Monday, July 27, 2015

Montana: Part 1

Several months ago, I had picked up a big paper map of the United States at the bookstore. I put it up on the wall in my office and marked all of the places we had visited and stayed for vacation.

Anique and I discussed all the places we had visited and how it would be cool to visit every state. We brought it up with Ken and Bailey and they agreed. I suspect they were just being polite but I took it as agreement and started planning.

This year we had a small window of time we could take off and had a budget we needed to abide by. It was decided the vacation would have to be within driving distance. Ken and I both took Wednesday through Friday off so we would have 5 days total. We decided on Montana since it was one of the few states we hadn't visited that was still within driving distance.

We left Wednesday morning and arrived in Bozeman late that night. The first hotel was basically a stopover. We slept, ate, showered and then packed back in the car. Our plan was to do a river float on the Yellowstone but woke to rain, rain and more rain. So we headed south to Old Faithful. Along the way, we stopped to check out the cool scenery. Some of it looks otherworldly. It's completely amazing and a bit scary to think all that heat is so close to the surface.

After Old Faithful we piled back into the car and headed to Billings for Part 2 of our vacation.

The North entrance is under construction.

The Mammoth Hot Springs were amazing. All the terraces of rock with hot bubbling water along the surface. 

The next images were taken at another hot basin. The water was literally boiling and smelled heavily of sulfur.

Old Faithful

And a few family photos while we decided what our next stop would be. The close-ups were taken by Ellie who was holding my camera for me while I re-organized. Please pardon my lack of make-up (it was vacation) and how the heck did I get so many wrinkles around my eyes? Geez!

How to amuse your self while driving? Shoot random, over-the-shoulder shots of the backseat passengers. Sinclair the dinosaur was a gas station find and Ellie had great fun throughout the whole trip sticking his head in my ear.

Turned out Bailey was filming random mini-films to pass the time and sending them to Ellie's mom. Making our car antics public. Whoops!

We still have lots of states on our family To Be Visited list but here are the ones we've seen so far (driving through or stopping at an airport doesn't count) :

  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • California
  • Idaho
  • California
  • Montana
  • Wyoming
  • Florida
What state would you recommend next? What should we do there?