Out West Part 3

The final part of our trip…..Yellowstone!
When we first planned a trip out to Idaho to visit with family I quickly looked up how close Yellowstone was to their place and knew, instantly, that I had to make the drive over.  Now that I’ve been I guarantee it won’t be my last trip, but it was something I’ve always wanted to do.  
This was typical me in the 1,200 trek across 3 states.
Blanket so my husband can’t freeze me out.
Book or phone in hand.  
Here’s my sexy husband as we drive into the park for the first time.
We were both a little giddy to take it all in.  
First stop was beautiful Gibbon Falls.
This man is in love/obsessed with water falls so he was super excited to see this beauty.  

Yes, we have squirrels at home but I was totally excited to see wildlife for the first time.  

I love when kind people offer to take your photo. 

Next stop for Day 1 was the Norris Geyser Basin. 
We decided to take the top loop first.  

This place was super cool but also majorly stinky.
Talk about an awful fart smell….that’s sulfur for ya!

One thing I could not believe was how you stop to see a beautiful waterfall with luscious green trees and the next step is this ashy basin that stinks.  Still beautiful, but in an incredibly different way.  

I’m not even going to tell you what my husband said this basin reminded him of.
Let’s just say it’s a female body part.
It did make me giggle….and roll my eyes.  

Danger!

The drive in between areas was always my favorite.  
I was constantly on the lookout for wildlife and if you saw cars pulled over that was usually a good sign. 

Our last stop for the 1st day was Tower Falls. 

At one point in Day 1 I quickly learned that being cute is not nearly as important as being comfortable…especially when pregnant.
I did a quick change in one of the vault toilets.
By the way, I could definitely go without ever using a vault toilet again but I’m sure it won’t be my last time.  

I was so ready to get back to our “camp” and check in to see our tent. 
We were thrilled with how close the tent was to the bathroom because my current status on needing a bathroom is approximately about every 1-2 hours.  

We settled in and got right to relaxing! 

We stayed at a place called “Yellowstone Under Canvas” and you can find out more by clicking here.  It’s a luxury sort of camping some call “glamping.”  
I can not say enough wonderful things about this experience.  We wanted something unique for our anniversary and that’s exactly what we got.  It was completely relaxing and amazing.  The bed was like sleeping on a huge cloud in heaven.  There was a bonfire area for the “residents” to gather around at night.  The bathrooms were within walking distance and were constantly being cleaned.  No electricity in the tents but you have a wood burning stove to keep you warm.  While everyone at home was sweating their butts off we were busy freezing in Yellowstone at 2 am.  I had to wake my honey up to go walk me to the bathroom and start a fire again.  I was too scared to walk alone to the bathrooms because, yes, I am a chicken and afraid of the dark and the unknown wildlife that might be there.   
We will definitely go back.  I’m not sure it’s somewhere you could stay for a week, although you probably could.  It was so unique, peaceful, and calming.  It was exactly what we needed to get away, reconnect, and reminisce on our one year of marriage.  

Here’s the bed and dresser.  

The stove.  

Our little sitting area. 

My honey starting me a fire!

Day 2!
Had to stop at the sign by the entrance for the photo op of course. 

First bit of wildlife inside the west entrance was this sweet bison just chillin in his patch.  

Then some elk hanging out. 

More bison. 

Then to Canyon Village to check out the upper and lower falls.
Beautiful!

I’ve never seen the actual Grand Canyon but the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is incredible.
It’s breathtaking!

On our way to the next step we ran into this guy who was hogging up the road. 

We got pretty close when we passed him and it freaked me out a bit.
He looked less than pleased.
Wouldn’t you be with all that hair?

On to our next adventure where we came across a black bear.  
He was pretty cute and little.
But I totally kept my distance!

We cruised through Hayden Valley and I had heard there would be herds of buffalo. 
There certainly was and it was incredible. 

Look at all of them!

This guy posed for me. 

Bison everywhere!

Then a grizzly bear!
He/she was little as well and there was a park ranger keeping everyone quite a distance away from him. 
We read a lot of amazing factual information on the park animals and I learned that grizzly bears are much more dangerous than black bears.  

Next stop…..Lake Yellowstone! 

Next stop….West Thumb Geyser Basin. 

As you can probably guess it was stinky too! 

We came across the Continental Divide!
Pretty neat and something I can definitely show my students this year when we discuss.  

Last stop for the day was the Old Faithful Geyser. 
Parking here was a BLEEP!  
It was definitely the most crowded place in the park. 
We did get lucky and walked up right as it was erupting. 
Incredible to watch! 

The last of the eruption. 

We talked about sticking around for 90 minutes until it erupted again but we knew that just like the 500 parade if we stuck around someone would still step right in front of us and block our view regardless.  We didn’t get the best photos of it erupting but seeing it in person is the way to go.  
Side note – There are loads of people in the park without manners. 
It was hard for me to keep my shit together, not going to lie. In fact, at one point my husband watched from afar fearing that I was going to push a lady down a cliff. Surprisingly, I kept my cool but did let her know she sucked. Her manners sucked and told her where I was from we had manners, to which she responded “where’s that?”  I told her Indiana and her stupid reply was, “Oh, as cold as it is there I wouldn’t think you’d have manners!”  Since when does climate have anything to do with respecting others?  I also told off her husband hoping he might be able to regain some control on his woman.  
I might have also elbowed or shoulder blocked someone else.  I will deny it if anyone asks me about it but I was tired of being ran into by the same group of people so I figured an “accidental” elbow wasn’t going to kill anyone. 
This was the point in time where my sweet husband actually told me to go take a breather in the car and relax.  I think he knew it could’ve been worse. 
Anyways………….
Old Faithful Inn….BEAUTIFUL!
We had dinner reservations here for our anniversary but we were both ready to get back to camp and our dinner at the campsite at the Restaurant, Bar N Ranch, was so incredible the first night that we were dying to go back. 
Maybe next time? 

More elk on the way home. 

Back to camp on night 2!  
The brown building off in the distance is the restaurant. 
They only serve breakfast and dinner and everything we ate was outstanding. 
I would go back just for their food!
The Ranch Foreman, Ron, made homemade biscuits every morning and his own special deep fried french toast.  I cannot say enough wonderful things about that restaurant and I long to go back!

Our tent!

Sunsets are to die for out west. 

We got a little more dressed up for our anniversary dinner.
I even showered and put on a dress.

We had an amazing dinner together and I can’t wait to spend about 50+ more anniversary dinners with this guy.  He’s my soul mate.  
The next morning we made a few stops on our way out the south entrance of the park. 

This is beautiful Firehole falls.  

And then to more Geyser Basins on the way out…Midway and Lower.  

Next stop out the south entrance….the Grand Tetons!

This is Mount Moran.
There was still snow on top!

We got really good at setting up the camera on the hood of the car for a couples picture. 

Hence whey some of our photos are crooked.  Oh well! 

This is a pronghorn.
A very strange animal known in the Tetons area. 

Mormon Row was next.
I’m obsessed with Mormons so I was eager to see where they set out after settling in Utah.  

Another pronghorn! 

Bison everywhere here too! 

After the Tetons a stop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 
This is a town I could spend several days in.  Unfortunately, we only spent a few hours here.  We did a bit of shopping and walking around.  It is a gorgeous little town.  I could compare it a bit to a higher priced more elegant Brown County on steroids.  Unique shops and loads of people.  

That night we stayed in Idaho Falls again and the next morning on our way back to Hailey, Idaho we stopped at Craters of the Moon National Monument. 

This place definitely looks like what I imagine the moon to be.  

One last night and one last sunset in Hailey, Idaho after a tour of Sun Valley Lodge and amazing dinner at Enoteca where my brother in law is a chef at. 

I miss the West and the beauty it holds but like any vacation I was ready to get home to my own bed and get back in a routine.  I’m a creature of habit whether I want to be or not and it was time to be home. 
Fortunate to Spend one last Childless Vacation with the Man of My Dreams, 

Out West Part 2

More on our trip out west!
Some how I failed in my last post to include a few last photos of our stay in Stanley, Idaho before taking off to Salmon, Idaho Falls, and eventually, Yellowstone.  
I just love this picture of these two.  Look at that gorgeous background. 

This is beautiful Stanley Lake

Again, the water was COLD but there were still kiddo’s swimming!

Check out my handsome husband. 

Some family photos of the other Schencks

Elaine, Louise, Rich, and David

On our way back from Stanley Lake we took a very rural road and ran into some beautiful cows along the way.  

After our last morning in Stanley, Idaho the Mr. and I headed north to drive up to Salmon, Idaho and take the long, but scenic, route to Idaho Falls.  

Next up is our trip through Yellowstone!

Out West Part 1

Our trip out west was awesome.  Now, it wasn’t a sandy beach with tropical weather….but there is something just as breathtaking about the beautiful mountains and nature that Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana have to offer. 
The trip started a little rough, I’m not going to lie.  The night before we were scheduled to leave Mike couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t get “checked in” with United Airlines through Orbitz.  Finally, he gave up and figured he would try again in the morning since our flight wasn’t suppose to leave until 5 pm.  The next morning it was his first task to accomplish and roughly about an hour or two after waking up (still in my pjs) he informs me that our flight is leaving at 2 pm, not 5.  
I took a deep breath and made a mad dash for the shower and to finish packing.  I didn’t shed one tear, which is quite an accomplishment for me these days.  I was ready to go in 45 minutes and luckily our ride to the airport (FIL) was over at the house in an hour to get us to the airport.  I did take a quick minute to call Orbitz and scream my head off at some foreigner who proceeded to tell me, “it happens” and they were sorry.  Sorry?!?!  I’m just glad my husband thought to call or we definitely would have missed our flights.  Oh, and I originally booked a flight with one layover and now this one had two.  We had to go to Chicago BEFORE we landed in Denver to then fly again to Sun Valley.  
And wouldn’t you know it that Denver was having some rough weather so we were late getting to Denver because we flew AROUND the storm?  Of course!
However, everyone’s flights were delayed in Denver….so we didn’t miss the second flight to our final destination.  We were suppose to arrive in Sun Valley/Hailey, Idaho around 8 pm and finally made it in around 11 pm.  It was definitely a long day and my swollen feet were seriously unhappy with me….but we made it.  
Side note – Do you know how many moms fly alone with little babies?  A lot!  I was way more observant of this than ever before.  I was shocked.  There is no way I think I could ever do that by myself.  Those babies were perfect, too!  A few tears but mostly sleeping and seriously awesome little campers for a long day of flying.  
Unfortunately we got to the quaint little town of Hailey, Idaho when it was pretty darn dark so we saw next to nothing the night we arrived.  
But when we woke up the next morning….WOW.  My bro and sis-in-law have an incredible property in the mountains.  Right now they are in the process of building their dream home on this property and her dad and sister are there to help this summer.  We’ve seen pictures through text along the way but it didn’t hold a candle to the scenery they get to wake up to every morning.  
Here are a few pictures of their house coming along.  

Guest cabin

Mountain outside their deck

View from their bedroom

Inside look at the loft and the stairs leading up

Kitchen

By the time we left they had installed the deck door here but I forgot a pic!

There’s the deck door.  This is also the camper they are living in while they build. 

Just out their driveway

The next day we all packed up and headed to Stanley, Idaho.  Along the way we made some pit stops to take a look around and see some fabulous scenery of beautiful Idaho.  

There are hot springs EVERYWHERE out west and here’s one of them.
That’s my brother-in-law, David, testing the waters.  

and his lovely white legs

Isn’t my husband adorable? 

I have just about given up on being cute while pregnant.
The scale hasn’t changed a whole lot but boy I feel huge.
And I know it’s only going to get worse!

This overlook was incredible.  

Look at that bump.
Everything is getting larger…ya hear?

Here’s my sis-in-law, Louise, her dad Rich/Dick/Richard/Funny Old Man, and her sweet sweet sister Elaine

Brothers

We stopped at Red Fish Lake on the way.
Beautiful lake and LOTS of kiddos swimming in some super cold water.
They even had a dog beach for Judy and VooDoo!

Judy’s their sweet stinky dog.
She’s a lot like Shiloh. 

Meeting other dogs on the beach. 

Judy and VooDoo

Here’s another hot spring in Stanley, Idaho.
Of course, being pregnant, it was one of the many things I couldn’t enjoy on the trip.
I’m definitely traveling back out west without a fetus so I can horseback ride, maybe whitewater rafting, and enjoy some hot springs. 

Here’s the cabin we stayed at in Idaho and the boys grilling dinner.
We had delicious trout!

This was looking out behind our cabin.
A beautiful cattle ranch on the Salmon River. 

There’s always part of vacations where the husband wants to do something that totally interests him and sounds terribly boring to me.  I love him dearly so I roll my eyes and go with the flow for a bit to see his eyes sparkle and his smile shine. 
This was that part. 
The dredge. 
He can probably tell you way more about it than I can because I had to pee most of the tour and couldn’t pay attention.  I was also terribly bored and wanted to stick a fork in my eye.  

Basically it’s a huge machine that works like a CoinStar except they were looking for gold.
He would kill me for explaining it like that, but that’s how I understood it. 

Looking sexy at the dredge waiting to hear where the bathroom is. 

The rest of these pics were totally my husband.  I have no freakin clue what they are but I know he wants to show his buddies….sooo……scroll down til something sparks your interest. 

Then we stopped at a ghost town, Custer.  
It use to be a hopping little town for those who worked on the dredge and now it’s nothing. 
BUT, you can walk through some of the buildings which is really neat and see what life use to be like.  
Kind of reminds me of Conner Prairie, without the cool people to reenact.  

I wanted to see inside this house until a rodent crawled across the floor, then I was out.  

Children’s graves who had been lost in an avalanche. 

Still taking work calls.
The man never stops. 

Loved looking at these horses outside of the cabin. 

That’s all for now!
After Hailey and Stanley, Idaho we headed up to Idaho Falls and Yellowstone….part 2 later!
Truly Fortunate for a Beautiful Vacation,