Wednesday, June 30, 2010
In all our various roles, Joel and I are always seeking inspiration to do and be the best we can; this is why we decided to include the words "Live Inspired" at the end of every blog post. Inspiration comes in many different forms, is found in a variety of settings, and affects each person in a unique way. This past weekend Joel and I were inspired, in a WHOA kind of way.
We spent several days with our family in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming as we traveled throughout Yellowstone. I've visited Yellowstone before, but for Joel and our children, this was their first experience. All of us were in complete awe of the beauty that surrounded us those four days. I told Joel that Yellowstone had moved into the first-place spot on my list of favorite places. Ever. (Okay, so I haven't been to that many places, but I'm pretty confident it would remain high up on my list even if I were a well-traveled individual).
The scenery was absolutely breathtaking. Everywhere. My favorite spot of all though was The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. We hiked down the lower falls lookout trail hoping for a good view of the waterfall. We didn't know it actually brings you right to the edge of the waterfall. It was a little bit freaky standing there with all that water plummeting 60 feet or so below us.
The Celestine Pool mesmerized us, until we found out several people have actually died in this spring. Maybe it looks just a little too inviting.
The views were incredible no matter where we drove. Whether it was tree-covered mountains, blackened forests (from the fire in 1988), or the travertine rock at Mammoth Springs, we were equally stunned by all of them.
The fact that there were active geysers and steaming holes all over the place, made Joel just a tad nervous thinking about just how active of a volcano the whole area is. I'd not recommend watching the movie 2012 before taking a trip to Yellowstone.
The other thing we weren't expecting was to see so much wildlife. We knew we would see bison, but we weren't expecting them to be walking right in front of or to the side of our car. And, we definitely were not expecting to see a black bear foraging for food on the side of the road. We also encountered a bald eagle, swans, elk, coyotes and ospreys.
We spent the last day of our trip horseback riding through the mountains outside West Yellowstone. SOOOO fun! I loved the experience so much I thought about trying to convince Joel that we needed to buy a ranch one day (but then I thought about what winter would be like in southern Montana, and I decided I wouldn't make a very hardy rancher after all).
Joel is about as far from being a cowboy as anyone could possibly be, but HOLY COW, doesn't he play the part well? I kept stealing glances at him the whole day like I was some infatuated school girl. He joked that he wore his city-slicker version of cowboy clothes that day; a Tommy Hilfiger button-up and Guess jeans.
We were fortunate to have Joel's parents and niece and nephew visit us from Florida for this trip, making the whole experience that much more special.
I'm telling you, I would be in high heaven if I could ride through the mountains every day on a horse like this. It was the most serene, yet invigorating adventure.
We had a hard time leaving such a beautiful part of the country. But, if I have any sway in the matter, we'll be going there again. Soon.
We hope all of you will be just as inspired on whatever family vacations you have planned this summer. Take it all in and enjoy whatever beauty surrounds you.