Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yellowstone 2011

Sorry this entry took so long to get posted. I was waiting on some more pictures but it will have to do without them for now.

July was a very busy month for our family. It started out in Yellowstone National Park with Daddy’s side of the family. Mommy and I had a nice drive from Salt Lake to Island Park, ID with Cousin Sarah and her son, Peyton. Daddy drove the truck with Uncle Ike so they could haul some quads. Besides grandma and Grandpa Cooper, we were the first ones there. The whole family arrived later that night and it was a fun reunion. Mommy couldn’t remember the last day I didn’t have a nap and this was the first of many on this trip.
The first day we drove into the park and stopped by a Fishing bridge to have lunch.

Then we headed back making many stops at some cool sights. Next we saw some huge, fast rapids. Unfortunately, Cousin Kit Kat lost her hat in the rushing river. Seeing Uncle Tim chase after it, throw a huge log into the water and only miss the hat by inches was an unforgettable sight. Kit Kat was pretty sad that she lost her hat, and seeing this, Cousin Marin offered to buy her a new one. How sweet!

After the rapids we stopped at some really stinky mud volcanoes. At this stop was the closest we ever got to a buffalo and they are amazing creatures.

The next two stops were mommy’s favorite. First we walked (I was carried) down over 300 hundred steep steps to see a beautiful waterfall.

Next we went to a huge canyon called “Artists Point”. A long time ago people would come take pictures of this location and send them to government in hopes that they would make it a national park, and obviously they got their wish. It was here we finally discovered why the park is called Yellowstone: the cliffs were actually yellow. This view was breathtaking, and if mommy and me wouldn’t have been so tired, we would have loved to stay there for hours.

The next day was 4th of July and it turned out to be a crazy day. Some of the family went back to the park we our family stayed at the cabin. After my nap, we drove to a near by lake so see if they were lighting off fire works later. We ended up spending a good chunk of time there and daddy, Marin and mommy even swam in the cold water.

A while after we got back, out of nowhere, a crazy storm began and we enjoyed watching that bright lighting and listening to the booming thunder. We even saw hale close the size of a quarter.

Wednesday was a really fun day for both me and for mom and dad even though we were apart for most of it. I stayed at the cabin with granddad and we had a very relaxing day. Granddad was so nice to watch me for the day and it was great to spend some one on one time with him!! While we relaxed, mom and dad had an action packed day and went white water rafting down Yellowstone River. Even Grandma Cooper braved the adventure! Here is what mommy said about the experience:
“When we first got to the loading docks, we were surprised that we had to wear full length wet suits. We soon learned why however; the water was freezing and even though they were uncomfortable, they were worth it. The first half was the most exciting has we hit some nice sized currents. The latter half was relaxing and informative (our guides were very knowledgeable). We got to see some cool sights and even swim a bit in the freezing water. Afterwards, we drove back to the loading docks on a bus, peeled off our wetsuits and grabbed some yummy ice cream. Gardner, Montana is such a cute little town and I hope to go back someday.”

Thursday I was able to go back to the park for the big Old Faithful day. Before we actually saw it erupt steam and water, Grandma Cari and Granddad Tim treated the whole family to lunch at the Old Faithful Inn.

No one had ever seen a structure like this. Here are some pictures mom found of the Inn off the internet.

After lunch we walked a quick hike around Old Faithful and sat to watch the magic.

Before we went back to the cabin, some people wanted to go see wolves and others wanted to go on another hike. Our family decided to go on the hike but I fell asleep on the way there so our car decided to go home. This was the first time this trip I had fallen asleep in my car seat and was mom ever relieved!

The last day was spent at the cabin. Daddy took a couple of groups out to go shooting and mom did a lot of organizing and packing. The next morning we said good bye bright and early to drive with Grandma and Grandpa Copper to Ashley Lake.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ashley Lake 2011

After our week in Yellowstone, Mommy and me drove with Grandma and Grandpa Cooper west to Ashley Lake (they wanted to stop on their way home to California). It was a pretty quiet week for the most part with Grandma Schlenker, Auntie Laurel and Cousins Ashton, Nick and Beckham. Now that I am a little older, I was much better at playing with the older boys. We like to chase each other and ride bikes outside. I showered baby Beckham with hugs and kisses and mom hopes I will still love babies as much when our addition comes along. Each morning it became sort of a tradition that Grandma Schlenker would take turns taking each boy out on the Kayak. Mommy really liked the mornings it was my turn so she could go back to sleep and try to battle her nausea. I learned to really enjoy these outings.

Cousin Ashton made bead bracelets for each member of the family including me!

There is never a shortage of sweets and junk food at the lake.

Later in the week, Auntie Laurel and the boys went home and Uncle Derek came with many of his friends. Many of them became my buddy and they liked to copy my dance moves on the boat.

Mommy and me flew home but 4 days later were back because daddy was able to get a couple of days off and hadn’t been to the lake yet. Grandma Schlenker was still there and later came Papa, Uncle Mark, Auntie Laurel and the boys again. We enjoyed lots of good times on the boat and I eventually stopped bawling my eyes out every time mommy went for a ski.
One evening after one of many fire pits/wiener roasts, I watched as daddy and my cousins went swimming in the cold water. Watching wasn’t enough for me however so I decided to jump in too. Since it was almost bedtime, mom and dad stripped me and we called it “bath time in Montana”. Mom and dad were so proud of me for braving the cold water and daddy will never forget how much fun he had with me.

Of course we did lots of quadding and I continue to love it.

And tubing

After a few fun filled days, Daddy had to go back to Utah to work for a couple of days. He insisted that mommy and I stay however because he planned to drive back when his work was done for the week. Even though he had to deal with a lot of driving, it was worth it because our last full day was the most fun.
In the morning I was able to ski behind the boat… well sort of. Grandma and Papa Schlenker own this floatation device called a Ski Trainer that can be pulled behind the boat. It is meant to give little guys like me a chance to gain some confidence behind the boat. I wasn’t scared at all but just in case I fell daddy was right there dragging by a ski rope.

Later in the day our neighbors, the Wallaces set up a huge slide (made from a large pipe), a swing rope and lots of floatation devices in an obstacle course trying to mimic the show "Wipe Out". Anyone who wanted to got a chance to try it. Of course mom and dad couldn't resist along with most of our family. Mom said it was super fun even though it was probably the hardest physical thing she has done in a very long time. Dad also did very well but no one beat Uncle Derek's time of 1 minute, 8 seconds and Uncle Mark's time just 8 seconds longer.

Uncle Mark always pushing the limits. I hope you can see how high he is throwing me.