Travel – Yellowstone Adventure: Final Thoughts


These smiles may not have been the reason for organizing this vacation in Yellowstone, but they sure were a reward. Knowing that our efforts and time were well received is priceless.

The final installment of my 7 part blog about our Yellowstone adventure is focused on people. For Beth and I it was our second trip to the area in as many years. We spent 3 days in the park in July 2020 and knew that there was more to see.

Two of our girls live in the Bay Area of California. The last time I saw Riane was dad’s funeral in October, which was a blur. She flew in and out quickly, and there was too much planning to do to spend much time with her. Before that, I do not remember. Between travel restrictions and work schedules I’m pretty sure we lost at least a year or more.

In addition, my mother had not taken a real vacation in at least a decade. She was up for a week away from home with the family.

Anyway…as usual…I digress.

Beth and I researched, compared schedules and executed a vacation plan that could’ve included up to 9 people. Beth and I, Riane and her guy, Maddy and her guy, my mom and Beth’s parents. The final attendees were Beth, R Dub, Maddy, Riane, Ri’s guy Mike, and my mom.

This would be the first time that Ri’s guy Mike would be seen by Beth, mom, Maddy and me. This would be the first time that my mom would see Maddy. Six nights in one VRBO with people that had spent little or no time together prior. How did that work out? Very well, we were pleased.

Beth and I kept calling the adventure a ‘trip’ while the kids thought we should refer to it as a ‘vacation.’ What’s the difference one might ask? Beth and I frequently call anything we do together that is out of the ordinary an adventure. Let’s look at the definitions, shall we?

Vacation – an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling.

Trip – an act of going to a place and returning; a journey or excursion, especially for pleasure.

Adventure – an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.

I think that it is safe to say that all three definitions fit the occasion. We were on an extended period of leisure and recreation, we all went to a place and returned home, and there was plenty of both excitement and some danger in our activities.

You may be wondering about the danger. My first installment of this blog series highlighted an unwanted greeter at our front door. A young rattle snake that Riane relocated to the horse pasture across the road from our VRBO. Video to follow.

We spent much of our time in the park walking about. The possibility of a close encounter with wildlife was real. Our guide Mike always has a canister of Bear Spray at his side in case we accidentally bumped into a bear. The kids went on hiking trails 5 of the 6 days we were there. Mike let them borrow a canister of bear spray while we were there.

Finally, Yellowstone sits upon a giant active volcano. That is why there are so many thermal features in the park. The last large eruption of greater than a magnitude 8, which is the highest on the scale, was 70,000 years ago. There are geological experts that believe the volcano is overdue to erupt again. Being anywhere close when this happens would be a quick and historical way to leave this earth…

Be it an adventure, a vacation or just a trip. Seeing the smiles on the kid’s faces and feeling their excitement every time wildlife was encountered was all the reward these parents could’ve hoped for.

Plus, we got mom away from the house that she’s spent the majority of her time in for the entire pandemic and quite honestly before. I know the trip was physically tiring for her, but she really did rise to the occasion and kept going with us all the way through. I hope she enjoyed the time away as much as we did.

Here’s a photo gallery focusing on the people in our travel group.

Smore’s around the camp fire.
Mom at the lower Yellowstone River Falls
Maddy and Ri at the Grand Prismatic
R Dub soaking his tired and hot feet in the icy coolness of the Yellowstone River.
Maddy recording this Old Faithful eruption.
Mom relaxing on the back deck of the VRBO.
Our tour guide Mike from Yellowstone Wonders with the kids after spying some Big Horn sheep. Look how happy they are to have seen some great wildlife right before we left the park.
Maddy taking a photo of Ri and Mike at the Grand Prismatic overlook.
R Dub, Maddy and tour guide Mike. Mike and I looking at wolves through the Spot Scopes. Maddy with field glasses.
Beth trying on some antlers that the VRBO owners have with a pile of bones in the back yard.
Mom with the filed glasses looking for mountain goats.
Beth from our 2020 trip pretending that these sticks were antlers. I’m glad she found the real deal in 2021!
Maddy’s turn with the Spot Scope.
R Dub at the Grand Prismatic 2020.
Beth at the Grand Prismatic 2020. Showing off her Manitowoc Minute garb!
Mike lassoed Ri on the front porch of our VRBO.
Beth sneaking a Selfie with R Dub.
R Dub at the Roosevelt Arch pedestrian entry in 2020.
Beth and R Dub at the Continental Divide. Water runs in opposite directions from this location.
The 45th Parallel. One fourth of world is north of here and 3/4s are south.
Our VRBO boasts one of the original cabins located at the Teddy Roosevelt Lodge. None of us stayed in it. No insulation, the 30 degree nights would’ve been a little uncomfortable…

Published by R Dub's Rub

Conversational BLOG writer and contributing writer for LocaLeben magazine. My BLOG entries represent observations that intrigue, amuse, inspire or stimulate my appetite.

4 thoughts on “Travel – Yellowstone Adventure: Final Thoughts

    1. Putting together this blog series was fun and rewarding. We got to relive the adventure. There are still many photos that could’ve been included. I didn’t what to keep in and what to leave out…that’s almost a lyric from a Bob Seger song!

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