Wood Family goes West: Day 5

Today we went from Cody, Wyoming to Driggs, Idaho via Yellowstone National Park. Kevin, Edwin, and Mont went early to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West before we left Cody. I stayed at the cabin bathing Lillie and Morgan and packing up. Kevin said that you could spend all day at the museum, but they breezed through parts of it in an hour and a half. They saw the gun collection, history of Buffalo Bill, and art of the West.

We entered Yellowstone through the East Entrance. There were quite a few visitor’s centers, restrooms, and other facilities closed in the park due to the pandemic. We picked up some sandwiches and lunchables from a general store inside of the park. A lady working at the store recommended our picnic spot–an area behind the closed Grant Village visitor’s center. We had an unobstructed view of the West Thumb section of Yellowstone Lake all to ourselves. A ranger outside of the center gave me a piece of paper with the passport stamp on it since the visitor’s center is closed.

After lunch, we headed up to Old Faithful. This spot was definitely a bottle-neck for the crowds. There were lots of benches around the geyser-watching area. It was very hot and sunny with no shade. Then, GUESS WHAT HAPPENED? (You Mamas probably already know.) We waited for about 30 minutes. It was about five minutes before the next predicted eruption time…and Morgan had to pee. Yep. He loudly declared, “Mama!!!! I’m about to pee myself!!!” Great. Kevin, having seen the Old Faithful eruption before, heroically offered to take him to the restroom. They got back to us during the last 30 seconds of the eruption. It took a couple of minutes to get out of the parking lot during the mass exodus. Check that off of my bucket list.

We headed northwest toward the Meyer Geyser Basin–looking for the Grand Prismatic Spring. After pulling off into the parking lot that we thought led there, we headed up the trail to nowhere. (Well, I think in actuality it led to Fairy Falls, but we didn’t make it that far.) Morgan had a meltdown about 20 minutes into our hike, dug in his heels, and refused to go any farther. I sat down with him on the side of the path and sent the others onward. I don’t think they made it much farther before they realized that the trail did not lead to the Grand Prismatic Spring. They turned around and met back up with Morgan and me. We never did find it. There were other smaller springs along the way, though, that were pretty. If you want to see an actual picture of the Grand Prismatic Spring, though, you will have to do as we did and Google it.

It was 4:30pm when we got back to the car and we estimated that it would be 2 1/2 hours to where we were staying in Driggs. After exiting Yellowstone through the West Entrance, we passed through Montana into into Idaho.

I need to add here that we STILL have not seen many animals. We saw a lone female elk today right after lunch. She walked across the parking lot making some loud, crazy noises–like she was calling to her baby or something. Anyway, she was very cool…but really the only interesting animal that I saw today.

Everyone was excited about the Airbnb rental that we are staying in for the next three nights. The kids are really happy to each have their own bed. No one will have to sleep with a sibling for the next three nights! By the time we rolled into our rental in Driggs, it was almost 8:00pm and we had not had dinner. There are ZERO chain restaurants in Driggs. I called the only place that I could find that served pizza; they said that they were only doing dine-in that evening–no take-out. I thought, “Seriously, you don’t want me to bring my kids into your place right now!”

Anyway, our saving grace this evening came from a little food stand called Yeti Post. They only serve dinner on Friday nights. (Yay for Friday!) Normally, their fare consists of home-made donuts and brunch food from 7AM-2PM. Friday nights, they serve one plate for a set price. We had BBQ with teriyaki sauce, jasmine rice, slaw, and a coconut custard cake for dessert. Eating on the picnic table on the back porch felt like the perfect ending for the day.

After driving for WAY too many hours today, we made a change to our itinerary. Tomorrow, we are going on a rafting trip down the Snake River in the Grand Teton area. The third day, we were going to go back into Yellowstone but, we decided to spend it in Grand Teton National Park. It’s 2 1/2 hours back to the West Gate of Yellowstone. It’s just too far. The Tetons are gorgeous! It’s an agreeable change of plans.

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