There's much to catch up on since the past few days have gone by quickly-
On Sunday morning, the kids and I enjoyed a beautiful last walk around the gysers and Old Faithful. We had breakfast and watched one last eruption before continuing north through Yellowstone to meet Brynn and Riley. As I drove, Jack listened on the iPod to a "story on tape" from Audible.com. Listening and watching for wildlife made driving very easy!
By the time we met Brynn and Ri in Mammoth Hot Springs, the northern most part of the park, we had seen bison, elk, bald eagles and even the top of a grizzly head (Jack saw it, I didn't). There are a bunch of elk in Mammoth, and as luck would hve it, the BIG BUCK decided it was time to check out the ladies. As he mated, the kids all asked, "what is he DOING???" Not only did we get a front row seat of elk mating, Jackson was also the one to ask at a ranger program in the Grand Tetons, "what does Teton mean?" A very good question, most would agree. The answer is "nipple or tit," named by a frenchman. Poor Jack, his face turned bright red. So, not only do we get the nipple invovled, we also get elk mating. We've covered it all. And Jack actually got a picture of the Buck and his lady friend, but I'm not putting it on the blog. The Buck's name was Lawrence. Get it, Lawrence Elk?
We were thrilled to pick up our fellow passengers and decided to leave Mammoth and drive Brynn and Ri back south to camp at Fishing Bridge. We made dinner and fell asleep with the six of us in the camper laughing. Jack "camped" in the camper and slept on the floor, quite happily, he wanted me to add. Four people fit better than six, but it sure was funny!
It was DARK in the campground, and we were in the forest. After having seen all the wildlife that day, the kids were kind of spooked. Lilly kept thinking a bison or a bear was going to come into the camper. And it was COLD. The low was about 23 degrees, the high was about 45-50 degrees. On Monday morning, they asked if we could go to Bozeman. Brynnie and I didn't mind since the two of us were up on the top bunk and we both could not sleep past 230am. The thought of a bed sounded good to us! We got the weather report and learned that snow showers were expected. "LET'S GO TO BOZEMAN!" was confirmed. The kids all listened to another Audible story while we made pancakes, cleaned up and got ready to drive north.
We arrived at Brynn's very dear friend's house, Tara Bishop. She and her husband, Greg Mortensen (Three Cups of Tea author) have two kids, Amira (12) and Khyber (8). Jackson, Lilly, Sam, Riley, Khyber and Amira all played and played. By the time we were getting to bed, it started to rain. And then it started to thunder and lighening. And then came the hail. I had the kids in the RV, and I was getting ready for bed too when I found that there was another leak in the RV, this time over the cab bed. As I was attempting to stop the leak with all-purpose duct tape, Brynn and Amira came out and insisted we go inside to sleep.
Once again, we were lucky to be with friends when the Big Broken Down Turd sprung a leak. We all crashed on the floor in Tara's living room, grateful to be dry.
Today we woke up to say "have a good day at school Khyber and Amira!," and then the six of us went to the Rockies Museum, which was just a short walk through Montana State University, 8 blocks from Tara's house. It was a great museum, and the kids learned all about Lewis and Clark, dinosaurs (Montana boast the highest number of dinosaur fossils in the US), and how insects help sovle crime scenes. Maggots were a big part of that exhibit, and I was about to vomit. The kids loved it.
We walked home from the museum, ate lunch and did some journaling. Tomorrow I'll get to the hardware store and caulk the leak. It won't be pretty, but it should do the trick.
Thanks for all the calls and emails. I really appreciate the "check-ins" as it doesn't make us feel like we're out floating in space.