S: 2011 Yatsko Summer Adventure
BC: 6148.7 miles 23 days 1 awesome trip | Favorite Places: Michael ~ Devil's Tower Marsha ~ Tucson Pablo ~ Lego Land Cleo ~ Yellowstone | Sleeping in the Armpit of America | Bill The Buffalo | Living in luxury at the Mall of America | 38 to 105+ degrees in 5 days | Great exercise - lots of hiking and walking | Star Wars, Angelina Ballerina, and the Backyardigans on the DVD player - falling asleep to educational videos | Super well behaved kids! | Never seeing a plate for Rhode Island... MARGLITZ! | Collecting state quarters | Singing the 50 states song | Kids' first time at a bar - Burger Girl, Dallas | Eating out of the cooler for days | ...and now, thanks to our various hosts, we buy cage-free organic eggs and use our dishwasher. | Buffalo parade down the road in Yellowstone | Pablo learning to do flips into the pool | Cleo doing a perfect dive on her first try | Falconer at the rest area | FRUIT SNACKS -N- ROARIN' WATERS | Constant Debt Ceiling News | "Funny internet videos!" | Johnny Test on the blob | ELF in July | Marsha feeling threatened and nervous at the homeland security highway checkpoint in Texas... "Where are you headed Ma'am?" "Uh, Texas?" | Rolled over 100,000 miles - but forgot to watch the odometer | Breathing in the warm and stinky sulfur wind at the hot springs | Only 1 car puke! | "Mustache cash-stash" | Mommy loves Adele
FC: OUT WEST | SUMMER 2011
1: Good-Bye Camp Hill! | July 2 | The first of many long car ride "pajama" days... DVD activate! | Cereal in the car... | (PA turnpike, ever heard of tables?) | 7 AM - LAUNCH!
2: DESSERT WITH AN OLD FRIEND! | Maumee, Ohio | hotel
3: July 3 | Madison, Wisconsin | CHICAGO! | Willis Tower | Lunch at an awesome bridge over the highway rest area
4: Bloomington, MN | JULY 4 & 5 | LEGO LAND
5: Meet Miss Lilly Innertube! | Build-A-Bear Workshop
7: Nichelodeon Universe, American Girl store, the Mall of America closes early on the 4th of July, Cheese Curds (aka really short cheese sticks), dinner at 2 different food courts, and sparklers in the volcano cake for an early birthday treat!
8: BEST HOTEL EVER!
10: Mitchell, SD | Corn Palace - The exterior decorations are completely stripped down, and new murals are created each year. The decorations are made with CORN! The theme is selected by the Corn Palace Festival Committee and murals are designed by a local artist. But, well, it is just a building with corn stuff for sale inside. Great place for cereal in the car, and we got some ice there too! | July 6
12: The Badlands | July 6
14: Badlands are a type of dry terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively eroded by wind and water. | Crazy log ladder that we climbed up and down - Notch Trail, you are a little bit much for Mommy.
16: WALL DRUG | July 7 | Wonderful! Wonderful!
17: DONUTS! | JACKALOPES! | SPLASH AREA! | FREE WATER!
18: Mount | Rushmore | July 7
19: Carved into the Black Hills of South Dakota are the iconic faces of four former presidents of the United States--George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. And we saw them, and they were cool. We walked around the trail (clockwise) at the base of the mountain, and there were so many stairs - luckily we were going down them.
20: July 7
21: Devil's Tower is a stock—a small intrusive body formed by magma which cooled underground and was later exposed by erosion. Devil's Tower is 867 feet from its base to the summit. It stands 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River and is 5,112 feet above sea level. We walked (counter-clockwise) all the way around the bottom of it. | DEVIL'S TOWER
22: Yellowstone | July 8-11 | Our Cute, Clean, and Cozy Cottage at Mammoth Hot Springs - no bathroom, but next time... | Ice cream and gummy oranges at the General Store!
23: The ground squirrels are members of the squirrel family and generally live on or in the ground, rather than trees. They are able to rise up on their hind legs and stand fully erect comfortably for prolonged periods. It does this whenever it senses nearby danger, or when it must see over tall grasses. The squirrel then curls its paws flat against its chest and sends a screeching call to warn other family members about the presence of predator. This screeching has led to the name "Whistle Pig." They also tend to be far more gregarious than other squirrels, and many live in colonies with complex social structure. Don't feed them, ahem... | Kids LOVE chasing whistle pigs!
24: Oh, give me a home...
25: Coyotes | Black Bear
26: "If the animals sense your presence, then you are too close." | Photo Credit: Michael Yatsko
27: Ah Yellowstone, such lovely memories... gorgeous wildflowers, lots of animals, beautiful weather, Mommy almost getting elked, Pablo and Cleo rushing back to the cabin to tell Mommy how close Daddy let them get to a buffalo, Mommy explaining the dangers of close buffalo encounters, excellent day long bus tour with our guide Tamrak, buffalo parade right down the road, elks-r-us at the Mammouth resort, Daddy feeding whistle pigs, whistle pigs trying to break/sneak into our cozy cottage to find Daddy and get more food, Old Faithful, the Beehive kicking Old Faithful's geyser rump, Bill The Buffalo - the "tame" buffalo as Daddy suggested, lots of languages, sulfur smells, paint pots, Cleo's crazy bug bite foot, Pablo and Cleo running to the bathroom 6 times in a half an hour - because they could go by themselves, picnic lunch by a delightful stream, amazing scenery... going back soon!
28: Mammoth | Hot | Springs
29: The formation was created over thousands of years as hot water from the spring cooled and deposited calcium carbonate. Over two tons flows into Mammoth each day.
31: THE BEEHIVE! | Old Faithful's eruptions can shoot 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of boiling water to a height of 106 to 185 feet lasting from 1.5 to 5 minutes. The average height of an eruption is 145 feet. The highest recorded eruption was 185 feet high. Eruptions occur on average of 90 minutes apart. | Beehive Geyser is a geyser in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone. Eruptions of Beehive Geyser last about 5 minutes and are 200 feet high. The fountain maintains its full height for the duration of the eruption, dropping just slightly near the end. A roaring steam phase concludes the eruption and can be heard a quarter-mile away. The interval between eruptions range from 8 hours to one a day during the summer. | Geysers
32: Hot Springs, Mud Pot, Geyser
38: ARCHES | July 12
40: The forces of nature have acted in concert to create the landscape of Arches, which contains the greatest density of natural arches in the world. Throughout the park, rock layers reveal millions of years of deposition and erosion. These layers continue to shape life in Arches today, as their erosion influences elemental features like soil chemistry and where water flows when it rains. AND there are many nice walks in this park!
44: Durango Colorado | July 12-14
45: He's cute! He's smiley! He's Baby Quinn!
46: Worn out kids! We had so much fun at cousin Allison's house! We loved playing with and holding baby Quinn and doggy Silas. That is Raina resting with Pablo and Cleo on the couch. Ben, Lucas, and Pablo had a super time playing outside at the cookout. Spent time swimming in the chilly cold reservoir and throwing sticks for Silas. Feeding FRENZY at the fish hatchery!
48: Mesa Verde | July 14
50: Petroglyphs Trail a long, hot, tricky hike with some super hiking kids | The cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde are some of the most notable and best preserved in the North American Continent. Sometime during the late 1190s, after primarily living on the mesa top for 600 years, many Ancestral Puebloans began living in pueblos they built beneath the overhanging cliffs. The structures ranged in size from one-room storage units to villages of more than 150 rooms. While still farming the mesa tops, they continued to reside in the alcoves, repairing, remodeling, and constructing new rooms for nearly a century. By the late 1270s, the population began migrating south into present-day New Mexico and Arizona. By 1300, the Ancestral Puebloan occupation of Mesa Verde ended.
52: Petrified wood found in the park and the surrounding region is made up of almost solid quartz. Each piece is like a giant crystal. The rainbow of colors is produced by impurities in the quartz, such as iron, carbon, and manganese. Over 200 million years ago, the logs washed into an ancient river system and were buried quick enough and deep enough by massive amounts of sediment and debris also carried in the water, that oxygen was cut off and decay slowed to a process that would now take centuries. Minerals, including silica dissolved from volcanic ash, absorbed into the porous wood over hundreds and thousands of years crystallized within the cellular structure, replacing the organic material as it broke down over time. Sometimes crushing or decay left cracks in the logs. Here large jewel-like crystals of clear quartz, purple amethyst, yellow citrine, and smoky quartz formed. | Petrified Forest | Puerco Pueblo Ruins
53: July 15
54: Tucson | Tessa! | July 15 - 20
55: Frankie | Dot-Dot | Crazy yard snake that scared Mommy so very much. Daddy threw rocks at it, and then we realized that it was ceramic. Ha-Ha.
56: Always good to be back in Tucson! Hanging out with Miss Tessa, playing with Squinkies, Bianchi's, Bumsteads, Guadalahara, breakfast burritos and donuts at Taqueria el Pueblito, splash park, Bambi, nurse Uncle Sean, super Auntie Cole, Cleo's scared of scorpions, Dairy Queen for picky eaters, found a tarantula after dark at the museum, Mommy read some books, 64 oz fountain Mountain, Daddy heading off at 6:30 AM to skate, pool stunts, karate practice on the mat, visiting the reptile room, watching storm clouds, looking for water in Madera Canyon, at least it is a dry heat...
57: Tortoise Kids! | Desert Museum | Spotting scorpions at night using our blacklights!
58: So Fun!
60: The amazing flying Pablo!
61: Super jumping dunking Cleo!
62: Dallas | July 21-23 | "Big As Your Face" burrito at Chuy's | Running up the picture stairs at Erica and Andy's. Pablo and Cleo both counted the stairs and pictures first thing! | Pablo and The King
64: CLEO'S PICTURES
66: Pablo's Pictures