The Morning of our third vacation day started in a pretty mild manner. We told my parents about the bat upstairs; they wondered what all the noise was from before they fell asleep. My dad went on a mouse hunt and found another half living/half dead mouse on a glue trap in the boys bathroom. At this point, things were getting "sticky" because we kept finding mice, but couldn't find extra glue traps.
We ate a delicious continental breakfast in the cabin of cinnamon rolls, muffins, cookies and fruit and then headed out in two cars to West Yellowstone. The boys all rode with my parents and it was almost like Ross and I were on a date. We had a nice conversation. Thanks mom and dad!
One in West Yellowstone, my parents parked and went to McDonalds - the boys were hungry? My parents needed cokes? Either way, they came back with drinks and nuggets and french fries. Ross and I got gas and drinks and paid for the pizza dinner we walked out on the night before. Then, we all loaded up into the sexy flexy (ours, not my mom's) and headed into the park. Ross and my dad were in the front, driving and navigating. If we'd let them be totally in charge, we would have just driven through the park really fast!
My mom and I were squished in the middle with Quinn at first, but the big boys couldn't handle the responsibility of sitting next to each other, so my mom being the shorter of the only girls in the car, volunteered to sit in the very back with one of the boys, trading off, for the rest of the day. Wyatt still wasn't up to speed, but he was doing a little bit better - as long as we didn't talk about walking, or making him walk, or look at him funny.
The goal for the day was to see a few geyser basins, water falls and hit up Old Faithful. Wyatt was desperate to see Old Faithful. Not ten minutes into the park, traffic just stopped. Of course it was for an animal, and we knew it was either elk or bison. When we finally got close enough, we saw that it was a small family of bison walking through some trees. It was pretty cool. It was also a challenge to try and take a picture through the window of a moving car. Ross doesn't stop I tell ya!
Once we were out of the jam we kept driving. Off in the distance, my mom saw a lot of brown lumps in the distance. She insisted they were shrubbery. Um, not shrubbery - a herd of bison. Easily a hundred or more and of course we flipped a pretty hard U turn to head in their direction. So did several dozen other idiots. Now, I'm smart enough to look around and watch out for a herd of bison, especially because I read in the handbook upon entering the park that August is mating season and the bison are a little on edge. Um, yeah, the were. We got out of the car and were literally standing among a herd of large, emotionally charged bison. The boys were grunting and chasing and banging into the girls. I think they were courting? It was actually pretty intense to watch. It was also pretty intense to see all these super dumb people standing in the middle of the road about to get gored by an angry herd. Such dummies. Stay away! We did however, take our fair share of pictures and stick our fingers in the warm waters of the Fire hole river.
We did see some Colorful pools of water and lots of geysers. We did make it to Old Faithful and made the regrettable decision to eat lunch from the cafeteria instead of just one of the faster food places. Can you say mystery meat playing the role of pulled pork? Yeah, it wasn't so good. We saw Old Faithful. Wyatt was nearly asleep in the wagon when erupted, but he did manage to lift his head up from the wagon and take a glance before drifting off for a good long nap. Once Old Faithful was finished we hit up a few gift shops and then were back on the road, heading towards the Upper and Lower Falls and the stairs. Ross really wanted Elliott to do the stairs.
My mom, Quinn, Wyatt and I wandered around and got our 10,000 steps for the day on flat ground while my dad, Ross and Elliott did the stairs to see the lower (or is it the upper) falls. Apparently the eight year old set the pace and when they arrived back at the top, much sooner than expected, we thought my dad may kick the bucket. He said it's probably the last time he will every do those stairs - he's in pretty good shape, but his face was as red as his jacket and we were ready to give him Wyatt's inhaler! At this point, Wyatt was on the brink of disaster, Quinn was a little crazy and we were all getting hungry. So, it was decided that we'd head back out of the park through the Hayden Valley and eat dinner again in West Yellowstone. I had prime rib for dinner. It was delicious.
On the way out we saw a lot of elk. They are pretty animals. We ate dinner at the Hungry Bear. We were hungry bears (ha ha!) Then, began the long trek back to the cabin - the boys with my parents and Ross and me on another "date". This night though, the women and small children were not going back into the cabin until the men (and Elliott) had done a thorough rodent and bat sweep of the place.
Ross and I saw a cow moose on the side of the road driving back. And bats. And giant birds of prey. We parked at the cabin and the men entered - flashlights, oars, and whatever else they might need in hand. The sweep of the main level was pretty fast, I could see them through the windows. But then they went upstairs. And the three of them were gone quite a long time. Long story short - there was another bat. They had to scare it off of the vaulted walls by throwing dozens of shoes at it then it did us all a favor by flying into a glass french door, stunning itself and letting Ross make quick work of the rest of it's life.
I still required a hallway escort to get ready for bed.
I did not sleep well for the third night in a row - but slightly better than the previous two nights.