Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Yellowstone or Bust!

The much anticipated day finally came! Our original plans were to leave on the first leg of our journey at around 12:30 or 1 pm...but we left at about 5:30am! When does that happen!? Who leaves AHEAD of schedule for any trip!? I know. It's astounding! Amazing! Nothing short of miraculous!!
First stop? Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico)!

Our View at dinner-we opted to eat outside from our ice chest rather than what smelled like mediocre cafeteria food....

waiting waiting waiting for the bats to fly out...they never really did...just trickled out

Because we got such a great start and were half a day ahead of schedule...we had some down time the next morning at our hotel. The kids were super happy about this: swimming!!!! Before getting on the road to Durango, CO! One thing that just amazed us was the changing scenery. Where we live it's pretty monotonous. And flat. But on this trip (northwest) the scenery was ever changing! Literally, you would look down and when you looked up 2 minutes later, it was completely different!

We loved the beauty of God's world that we were able to see from our (dirty) van windows.
We got into Durango at a decent time-remember, we were AHEAD OF SCHEDULE (really, who does that happen to?) We went to eat at a place called Old Tymer's Cafe. The food was good and the atmosphere was nice. We tried some locally brewed cream soda :) Durango is a very old fashioned feeling town...
Old Tymer's Cafe-Durango, CO

Then, finally!!!! What Nathan had been waiting for for months!!!! I had the tickets months in advance and unfortunately I forgot that a 3 year old has no sense of time and understanding that something is a ways off...I got so excited about taking my little guy on a choo choo train...but at last! The day arrived!

The ride up had me facing some of my fears...I"m terrified of being up high in a situation like a bridge or you  know, on a cliff! There was a lot of looking down and cringing! But I made myself look out because the view was gorgeous! Some of the time I didn't even take pictures because the camera just couldn't even come close to capturing what I was seeing. It almost cheapened it. Poor Harold got a cinder in his eye not too long before the ride up the mountain ended. Very painful! When we got off of the train we were in the cutest little town called Silverton. It's an old mining town kind of up on a mountain!Very cute. I was told that only around 400 people live there year round.

We were told by the front desk clerk at the hotel that we should eat lunch at a place called Handlebars. It was an old time saloon type of place and we ate Elk and Bison (well, some of us did. Lindsay ate yard bird-aka chicken...). Elk is pretty good. They said it was a little gamey but I didn't really think it was. It was super lean though. We had a few minutes to knock around the town and then had to rush back to the train (that was my only complaint! Not enough time in Silverton for my liking! I now wish there had been an option to spend the afternoon and evening there and ride back in the morning!). I did manage (while the rest of my family was boarding the train) to get some of the fudge that I saw advertised the minute we got off of the train! Yuuuummmmmm!

Worst moment?? When the train is coming back into town at the end...apparently they have a town tradition of the people playing/swimming/tubing in the river to MOON the train!!! **GASP** We saw boy bottoms and girl bottoms and bottoms of bottoms. And there was NOTHING I could do.

That evening we were able to let the kids swim a bit (too cold for my liking)! And we made some new friends. Another family was down by the pool and we talked to them for a while and thanks to Facebook...voila! Friends! :)

This is blurry because the little girl in the picture didn't want her picture taken...she had a consequence. She had to write "if it doesn't belong to you, don't touch it" 11 times. Even on vacation, rules matter!
Very cautious little boy...he almost drowned on our mini-vacay to Florida! He was cautious before that and had one little aberration and now he's back to cautious!
much happier! Done writing!
the view! Look at the view!!!!
After the swimming, we went to walk around Durango and find something to eat-love the little old town square feel of downtown Durango! I saw a place where they take your old fashioned pictures (you know, the old saloon type pics with dress-up clothes and guns and parasols and stuff??) But, second gasp here...it was almost $100!!!!??? Yeah, nevermind. We need to eat on this trip too.

Pizza. We ate pizza. The places I had chosen on tripadvisor.com had too long of a wait so we went to a little place that, while not the most awesome pizza ever, had great customer service. They helped us figure out what to feed our little guy who is dairy free. That gives them an A in my book! The kids didn't seem to mind it too much either!

The next morning, it was "ON THE ROAD AGAIN" (Insert nasally voice a la Willie Nelson)...and onto our main destination!!!!

Yellowstone National Park!!!!!

Actually we were staying one block outside of Yellowstone Park in a little town called West Yellowstone.  I have decided that a second installment is going to be necessary because I've been back almost a week and this is as far as I've gotten!

1 comment:

squirrelgirl said...

Looks like fun! I'd love to go back to Carlsbad Caverns - haven't been there in many, many years. And that train ride would be right up Mr D's alley. When I'm ready to plan a trip out west, you can be my travel consultant!

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