Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

A Trip out West

Grand Teton National ParkGrand Teton National Park

A bit of a warning, this post has absolutely nothing to do with quilting. I just returned from an amazing, nearly 2 week vacation out west and I cannot help myself. I must share photos and stories. :) Last summer after coming home from a trip to Disney World, my husband and I decided we wanted to plan a trip for our family that was a bit more authentic. Nothing against Disney, our kids love it there and we’ve always had a good time, but we were searching for something a bit more “real” this time, if that makes sense. So I went online and started researching Yellowstone National Park. It didn’t take me long to realize people plan their trips to Yellowstone WAY in advance. Like two years in advance! Some of the lodging was already booked, even 12 months ahead of time. So I started booking various hotels and getting a plan in place. Well 2 weeks ago, the time was finally here!

Old Faithful at sunset
Old Faithful at sunset

Our plan was to drive out (20+ hours!) from Chicago to Jackson, Wyoming, taking 2 days for the drive. (We used Jackson as our base camp for the start of our trip at Grand Teton National Park.) With about 3-1/2 hours left on the first day of driving, we hit a big storm in western Nebraska. There was a heavy rain…then suddenly some little hail…then lightening. A lot of lightening. Which struck our car. While we were driving on I-80. There was a flash of light and a big noise, and then I think every light on our dash lit up. Every gauge except the speedometer died. The air conditioning died. The power steering failed. The car could still drive, but was definitely messed up. But fortunately, we were all ok.

Fairy Falls hike, Yellowstone National Park
Fairy Falls hike, Yellowstone National Park

We made it to a gas station to check things out and once we turned the car off, we couldn’t turn it back on. We couldn’t even get it out of Drive or Neutral and into Park! (Fixed that after some looking on the internet). It was a bit overwhelming and scary and stressful. We started making tons of phone calls to try to coordinate help, and I have to give a huge thanks to the Subaru dealer in Cheyenne for coordinating a flat bed tow truck to drive 2-1/2 hours to come get us and our car, and bring us all to Cheyenne (yes, I rode 2-1/2 hours in a tow truck with my family) to get the car repaired. So…a bit unexpected beginning to our trip. We left our car there to be repaired and picked up a rental for the rest of the trip. I’m not exactly a go-with-the-flow type person so this really tested my limits. :)

Jackson, Wyoming
Jackson, Wyoming

So we did eventually make it to Jackson, Wyoming, which is such a great city. My kids are 5 and 7, so one of the goals when planning this trip was to make it fun for them too. In Jackson we went to our first rodeo, a “shootout“, and did a float trip in the Snake River. They had a blast!

Jackson, Wyoming
Jackson, Wyoming

We also spent a few days exploring Grand Teton National Park. SO beautiful. Coming from Illinois, the scenery with the rivers and mountains and wildflowers and animals…it leaves you speechless.

Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park

I tried to keep our hikes with the kids around 1-3 miles roundtrip, keeping in mind a lot of the trails involving elevation gains/stairs/rocks/etc. We took a ferry across Jenny Lake and did a hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. A bit scary at the end, but the kids did great. We saw a marmot and two moose while we were there.

Inspiration Point, Grand Teton National Park
Inspiration Point, Grand Teton National Park

We had some great wildlife viewing in Grand Teton as well, seeing a lot of bison up close (from our car).

Bison, Grand Teton National Park
Bison, Grand Teton National Park

Spring means lots of babies!

Bison, Grand Teton National Park
Bison, Grand Teton National Park

Bison, Grand Teton National Park
Bison, Grand Teton National Park

After a few days in Jackson, we drove north to Yellowstone.

North Entrance, Yellowstone National Park
North Entrance, Yellowstone National Park

There was stayed in the park, a few nights at the Old Faithful Inn (West Wing Frontside room) and a few nights at the Mammoth Hot Springs Frontier Cabins. I mention the room types because if you ever plan a trip to Yellowstone, I highly recommend both. It’s hard to book online in a national park lodge, not quite sure what to expect. With young kids, we wanted a toilet and shower in our room, not a shared situation. So these were perfect! And the cabins we selected in Mammoth was recently renovated and very nice.

Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National Park
Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National Park

We spent the first part of our time in Yellowstone exploring the southern half of the park (geyser country). I guess I didn’t realize JUST how many geyers and other geothermal features there were in the park! More than I could count!

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park
Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park
Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Probably our most challenging hike was down Uncle Tom’s Trail in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Not because of length, but due to the amount of stairs and elevation. Our lungs just are not used to that thin air!

Uncle Tom's Trail, Yellowstone National Park
Uncle Tom’s Trail, Yellowstone National Park

View of the stairs from the other side of the canyon.

Uncle Tom's Trail, Yellowstone National Park
Uncle Tom’s Trail, Yellowstone National Park

The falls – amazing!

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park
The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park

We saw tons of animals. My daughter kept a list, which included bald eagles, bison, elk, moose, 7 black bears (including 3 cubs!), coyote, hawks, marmots, osprey, pronghorn…lots more I’m forgetting I’m sure!

Black Bear, Yellowstone National Park
Black Bear, Yellowstone National Park

Moose, Yellowstone National Park
Moose, Yellowstone National Park

Hilarious Bison, Yellowstone National Park
Hilarious Bison, Yellowstone National Park

Elk, Yellowstone National Park
Elk, Yellowstone National Park

Coyote, Grand Teton National Park
Coyote, Grand Teton National Park

Keeping with the “make-it-fun-for-the-kids” theme, we did a wagon cookout dinner.

Roosevelt Old West Dinner Cookout, Yellowstone National Park
Roosevelt Old West Dinner Cookout, Yellowstone National Park

They loved riding out in the park on the wagons and eating some great grilled food.

Roosevelt Old West Dinner Cookout, Yellowstone National Park
Roosevelt Old West Dinner Cookout, Yellowstone National Park

Leaving was really hard. It was so great to be surrounded my such natural beauty and also be away from the distractions and technology of the world at home.

Hiking at Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park
Hiking at Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

We drove by Mount Rushmore on the way home, before heading back to Cheyenne to pick up my fixed car.

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

I added several new places to my list of states I’ve visited: Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota. All beautiful in their own unique ways! If you are looking for an amazing vacation and love the outdoors, I hope I’ve given you an idea of somewhere new to see. It wasn’t too horribly crowded yet (early June), but I hear July and August are quite packed as that is the busiest season in the parks.

So, as I mentioned, I’ve been away from technology for about 2 weeks. I’m working on catching up, but I have a lot of emails to get through. Please be patient if you need information from me – I will get to you! :) And hopefully back to the sewing machine this week as well!

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89 Responses to “A Trip out West”

  1. 1
    Cacky says:

    What a WONDERFUL vacation! I’m certain the “fun for the kids” activities were just as much, if not even more, fun for the big kids (mom and dad)! Thank you for sharing with us!

  2. 2
    Beth says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I am taking a trip to Colorado soon for this very reason; I am from Milwaukee and need a fix of mountains.
    I loved the photos and ideas of things to to with the kids. So helpful!

  3. 3
    Jan Milron says:

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures. I have been to Yellowstone Park and the Grand Tetons. Living in Arizona is just wonderful as there are many, many things to see and enjoy.

  4. 4
    Liz says:

    Great photographs! I am sure that your kids had a blast on this vacation. Looks like it was so fun. Thanks for sharing!

  5. 5
    Anne Beier says:

    Wow!! I love the wildlife, especially the moose and bison. The car thing would have stressed anyone out. Just glad to hear you and your family are okay. Looks like everyone enjoyed what our nation has to offer, and reliving a little of the “pioneer out west” theme with eating at the covered wagon. Really glad you shared this. Thanks.

    Anne

  6. 6
    Mary Gerlach says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful trip. I found the lightning/car adventure almost as amazing! Your children will never forget this.

  7. 7
    Debbie says:

    So fun to hear about ‘out west’! ;-) We did this trip a couple of years ago as hubby had never been to Yellowstone. And neither of us had been to or realized how absolutely stunning Grand Teton park is!! We see mountains all the time where we live but this was just so awesome! Ie. We truly were in awe.
    Anyways – fantastic family trip – good for you and thankful all was ok after the lightening strike – NOT in the normal scheme of things!!

  8. 8
    Leeanne says:

    Faith,

    Sounds like a wonderful trip (minus the whole lightning thing!). Glad you got to unplug for a while! Sounds like a dream.

  9. 9
    Karen says:

    I have been to this area more times than I can count and never got my vehicle hit by lightening! how awful and scary that must have been. I have been on all the trails you mention and going back out that way in August for zillionith time. No kidding we used to live 2 hours from the Tetons and so we have toured this area more times than we can count and love it and keep going back – we have a small motorhome though and stay in campgrounds. Glad your car was fixed and that you were able to rent a car for part of your trip – what a way to remember that though. Glad you go to see so many animals, kids always remember that.

  10. 10
    Bailey says:

    Simply amazing. We have traveled to Yellowstone before and love it! Good info for future trips. I like the chuck wagon dinner idea.

  11. 11
    Karen Seitz says:

    Thanks for sharing! That first photo looks like it was taken in my mom’s back yard. She lives in Jackson, and I am heading out (from Ohio) on Saturday for a visit, and then the two of us head to Utah for the Small Town Quilt Show — can’t wait! That is so scary about your car being hit by lightning, but what a great story you all can tell forever! So glad you were not hurt.

    • 12
      Faith says:

      Oh I am so jealous! I want to move to Jackson now. :)

      • 41
        Karen Seitz says:

        I know how lucky I am to have a place to stay whenever I can make it out there! Mom lives between the airport and town so is right at GTNP. She has been there for almost 17 years and loves it. I do too!

  12. 13
    Sigrun says:

    Wow, this sounds and looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing. I guess I have to put Yellowstone on my bucketlist :-)

  13. 14
    Britt says:

    Hi Faith,
    What an incredible trip you took (detours and all!). Our family was JUST talking last night about next summer taking a trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton, so this post is incredibly serendipitous. We’ll look into your hotel suggestions, so that you for being so detailed in your recommendations. Your quilts are stunning, but seriously, writing guidebooks might be an interesting adventure for you if you ever get tired of sewing! ;) Thanks for this beautiful post.
    Britt

    • 15
      Faith says:

      You will have an amazing trip! I also highly recommend checking out the Trip Advisor website for reviews of things to do and also picking up the Lonely Planet Grand Teton/Yellowstone book. Both were huge helps to me in planning everything!

  14. 16
    peggy says:

    Thank you for sharing your heartfelt words. So much better than the postcards that used to say… having a wonderful time, wish you were here!

  15. 17
    Julia Graber says:

    Great vacation! Your children will remember this for sure.

  16. 18
    Karin says:

    This looks amazing. I may be using this as a template for a future road trip – my youngest is only 20 months and not quite up to the hiking yet. But maybe I can plan for two years in the future. :)

  17. 19
    Sondra says:

    Great memories for your family. Love the images. XXX

  18. 20
    Sandy D says:

    Amazing pictures I am glad you shared them with us

  19. 21
    Paige says:

    I love this post. I want to take my family out west next year (we live in N. Carolina). My husband wonders if our youngest is too young (he will be five). It looks like your younger one kept up with everyone!

    • 24
      Faith says:

      Yes Paige – he said he liked it more than Disney! (Highest praise possible) And he keeps asking “when can we go back to Yellowstone?” Not too young! There are age limits on things though. He was not old enough for us to go white water rafting, and neither of my kids were old enough to go horseback riding.

  20. 22
    Terry says:

    Hey, must be a Midwestern thing -went there, done that — all of what you did and my memories are vivid and wonderful – thanks for sharing your trip #!}

  21. 23
    angela says:

    I was at Yellowstone last week! Ha ha have many of the same pictures. It was great being away from technology. And it is an amazing, spectacularly beautiful place!

  22. 26
    angela says:

    We probably did!

  23. 27
    Kristi says:

    Thank you for your wonderful travelogue! I love Yellowstone; it’s one of my favorite vacation spots. I also loved seeing Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse monument. A suggestion for another trip is Glacier National Park!

  24. 28
    Camme says:

    We live in Florida so my three (now grown) kids have been to Disney World many times. Without a doubt their favorite vacation (hands down) is the camping trip we took to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Your kids will always remember this trip. Beautiful pictures as well, it makes me want to go back!

  25. 29
    kaholly says:

    Fabulous post! Well planned, well written, and the photos were extraordinary. I thoroughly enjoyed your trip, it was almost like being there with you. Sorry about the car incident, but you did good to go with it and have a good time!! Your kids are so lucky. I hope you can plan more fun, outdoorsy adventures. I like DisneyWorld, too, but nothing beats nature.

  26. 30
    Karen says:

    Faith, what a wonderful travel diary of your family vacation! Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons are the perfect place for family-friendly activities. My wife and I celebrated our retirement by taking a 3 month trip from Maine to the West Coast and absolutely fell in love with the Grand Tetons! (Although we’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite from all the parks we visited.) You’d also love the Oregon coast–they have so many beautiful state parks and the coast is incredible, even for us Mainers. If you ever go East, Acadia National Park here in Maine is amazing, too!

  27. 31
    Scorpie says:

    What glorious pictures~looks like a great time was had by all. I have always wanted to go to Jackson Hole,WY. There is some wreckage of a plane from a crash that happened about 64 years ago. I am related to some of the passengers.

  28. 32
    Tina says:

    THANK YOU for this! This is a trip, at least the Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone portion, we want to make with my dad and since you went with kids, I might be similar as far as his capabilities. I appreciate the info.

  29. 33
    Jann Lawson says:

    What a wonderful travelogue! Thank you for sharing your family vacation with all of us.

  30. 34
    diane says:

    I was about your kids age on my first trip out west and it was some that I repeated several times in my life. you seemed to have an unbelievable trip and thank you very much for sharing with us your colorful excursion. please go again and again and share with us, it brought back memories and remembered times for me and familiar sights.

  31. 35
    Lori C. says:

    Interesting and helpful, Faith. I can’t wait to see how your experiences manifest themselves in your craft….both consciously and unconsciously!

  32. 36
    Sue says:

    Your photos are beautiful, it is a holiday you will treasure forever.

  33. 37

    So glad you had a chance to experience the West! Yellowstone has been one of my favorite places since we first visited it with our boys when they were young! It is so beautiful and amazing and different from anywhere else. Thanks for sharing your pictures. They jaded me want to go back!

  34. 39
    Jennifer says:

    What awesome family memories!

  35. 40
    Vickie VanDyken says:

    I haven’t been to Yellowstone for a few years. Hubby and I decided this was the summer!! We drive by it a lot but this year it will again be the destination. Love the Tetons. We came really close to being hit by lightning in Indiana on the toll road one year. The Truck just lite up and the noise was incredible. The dogs and I were in the sleeper. Well one dog was in the front. He came to the back, scared, as we went to the front, scared also! It was quite a sight. lightning was everywhere.
    We broke down in Wy twice, both times we got shafted by the shops there. So I am glad that you had a better experience.
    We are leaving the Peterbilt home and taking the motorcycles. Your pictures just got me more excited!! Thanks

  36. 42
    Jean Thompson says:

    Thank you for the Wonderful info about your Trip and the Great Photos… sorry to hear that your Car died.. but you got to enjoy the Trip with a Rental… We Drove out West to visit relatives in Colorado… Visited The Black Canyon of the Gunnison with my Aunt and Uncle who live outside Hotchkiss ( East of Delta, South of Grand Junction) in 1990 and again for their 50th Wedding Anniv. in 1999… We stopped to see Cousins in Arkansas and went down to 4 Corners Area… too hot weather for us.. There was still snow along side the Road when we went through the passes in the Mountains.. ( we went June 10)
    I am from OHIO.

  37. 43
    Kim Lambertz says:

    Wow! Sorry you had that happen to your car, pretty scary!
    I have lived in Colorado in a couple of places and loved it (I was from Chicago as well so I can identify with the shock of seeing the mountains for the first time!)
    Thanks for the travelogue and pics!

  38. 44
    Mary says:

    We took a trip to Yellowstone when our children were in middle school, as adults they still say it was the best vacation ever. Glad you had such a great time.

  39. 45

    This is SO COOL! Thank you so much for sharing all of this. I’ve never been out in that part of the country. All I know of Yellowstone National Park is from those old Yogi the Bear cartoons. It looks absolutely otherworldly! Very freaky about the lightning hitting your car, but it sounds like you guys took it in stride as just another part of your adventure. Glad you’re safe and sound.

  40. 46
    Anita says:

    Wow, so beautiful. My family and another family are going on to Yellowstone and grand Tetons in August. I didn’t make reservations for the chuck wagon BBQ, would you recommend it?

    • 60
      Faith says:

      I would! It was a lot of fun to ride in the wagon and the food (all you can eat ;)) was also great. My kids aren’t really steak eaters, but did eat a couple bites and some chicken. So probably the cost of their ticket was more for the ride and less for the food. :)

  41. 47
    Karen Downs says:

    What a great trip! Several years ago we drove with our 3 kids and my mom from Washington DC to Yellowstone (many stops on the way out and way back). We all think it was the best family trip we have taken.

  42. 48
    Karrie Ann says:

    Thanks for the post of Wyoming. It brings back memories of our family’s trip to Wyoming and Montana a few years ago. What a beautiful place.

  43. 49
    Sue Moore says:

    Thank you so much for sharing the photos & news. I’m from Australia & certainly don’t get to see anything like Yellowstone or Bison! You sure know how to start a holiday though! Glad know one was hurt :-)

  44. 50
    Patricia H says:

    What fabulous photos of a wonderful trip! Thanks for sharing!

  45. 51
    Candy says:

    I lived right outside Yellowstone for five years. First first child was born there. I love that place and loved seeing your pictures. Special place. Thanks for the memories. Candy

  46. 52
    kristie says:

    WOW! These images are absolutely gorgeous…this makes me want to plan my own vacation!

  47. 53
    Nancy says:

    Hi, Faith!

    My sister receives your blog. She sent it to me because it reminded her of the trip she and her boyfriend took with us right after Labor Day in 2011. They drove to Indian Creek, IL from MD and we all flew to Bozeman together. We loved sharing one of our favorite places with them! My husband and I are Yellowstone enthusiasts especially in the winter when we go wolf watching. Our favorite place to stay is Silver Gate (not Cooke City) just outside the northeast entrance to the park. Besides the scenery there, it is close to the Lamar Valley for wolf watching. The Beartooth Cafe in Silver Gate has great food…I love their trout dish. Should you return to YNP and it is not winter, then you must drive the Beartooth Highway and the Chief Joseph highway for spectacular views. Each would take a day to do and best done on sunny days. Silver Gate has several VRBO’s to choose from depending on the number of people/bedrooms needed. Enjoyed your blog and pics. Sorry about your car mishap, but glad no one was hurt.

    • 61
      Faith says:

      Hi Nancy – we happened to drive Beartooth on the way out! I was terrified!! lol Such a wimp. :) My husband loved it though, snow and all. I just read on the news it closed Tuesday night again for a snow storm.

      Here’s a few pictures from that drive:

      • 79
        Nancy says:

        Thanks for sharing those, Faith. I agree that the Beartooth can be scary in spots…I imagine more so when you experience it with snow like you and your family did! The second time we drove it in August we only had to contend with lots of motorcycles since Sturgis was happening around that time. Good luck with any future trips you go on with your family.

  48. 54
    Michelle says:

    I loved seeing all of your pictures!
    My family has decided that we like National Parks better than Disney, too!
    When my daughter was 6 yrs old she said (at Disney World) “I wish we could find a big grassy space to just play chase, or run around — and I haven’t seen anything like that here.” So we took that to heart and have gone on a few National Park trips since then — MUCH better vacations!

  49. 55

    Wow! These are gorgeous photos. I love that you captured the bison scratching his back in the dirt. Like a big cat! The blue and orangey-yellow of that geyser are amazing. And all those animals? What a wonderful family trip. Thanks for sharing.

  50. 56
    Kimberlier says:

    Thank you for sharing! I am going to bookmark this. My little ones are three and one so hopefully, in a few years, we’ll try this. I have awesome memories of Yellowstone when my grandparents took me. I can not wait to do the same. Thanks!

  51. 57
    Kristin S. says:

    Awesome photos and as for the lightning – it’s a great story to tell! I grew up an hour north of Yellowstone and have been to the park a hundred times. I love the spring/early summer best because of all the baby animals. We visit family in MT every summer (I’m in MN) and last year we “swung through” the park (in 6 hours!) and drove the Beartooth Highway on the way home. This year, we’re going through Banff, Jasper (Canada) and Glacier NP on the way see relatives. Couldn’t agree more that it beats a theme park anyday. :)

  52. 63
    anna says:

    What an awesome trip (well, minus the car troubles). The pictures are just beautiful! I loved going out west as a kid. We went a few years ago with the girls, but it would be even better now that they’re a bit older!

  53. 64
    Tiffany says:

    Those are some awesome photos. I’m glad you had such a great time! Those are some of our favorite places to visit and we even have a car story to almost match yours. Although I must admit NOTHING beats being struck by lightning…

  54. 65
    Sandy says:

    Your photos brought back so many memories of our family’s “Out West” trip to Jackson Hole, the Tetons, and Yellowstone many years ago! Thanks for posting them!

  55. 66
    Toni Arnold says:

    Thank you for your wonderful post. I worked at Old Faithful Inn the summer of ’57 so many pictures brought back memories. I’m so glad you enjoyed it after your horrific experience in NE. We’ve had more than our share of storms here, some resulting in loss of life, property and livelihood. Come back again and we’ll be kinder.

  56. 67
    paula says:

    wow! What an amazing trip! My boyfriend and I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon this year…..I had never been before and it was an amazing adventure! I’m so inspired by the beautiful national parks you visited….we vowed to do more hiking out west in other parks next year.

  57. 68
    Jeifner says:

    That sounds like the most ideallic trip (sans car drama of course). It’s one of those the kids will remember and love forever. So much beauty! I don’t live all that far away from Yellowstone and I’ve never been, one day… Maybe in the winter :)

  58. 69

    Isn’t Yellowstone amazing?! My husband and I saw it for the first time two years ago when we were looking at Cheyenne for his work. We’re planning on going again very soon. It’s the most gorgeous and grand countryside I’ve ever seen. And glad that the Cheyenne Subaru dealership helped you out. They’re very nice people there. :-)

  59. 70
    Dottie says:

    Wow – what memories for me. In 1961 ( yes, 1961), my best friend and I drove from Massachusetts to California, via Yellowstone. We had just graduated High School and she was moving to the “Left Coast” as we call it. So here we are at Old Faithful Inn, in the smallest, hottest room they had, dressed in shorts and sleeveless shirts for July 4th and it snowed like the dickens!!! Met a very nice lady at the check in desk, she was very old…..like 40…LOL… and turns out she lived about two streets away from me at home. Widowed very young, and spent summers in Wyoming and winters in Florida, working at resorts. Anyway, it was a great trip, our first adventure and we just loved it. Now we are all married and have grandchildren and a couple of great grands. Where did that time go? So tickled you had that wonderful vacation with your family. Keep doing it – there’s so many places to see here in the USA

  60. 71
    Barbara Hill says:

    You win the super cruise director award! All your planning made it such a wonderful vacation for your family. That Bison was doing what thousands of Bison have been doing forever wallowing. I think that’s what it’s called. We still have wallow holes(sunken depressions, some really large like a whole herd decided to do it) on the landscape hundreds of years since the bison were here. Your kids should remember this vacation for a long time.

  61. 72
    Patti says:

    Faith,
    Yellowstone is the most amazing family vacation ever I think!
    I am sitting in bed sharing these pictures with my hubby as we just did this with our 4 children last year. We rented a 34 ft RV and LOVED ever minute of it. I think we did everything you did but since our kids are a little older we whitewater rafted in big sky Montana and zip lined in the mountains there too. We also did the horseback guided tour in Yellowstone which was so fun and interesting . I never realized all the guysers there either as I was little when I went as a kid.
    I love following you as I am inspired by your work and consider you a bloggy “friend” since we don’t live too far away as I am 1/2 hr from Chicago in northwest Indiana and don’t have any younger quilty friends. Thanks for sharing your life and your talent with me!
    Glad you made amazing memories!

  62. 73
    Lisa E says:

    Great vacation description! I even enjoyed the Subaru lightning story because there was a happy ending. Now I want to visit Yellowstone!

  63. 74
    Vivien Zepf says:

    I grew up in the Chicago area and vividly remember going to Yellowstone and the Teton as a child; I can understand your reactions to these beautiful parks! My passion for these places hasn’t diminished. Both our daughters have attended Teton Valley Ranch Camp, an incredible camp (that has a boys session and a girls session) with no electronics, but lots of campfires, pack trips, and hiking in the Tetons. My son, who never got out of school early enough to go to TVR, has nonetheless enjoyed the fly-fishing trips we’ve taken before picking up the girls from camp. I believe your children will thank you for introducing them to nature this way!

    P.S. Glad you were all safe after the lightning strike!

  64. 76
    Kathie M says:

    I love Yellowstone (and live in the Chicago area as well!) and actually went to the University Of Montana in Missoula. We spent many a summer out there camping at Bridge Bay (my parents were teachers, so summers off!). Another great time to go is early fall…the weather is still good (usually) and the facilities are all open. Did you get the kids signed up for one of the ranger hikes? Those were always a ton of fun (no parents allowed)!
    We’re headed out there this fall with my four year old – It’ll be his first trip west. Staying in West Yellowstone in a condo (less than in park prices and washer/dryer and full kitchen). :D
    Also, if you ever make it back out there, the pizza at the K-Bar in Gardner is great after a day of hiking. And you should check out Chico Hot Springs in Pray, MT.

  65. 77
    Sophie in WY says:

    So glad you enjoyed your vacation! I live in Cody, WY which is near a different entrance to Yellowstone but love seeing your beautiful pictures. Sometimes I take for granted the lovely scenery around here. Some of the trails in Yellowstone are pretty arduous, I’m impressed your kids did so well!

  66. 78
    Danielle Monique says:

    I am so glad you made it to my part of the world. I live in Alta, WY (west side of Tetons, called Teton Valley) and work in Jackson, WY. It is a beautiful place, thank you for reminding me of what I can at times take for granted.

  67. 80
    Cat says:

    OMG! How scary to have your car struck by lightening! I’m glad you were all fine! I love the country you visited! (I’m a Westerner) I was married in a little log cabin church in the Tetons.

  68. 81
    Ben says:

    We just got home from Yellowstone and GTNP — we had a great time, and sounds like you did too (except for the lightning — I’ve never heard of a car being struck like that. Glad you were all safe.)

  69. 82
    melissa says:

    I loved seeing all the pictures and reading how your trip was. I can’t believe you got hit by lightening. Yikes! Glad you all had a great time.

  70. 83
    Anne Gow says:

    Hello Faith! I really enjoyed reading about your visit to Yellowstone as it brought back memories of the amazing holiday my husband and I experienced last year. After years as a Geography teacher in Australia, I had always wanted to see some of the places in the USA that I had read and taught about. So last September we spent 4 weeks in a rented car, driving 4000 miles through 12 national parks (plus a 14 hour trans-Pacific flight!). We saw so much wonderful scenery but it was Yellowstone that was the stand-out for me. Thank you for sharing your photos and your experiences – quilting is a great source of joy to me but great scenery and adventurous travel is pretty good too!

  71. 84

    Hi,
    thank you for sharing this beautiful pics.
    Greetings Olga from Germany

  72. 85
    Nina says:

    You are sooo lucky ( although not about the car. Glad you are ok!). I’ve been to Yellowstone TWICE and never seen a bear, never mind cubs! we did stay at some cabins (had all modern conveniences) except when you would open the door and a huge buffalo would be RIGHT THERE. National parks are so amazing! I’m off to Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon & Arches National parks in a few weeks and I can’t wait!

  73. 86
    Lisa says:

    I’m having deja vu! Yellowstone is one of my favorite places! We drove our kids there from Baltimore one summer. The very first day we got to Ohio and the transmission died in our van. We got towed to a fantasic dealership and were back on the road the next day. It was an awesome trip. Every family should do it.

  74. 87
    Kris P says:

    What a wonderful vacation! I love how you describe your wish for a vacation that is more ‘real’. I totally agree with you. The wonders of nature are so much more amazing than anything man-made.
    Our first trip to Yellowstone, was 5 years ago when our girls were 5 and 7. I’m amazed at how much they recall.
    This year, we stopped through Yellowstone on our way to Seattle(from MN). We were unable to see Mammoth Springs last trip, due to road closures and time constraints. We had hoped to drive Beartooth Pass, but ran into the snowstorm and closure on June 16th that you mentioned above in the comments. My husband was really disappointed. I guess it means another trip to Yellowstone in the years to come!
    So glad you enjoyed the wonders of nature.

  75. 88
    Beryl Teasdale says:

    Thank you so much for your detailed and interesting travelogue. It taught me so much that I didn’t know about Yellowstone. As I live in the UK I will not get to see any of these sights at my age. I am lucky enough to live in a beautiful part of Wales where we do have mountains but not on that scale! There is also a historical tradition of quilting here. I keep checking back to your blog as I enjoy the modern style quilts. Thanks again.

  76. 89
    Pat says:

    Fabulous pics! I’m insanely jealous, missing the mountains.

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