hungry so we stopped in a restaurant to eat, bought more bits and baubles, then headed back to our camp at Grant Village.
We were too late to make it back for the ranger talk, unfortunately, and too late even for a campfire. We decided it’d be a good time to teach the kids how to play solitaire, which they both really enjoyed playing together, ironically enough. We played cards for a while and then went to sleep.

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