Montana Vacation: Part IV

We've been back from our vacation out West for almost two weeks now, and I've been busy adjusting to "real" life in the city again. We also started homeschool this week (more on that coming soon), and I've spent the past few weeks preparing and adjusting to that new schedule, too. The relaxed pace, open spaces and natural beauty of Montana seem so far away.

We spent most of our time on the ranch, but we also took a couple of trips down to Yellowstone National Park.

We visited the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, just outside the Park in West Yellowstone, Montana, where we viewed these allusive carnivores up close.

This big fella is Sam. The naturalist told us she can always recognize him by his dopey look and big lips hanging open.

Apparently, Sam's a mouth-breather.

Nakina showed us why you should not hang a bird feeder in your backyard in bear country.

Dude! Did you see that?!

The wolves were taking a siesta, so we were only able to catch the occasional head lift.

"Oh... hi."

On another day, we woke up early and arrived at the Park by sunrise.

We saw many elk...

"Where's my Grande Caramel Macchiato?"... and many, many buffalo.

"Oh, give me a home..."

This old boy was hoofing it up the road.

He looked so old and tired. I would have given him a hug, if it weren't for that whole "goring" thing.

We also took a lovely, early morning hike along the Yellowstone River Canyon.

A glacier left this huge rock behind.

Hmmm... what's this view missing?

I know! Let's block out the spectacular view entirely...

King heard me lamenting about my goofy looking mullet-hat-head and sweetly said,

It's not goofy. It's just "mom".

Thanks. I think.

Once we got up to the rim of the canyon, it was a nice, flat, easy hike.

It apprantly wasn't challenging enough for the boys, so they ran alongside, making a game of jumping sagebrush.

Later in the day, we stopped for a picnic lunch on the banks of Soda Butte Creek.

On another day, back in Big Sky, we took a short hike up to Ousal Falls.

Say that five times fast.

Finally, I'll leave you with another gorgeous view ruined, courtesy of our family.

I have no idea what's on King's lip.