Midwest Roadtrip 2017: Day Six

The sixth day of our trip was only just beat out by Day Five because, again, I was really smitten over Big Sky.  Day Six didn’t grant us quite as many adventures, but I’d be a fool not to admit that it was jam packed with incredible sights.

We started the morning off bright and early (around 5:00a) with a trip to Yellowstone National Park.  Our plan was to stay at the park until we headed over to Yellowstone Aerial Adventures for our 9:00a reservation, then starting our drive back to Billings, Montana.  This gave us just a few hours at each spot, but those hours definitely opened our eyes to the fact that we need to return in the future so we can get the full experience!

Yellowstone National Park

Before we get started, here’s the gist: Yellowstone is beautiful, but crowded.

The crowding issue we had heard about from many friends who, unlike us, had already visited Yellowstone previously.  To avoid it altogether was why we got up so (horrendously) early.  We were hoping to get all the views, without the interference of other people also trying to get their sights in.  Knowing we had a limited amount of time to tackle this huge national park, we decided to stay close to West Yellowstone and fit in the classic representations of the park — the geysers!

We started with a drive into the park that had more than a few stops.  We pulled over to view a heard of deer, as well as moose near the road not long after entering the grounds.  Further down we even got a view of a bison!  We felt very lucky for that encounter ♥.

Courtesy tip: please use the pull outs to view wildlife!  Obviously if there are animals in the road, you need to stop for everyone’s safety.  But if that isn’t the case, please don’t get comfortable in the middle of the street.  Other people are driving (that’s what streets are for), which makes those types of stops very hazardous.

Our first (planned) stop was at the Sapphire Pool, as well as surrounding pools.  These waters get their colors from many things, such as the heat-loving microorganisms that inhabit their depths.  One of the coolest things about them is that their looks are not set in stone.  Changes to the area that result in different pool temperatures or shape could also result in a change in microecology and, effectively, the pool’s color.  The photos we have of these pools today may look totally different from the same pools in the future.

Of course, all science aside, just looking at them is nice too!

Next we made our way to the Grand Prismatic Spring area, which was full of beautiful sights.  I’ve seen a lot, but Yellowstone is the first place that has ever felt otherworldly to me, like the scenery of a sci-fi novel.  I loved that ethereal aspect of it.

We also visited the Excelsior Geyser Crater, and walked the Fountain Paint Pots Trail, which featured the Celestine Pool, Red Spouter, and Clepsydra Geyser.  All gorgeous.  All memorable. Unfortunately, this was around the time that we started to feel a little crowded (8:00a), so we decided to say good-bye to Yellowstone for the time being and head over the the Aerial Adventure Park!

Yellowstone Aerial Adventures

Remember how Fabian and I purchased a package deal when we made our reservations with Geyser Whitewater Expeditions?  Well, this is the second half of that package!  (If you don’t remember, feel free to catch up here).  The combo deal granted us half a day on the water, which we accomplished during Day Five, as well as access to Yellowstone Aerial Adventures, a zipline-based obstacle course.

Just like at Geyser Whitewater Expeditions, perhaps even more so, the staff at Yellowstone Aerial Adventures were kind and personable.  Each employee we interacted with took a special interest in our trip, and knew our names by the end of time there.  Skyler was not nearly as brave during this adventure as he was during the whitewater rafting, so having an experienced staff member address him by name and use details of his previous accomplishments on the course to encourage him when he was scared was a very welcome gesture.

Overall, this course was very exciting!  I would suggest making sure that all participating parties are on the same page before beginning though.  During the course, Skyler needed to stay on the junior side to get the hang of things, and I was happy to stay with him.  Fabian wanted to do some of the more challenging obstacles, which caused some tension when Skyler wanted to join him and was inevitably held back.  Either way, it was a great introduction to future aerial adventures!

Overall, Day Six was full of awesome sights and experiences, but it was the beginning!  We can’t wait for more!  What’s your favorite thing about Yellowstone National Park?  Comment below!

Safety disclaimer: When hiking, always be aware of the wildlife that could be present on a trail, and take the necessary precautions.  Just because I haven’t seen it yet doesn’t mean it isn’t there, or that you won’t see it!  Additionally, make sure to follow all safety protocols as outlined by the recreation departments in charge of each site you choose to visit.  Be safe and prepared.

Medical disclaimer: As always, consult a physician before you and/or your child begin an exercise regimen or engage in rigorous outdoor activity. The general information above is not meant to replace the advice of a medical professional.  If you experience any problems or have concerns when engaging in physical activity, stop and contact a doctor before proceeding with additional workouts.

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