on our second full day at yellowstone, we took it pretty easy. derek had to work, so it was just me and the three kiddos, so we decided to hit the junior ranger station closest to our entrance and then stroll around the artist paint pots boardwalk and take in some geothermal activity.
the junior ranger station is pretty cool. they have a program every half hour, mostly all day, so the kids were able to knock out that part of their junior ranger requirement pretty easily. (the adult programs are often over their head and frustrating). also, there weren’t many people there, unlike the other visitor centers.
once we were finished and all signed and verified, we started to head towards the artist paint pots. but first, we (i) decided to stop at a parking area for the gibbon waterfall. this is the view of the river stretching out past the falls. you have to stroll a little bit down river to see the view of the falls.
finally, we got back on the road. and made it to the artist paint pots. where we drove around the parking lot several frustrating times, trying to find a spot. people are crazy. i watched as the car ahead of me put it’s signal on to take a spot that someone was backing out of. as the person backed out, and blocked the car in front of me for a split second before it pulled away, another car zoomed down the row and took the spot. it was serious business. eventually, went down the road a bit and parked on the side of the road and walked in. off to the paint pots.
the first thing we got to at the top of the stairs was this bubbling mud pot. the pictures don’t capture it great. but the sunken in part was thick mud, that was bubbling and gurgling and sounded like bodily functions. and isaac said it smelled like ham. it was their favorite part. we stood and watched for awhile, laughing at the sounds.
i took a pic of the kids at the top but for some reason it was black and white and by the time i had fixed my phone settings, more folks had moved in for photos and my kids were over it. so, one more pic of the side of the hill is all you get. 🙂
i joked about going back up to see the mud pots and both older kids yelled NO! at the prospect of the stairs. but hazel wanted to go back. i reminded her of how much she hated the stairs and cried about being tired, but when we got to the parking lot and she realized we hadn’t gone back, she burst into tears, crying that she wanted to see the mud pots again.
anyhow, we loaded up, drove to the campsite, and had a super chill afternoon. and geared up for our busy fourth of july excursion back into the park…