Monday, June 25, 2012

On the Road Again

We loaded up the mini-van and headed off. Let's just start by saying that it was a rental. As a friend questioned my being a mini-van mom with less than 3 kids I feel the need to make that disclaimer. We rented it and it was wonderful to have enough space for all our camping stuff AND us! The next stop was Grand Teton National Park. Spoiler alert: (un)fortunately none of us got lost and were rescued by Harrison Ford in is private plane. Darn.

It was pretty windy when we stopped at the sign, windy enough that Ellie was trying to hold it still. The girls didn't care though, I think they were just thrilled to get out of the car. Taking the pictures at the sign is always the beginning of doing something fun so they are usually quite happy about it. Besides, we tend to encourage general silliness at this point and that goes over pretty well too.

This was another quick stop. We were in the park for only a few hours on our way to Yellowstone, but wanted to be certain to do a little hike at least. We picked a quick 3.0ish mile route to Taggart Lake. It was Ellie's first hike and she did a really great job!

Most of the hike looked something like this until Jim had the brilliant idea of the girls switching off who they hiked with for a while. He would hike with Ellie for a while and Aeryn would hike with me. Watching the distance on his Garmin he'd yell out "switch!" and the girls would swap places so Ellie was with me and Aeryn was with him. We were both surprised as to how well it worked. They both got one on one time with each of us and it made the hike go quite quickly. He's such a good dad. I know I've said it before and I know I'll say it again, but I totally won the lottery finding him. Hiking on Father's Day just proved it again.

Even though the hike went really smoothly, the little ladybugs did want a break now and again. They carried their own water in our Oregon Track Club bags so the break may have been more because they were excited about their water bottles than because they were tired. Why is it that a plastic bottle makes water something really special to a kid?

We reached the lake and amazingly no one fell in! The kids did test the laws of physics somewhat as they tempted fate on that front. Ellie did slip and get one foot in, but that is minimal compared to what was possible.

Check out that sexy mug. Grrrrr.

Aeryn seems so grown up to me now. Perhaps it's because I gave her my old sunglasses. Yes, I'm sure that's it. It can't be because she's actually growing up.

Don't the kids look thrilled?

We couldn't complete the loop around the lake because a bridge was out so we had a really nice out-and-back hike. The lake was beautiful and we found this pretty little spot with a view of the mountains.

And just because it's gorgeous, a picture of a rock. The contact is incredible. I'd say I'm sorry for being a nerd but Jim would just look at me and say "no, you're not" - sorry that is. I can't help being a geek.

Heading back down the trail was the easiest part. The kids knew the next stop had grandparents and were a little anxious for that. It's like they just knew they were about to be spoiled! It was a FANTASTIC beginning to our camping adventure. Everyone stayed happy, cooperative, and willing to keep going - not to mention the Teton's are gorgeous beyond description. It was a perfect day.

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