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28 July 2008

Vacation 2008 Notes: Day 2 (part II)

Tuesday, 8 July

After Henry's Lake we decided to take the kids to West Yellowstone to do some tourist shopping. Tourist shopping is fun because it's expected that you act like an idiot trying to fit in with the locals. Only in towns like West Yellowstone, there are very few true locals, and they don't inhabit the same places the tourists do unless they are working.

But the kids were sleeping when we got to West Yellowstone and Nicole and I didn't want to ruin a good thing. I, ever the Yellowstone-lover, suggested we go for a leisurely drive in the park. Nicole agreed. Or capitulated, I'm not sure.

Without a plan, I started driving. The west entrance to the park is wonderfully devoid of geysers, buffalo, bears and gift shops (anything that attracts hordes of people), so it is quite good for experiencing nature. The kids eventually woke up, which was good because we managed to see some cow elk on the way to Madison.

We took a right at Madison onto the road that would eventually lead us to Old Faithful. Our plan was to get out and stretch and then turn around. After all, our real time in the park wasn't supposed to start until Thursday.

If you've never been to Old Faithful, you're in for some unexpected treats. One of the most amazing of which is the highway exit that takes you to into Old Faithful itself. There, in the middle of the wilderness, is a highway exchange with enough twists and turns to make any 9-to-5 commuter feel right at home.

I've been looking for a new Yellowstone hat for the last 4 years or so. This meant that we had to hit the gift store and do a bit of math. I'm referring to an equation that is getting quite old in our household these days. That equation is: Alyssa + shopping = disaster. If you remember Algebra, you know that if you throw me into the mix we get: Dad + Alyssa + shopping = Dad + disaster. Needless to say, you know what happened... I spent most of my time outside with Alyssa and Jack (who was just along for the ride).

Sadie, as she was for much of the vacation, was a true trooper.

I'm not sure what time it was when we got back to the cabin. Probably around 4 p.m. We were tired and didn't feel like doing much the rest of the day. We bathed the kids and took it easy the rest of the evening.