We woke up and hung out a bit in the RV while it was still cold outside (on Thursday, the 12th) . I brought out one of our new games for the trip, Operation, while Mike went to make sure we were all set for another night at camp. He came back to tell us there was a buffalo right in the middle of our camp ground, so we hopped in the car to check him out safely. It was cool to get so close to it.
Then we were heading out to see Old Faithful and a couple other sites along the way. We stopped to look at a petrified tree that was anti-climatic since it was all fenced off. Since you couldn't touch it, it just looked like an old tree and the kids couldn't quite grasp what we were explaining to them.
We kept heading heading down the road and came to a bridge that was being blocked off by rangers. After a couple minutes they let us cross and we noticed a ranger looking up on the hillside along the road where we spotted a baby black bear. It was so teeny and cute. We drove up a bit and then turned back around to see if we could get a better look.
We were stopped again at the bridge and sat watching for a minute. Then we spotted the mom and another baby at the opposite side of the bridge. Eventually a ranger came and told us we had kind of figured out on our own...the one baby had been separated from the mom and the other baby and the rangers were trying to keep people away while they were reunited. Since the bears were likely to be highly stressed in this situation the rangers really wanted to be sure people kept their distance. It was pretty cool to see the whole thing and eventually the one little baby ran across the bridge and was reunited with his family. We definitely felt like our time at Yellowstone was complete after the bear sighting!
Eventually we made it to Old Faithful and actually had pretty good timing. We only had to wait about 25 minutes for the next eruption. The kids weren't that impressed, and honestly, although I'm glad we went, I was more impressed by the sheer number of geysers we passed on the way there.
We had planned on stopping and walking through some of the other cool trails we had passed on our way to Old Faithful, but we were all starving, and the kids were driving us crazy, so we decided to find a quiet spot for lunch instead.
Feeling much better after lunch, we stopped to check out some waterfalls...I have no idea what their names were.
On our way back to camp Mike spotted a car pulled over checking out something in the water, so we had to check it out too. Turns out it was a little hot spring coming out and going into the bigger creek. People had rocked off a little area where the two waters met and created a nice warm little pool. The kids loved it and didn't want to leave...especially Preston.