Sunday, August 9, 2009

Yellowstone Adventure!

Our family in front of the Grand Tetons

Last weekend we escaped to our annual Peterson family river rafting trip! We actually haven't been able to go for the last couple of years so our entire family was extremely excited to go this year! We didn't think that Mark was going to be able to come because of a HUGE trial he had coming up, but at the last minute he was able to settle it (definite answer to many prayers!) and was able to come - thank goodness, because I am NOT a camper and was not too thrilled at the prospect of doing the camping thing without him!

The first two days we camped along the Snake River, just outside of Jackson Hole. The camping actually wasn't too bad. Matt and Jackson filled their time hunting for squirrels. Several years ago when Matt was just little Thomas taught him to make squirrel traps using all of our treats as bait. I think Matt and Jackson have mastered the art of squirrel hunting...poor squirrels! Maya and Macie loved being able to roam and play in the dirt with their cousin Emma! As for Mark and me, we just enjoyed watching our children and had fun talking and laughing with my family!

My parents have their own raft to go down the river in, which is so nice because we are able to go on our own without guides and strangers in the boat. Plus our raft is smaller than the commercial rafts so going through the rapids is much more fun! This year was Jackson's first time going down the entire river and he loved it! Maya and Mae are not quite big enough yet and could only go down the mild part of the river and were pretty upset that they didn't get to get soaked by the rapids! Matt, on the other hand is now older and has to help row down the river and through the rapids. It was definitely tons of fun!

On our third day we all drove up to Yellowstone. I was so excited for our kids to go to Yellowstone for their first time. When I was younger my family went every year and I couldn't wait for our kids to go to all of the places I went to while growing up.

Our first stop was Old Faithful and as tradition goes, my dad bought us all fudgesicles afterwards at the gift shop. It was totally windy and raining on and off, and though we were nearly freezing I loved being with my entire family, enjoying our traditional treat!

Macie, Matt, Maya and Jackson waiting for Old Faithful
Macie, Emma, Katie, Katelyn, Jackson, Matt, Mark and Maya
Old Faithful
Julie, Kellie, Mom, Thomas, Dad
Kevin, Katelyn, Emma, Katie, Kenzie, Maya, Mark
Jackson, Matt, Cole, Kevin Julie, Kellie, Katelyn, Emma
After Old Faithful, we went swimming in the Fire Hole River. I feel so bad because I completely forgot to bring the camera down to the river with us! We had so much fun! The weather was still not that great when we got to the river, it was actually raining, but because the river is so warm it felt better in the river than out! There is a spot where you can jump in the river and the current just carries you down the river to where you can swim and play around. We were able to convince all of the kids to do it and they all loved it! Way FUN!!!

That night we stayed in a hotel in Yellowstone. (So much better than camping!) On our last day we got our fill of the stinky hot pots!

Jamie and Mark in front of the steaming hot pots

Macie loved the white wild flowers on the side of the path so I risked the outrageous fine and picked some for her!Maya enjoying a hot pot that didn't stink!

My favorite adventure of our whole trip was the hike through the forest down to the beach of Yellowstone Lake and playing around on the beach. I laugh when I say "hike" because truly, it's only a five minute walk, but before we got there I was complaining about it being so long. I haven't been there since before I was married and for some reason I remember it being a huge, long hike. I have such good memories, I think some of my best memories, of this particular hike through the forest and along the beach to our families' fishing spot. It is the exact same place my dad used to go fishing with his mom and dad when he was younger and our family has carried on the tradition through the years. I can still remember the thrill of walking through the trees with my cousins, being excited, yet at the same time a little scared of the "unknown" that might be lurking in the forest. I can still feel the nervousness of walking past the moose on the beach, whispering to each other that if they charge toward us we can just run into the water (guess I didn't realize moose can run into the water, too!). I remember the fun conversations of giddy young girls and the bonds that were made on the "long" hike down the forest trail. I am so grateful for the opportunity to re-live this experience and for parents who provided me with such amazing opportunities and memories!

Mark backpacking Macie through the forest. Kenzie, Maya and Thomas using their own two feet!
My Mom, Matt and my DadKatie and Maya
Mark, Macie, Aunt Zan and Uncle Charlie
Matt standing on the beach
I love this picture of Jackson. I think it shows the pure innocence and discovery of a young boy.
My Dad teaching Jackson how to skip rocks.
Jackson in action! I love how you can see the rain hitting the lake in this picture!
Maya practicing cartwheels on the beach
Macie loved playing in the volcanic sand of the beach. She totally dove in and became "one" with the sand!

Jamie and Maya
The best family ever!!!
Matt and Maya frog hunting

Can't wait 'till next year!!!


Heather said...

Looks like tons of fun!! I love yellowstone, We need to take our kids there!

Andersen Family said...

That is so funny your yellowstone picture's I have alot of the same ones, except mine has snow in them.