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, Maddie, 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, Maddie 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.