Today did not start off promising. We awoke to the first steady rain we'd seen since leaving Virginia. We only gave ourselves two days to visit Yellowstone, though, and today was the last of those, so we journeyed on.
Things weren't looking up when we arrived at a visitors center where the boys participated in a ranger presentation as part of their junior ranger program. The presentation was about a half hour long and outside under a porch, so for me it really amounted to an excessive reminder we were facing the ugliest weather day of our trip so far. When the boys were done with the presentation, they received their second junior ranger badge of the trip and we moved on.
By now, the weather was offering signs of hope. The rain had let up and the sun was peaking through. So we headed off to visit some of the local waterfalls. That was all it took to change the atmosphere for the day. Yellowstone has some powerful and beautiful falls, and plenty of spots to take them in.
After the waterfalls, we headed for the opposite part of the park to visit the Mammoth Springs. On our way there, we stopped to take more pictures of waterfalls. While there, Katie said she heard some rocks fall from a cliff across the road, and thought she heard sheep like noises from where they fell. This was exciting for boys looking to see mountain sheep. Turns out she was close, but no sheep. We got out of the car and saw a mule deer high up on the rocks.
The sounds she heard? Mama's babies calling for her to feed them. And we all sat at the base of the mountain and watched her do just that.
We weren't a mile up the road from seeing the baby deer when we saw our second bear of the trip, this time a black bear. We knew it was a bear when we saw cars lined as far as we could see, most of the drivers out along the road with cameras in their hands.
I never would have dreamt the wildlife stories could get any better today. But at the end of our day we came up on a bison crossing the road. When we got up to him, the bison stopped just beyond us, his back side facing us. We had our windows down taking pictures. Ian was leaning out his to get the best possible view. And as if the bison knew who was watching him, on cue he dropped a number two in front of the boy who finds all things poop hilarious. For miles Ian laughed, pausing only long enough to inquire about the unique and loose texture of the bison deposit, but then quickly went back to laughing.
What a day. All's well that ends well. Rainy days can have a sunny ending.
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