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The Great Outdoors

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S: The Droubays' Fantastic Fall Adventure September 2011

BC: The foolish person seeks happiness in the distance; the wise person grows it under their feet. | -James Oppenheim

FC: The Droubays'Fantastic Fall Adventure | or BUST!!! | September 2011 | Martin's Cove | Rock Creek Hollow | Yellowstone | Wyoming

1: Itinerary | The Stops | 1 Motorhome, overcab window included 2 adventurous grandparents 3 wild and spastic grandkids 2 parents, armed with humor and grit 1 stinky pillow, 6 regular pillows 1 nearly-empty bottle of mayo 2 wood dowels to keep the windows shut -- 2 copies of The Help 1 loaf Zucchini bread bottomless snacks and goodies | Rock Creek Hollow | Martin's Cove | Yellowstone | * | * | * | * | Our Sweet Ride | Ingredients for an Unforgettable Road Trip | mix and enjoy!! | oops!... forgot those! | SRD

2: Thursday | Martin Handcart | While on our Stake Trek this summer, Richard, Ryan, and I discussed the possibility of bringing the kids back to experience some of the areas we were trekking. We felt it was important for them to have the opportunity to see what we saw, do some of what we did, and feel what we felt. Also, for weeks prior to our July Trek, Carson prayed repeatedly for "Mom and Dad's twek family." I was really impressed by his and Annie's desire to meet and interact with our Trek family and even more taken back by how he and Annie seemed to revere (in their own way) the experiences we were going to have. It felt imperative to me to bring them here NOW, give them these experiences NOW, so that they could catch the wave, so to speak, of our excitement, respect, and gratitude for our Trek experiences. So, we hopped in the motorhome at midnight, and headed off to Alcova, WY, home of the Martin Handcart Vistors Center. | River Crossing | Devil's Gate | Martin's Cove | Visitors Center

3: Richard and Ryan drove through the night. Grandma, the kids, and I got to snooze. At one point, we pulled in to gas up. The lights under the filling canopy woke Rhett, and he turned to me and smiled. It reminded me of how excited I used to get when I was a kid on roads trip to Texas. We continued on our way. I awoke just as the sky was beginning to lighten. As we slowed to turn I could see Devil's Gate in the distance and I was overcome. I felt SO grateful and SO happy to be there again, and even more thrilled that those amazing feelings I remembered had come right back to me. What a joy and a relief to know that I hadn't imagined how truly awesome it was the first time... We rested until the Visitors Center opened. Then we stepped out into the brisk air and began our long-awaited and much-anticipated adventure. | Sarah Loader is my great-great grandma. She was a member of the Martin Handcart Company. I trekked for her back in July. | William Bell is my great-great grandpa. His daughter, Sarah Rebecca (my namesake), married Sarah Loader's son, Rolla Harris.

4: As soon as we entered the first building, one of the missionaries handed the kids a little booklet which had a building, description, and place for a stamp on each page. The deal was if they got all the stamps, they would get a treat at the end. The kids were sold on this idea, and we suddenly found ourselves on a quest. However, there was a ton to see. The kids enjoyed the museum, which housed a listing of all the members of the Martin Company, as well as the above statue. Annie was mesmerized by this. They also toured Pioneer Park, where there were quotes from Company members, describing different experiences during the entire journey.

5: Here is Annie, modeling a "prairie diamond." At the Blacksmith's Shop, one of the missionaries told the story of a pioneer suitor who fashioned a "diamond ring" for his intended out of a horseshoeing nail. He made one for Annie, for me, and for Carson. I took one look at the washing machine and bathtub (pictured here) and was very grateful to not be a pioneer. Here are Annie, Carson, and Rhett looking adventurous at Fort Seminoe, where we learned about Dan W. Jones, who Ryan trekked for back in July

6: The kids were really excited to have their own kid-sized handcart to use to travel from building to building.

7: Some must push and some must pull . . . | . . . and others get to ride !!!

8: Sweetwater River | Handcart Trade-in | Loaded up & ready | Grown-up Handcart Time | After we finished our tour of the pioneer village, we turned in the kiddie-sized handcart and got one just like the pioneers had. We had a sandwich (and pickle) lunch and then headed out. Our first stop was the Veil Bridge. The view of the Sweetwater is taken from this bridge. We couldn't believe how far down the water was compared to what it had been back in July. I love the Veil Bridge because of what it represents. It has been said that when you are trekking for someone, it is on this bridge that this person joins you. Annie was so cute, she kept hoping that John Rowberry would join us for our trek that day. Perhaps he did.

9: Mom & Dad & kiddos | Grandma & Grandpa | Smile! | Hydrate! | the cutest cargo

10: Hike to Devil's Gate

11: "I liked Devil's Gate because of all the beautiful places and the baby waterfall" --Annie "My super super super most funnest part was when we kept hiking and hiking farther, and we saw the tiny waterfall" --Carson

12: The | Statues | the kids were really interested in the details of the statues. . . the facial expressions of the children | haunting | breathtaking | &

13: Martin's | Cove

14: After our hike to Devil's Gate, we were trying to figure out the easiest route to take the handcart to the statues and Martin's Cove with three little children, who although they'd been troupers so far, were tired and probably not up for five more miles. The missionaries said that because there was hardly anyone there (and we were sworn to silence on this --so shhh, don't tell), they would drive us wherever we wanted to go on their ATVs. The sister missionary drove us to the statues, all the way into Martin's Cove, and then she took us to cross the Sweetwater in the same location we crossed back in July. | Our River Crossing

15: The kids had seen the pictures of our July river crossing, when the water was swift and up to my shoulders. As you can see, Carson in particular was pretty nervous. However, as we crossed, it became evident that they would be just fine and they were able to cross by themselves and they really enjoyed it. | While waiting for our ATV, a sister missionary was talking with us about our experiences back in July and what has become known as the "third rescue." This refers to what often happens in the lives of those who go on trek. As we re-experienced Martin's Cove, the pioneer village, and the river crossing, I couldn't help but reflect on how much trek affected me. I can only hope that being there has left some sort of impression on them. I hope they remember. . .

16: On to Rock Creek Hollow for the night. . . | *This page brought to you by the Pillow Pet. As you can see, they are really great for travel. | "I did NOT like The Oxbow Incident" --Sarah

17: Friday | Carson and his "noculars" | WATCH | OUT FOR | TICKS | !!! | Checking out the sights

18: Rock Creek Hollow | retracing steps

19: This picture (left) is very special to me because it sums up my experience here. Rock Creek Hollow is a very special place, and although Rhett couldn't really understand it, I think he could feel it. He kept insisting that I hold his hand. "Ah hole hann." It warmed my heart to think that maybe he was feeling something special and wanted to share his experience with his mommy. | Rock Creek is sacred and holy ground . . . How tremendous their heroism in the face of odds that are almost impossible to understand. . . . In terms of self-sacrifice, in terms of courage, in terms of faith, in terms of facing up to adversity, there is no greater example in the history of this nation . . . We have a great inheritance. . . a tremendous responsibility to live up to it. God bless us to be faithful, to be true to that which meant so much to those who died here. ~Gordon B. Hinkley

20: We LOVE Rock Creek Hollow because | The Fam | Brave Grandparents | The Trekkers | Annie on the Bridge | Beautiful

21: of the Spirit that we feel there. | Ryan and Carson | Down by the river | Annie's yellow rock | More Sweetwater | Cute Daddy

22: oment s | M | Rock Creek Hollow holds many simple but sweet memories for us. For one thing, the kids kept picking up rocks as though they knew this was a special place and wanted to take a piece of it with them. I also couldn't help but notice how the scenery had changed since July. And I wondered how different the landscape looked in the winter of 1856 during that blinding blizzard. | the smallest visitor

23: cherish | to | It was also impossible to not reflect on our previous experiences here. This was the site of our "rescue" and the end of our 14-mile trek over Rocky Ridge. Never has a stretch of road filled me with such happiness & relief as did the one behind us in the picture above. It was also weird to see the campground without the field of tents that made me cry for joy. Though they are gone now, the feelings remain.

24: Well, we left Rock Creek Hollow and headed off in the direction of Jackson, WY. We passed through the Wind Rivers area and saw lots of fly fishermen. There was also some rain and beautiful mountain scenery. As you can see, Annie and Grandma had the same idea and had a nice restful read. Ryan and Grandpa were our trusty drivers, & Carson our up-top lookout. Rhett divided his time between the top and his carseat, which had buckles for when he was too squirmy and grumpy. They all had little catnaps and it was a really enjoyable ride. As for the Ziggy pillow, it speaks for itself. We were happy to see it also made the journey. | On the Road Again. . .

25: "I liked reading books with Grandma with our knees up." --Annie "I liked being in the campow." --Carson "Uh Hauw." --Rhett

26: YELLOWSTONE!! | Well, Jackson must have been so much fun that we forgot to take pictures: Forgot to take a picture of the strawberry jeweled keychain that Annie didn't get to buy, pictures of the rain we thought we'd have to walk around in, pictures of the 25 or so blocks we walked to find a place for dinner that wasn't 35 bucks a person, pictures of the yummy pizzas we waited 20 minutes for before realizing they forgot us (actually just me. . .), pictures of the peaceful pinecone-filled campsite at Colter Bay where we stayed for the night, and pictures of the beautiful Teton mountains which were actually hiding behind low clouds. We did have fun, however, flexing our shopping muscles for West Yellostone later the next day. | Saturday | "I just liked the Yellowstone part" --Annie

27: J | unior Ranger | Program | Enrolling in the

28: September 2011

30: So the first thing we did when we entered the park was get Annie and Carson signed up for the Junior Ranger Program. We had a slight suspicion that only one of them would complete the program. We were correct. After that, we headed to Old Faithful where we got to watch the geyser erupt, and then we spent some time in the old lodge, shopping and reminiscing. Then we stopped at Midway Geyser Basin and as soon as we got our shoes on, coats zipped, and got halfway out on the walkway, it started to rain. Hard. So, we decided to head to West Yellowstone.

31: On our way out of the park, we came across three elk cows and a nice 6-point Elk Bull. Or was it 7 points? This was a topic of much debate. In the end, we decided it was 6 points. Super cool though, to look at through the spotting scope. We also passed two bison out for an afternoon stroll through the park. In the emergency lane. Then we headed to West Yellowstone and did some serious retail damage (well, in the Christmas ornament and fudge departments, that is). Because it was Richard's birthday, he chose where to eat for dinner and it was super yummy. After a little more shopping, (and no luck finding the bejeweled strawberry key chain we saw in Jackson), we headed back to the camper for some much needed rest. And a quality showering experience.

32: Motorhome Moments | "Zzzz" --Rhett | Ryan tries to extract Annie's pressed penny | Mom successfully extracts Annie's pressed penny | "My favorite moment was being smashed and pressed up against the cold motorhome window and having somebody tell me to shove over because she was on the edge of the bed" --Ryan

33: Sunday | Grandpa at the wheel | A bucket of KFC and a few hours to spare = a very scrumptious and enjoyable Sunday drive through the park | Dad's hat | "I liked going to the church which was so short" --Annie

34: "And the huge HUGE waterfall at the waterfall place. Huge huge huge and the green part of the waterfall. Why does water have white stuff on it?" -- Carson

36: Final Interview | THE PATCH!! | Annie Droubay | Junior Park Ranger Yellowstone National Park | Introducing. . .

37: Carson and Grandma LOVED the retro Yellowstone bus.

38: Sweet

39: Walking With Grandma

40: I spy with My Little eye . . . | - a Scoontsie in the mist - a chipmunk -a Rhett waiting in the camper -a grandpa waiting too -a camper waiting for us -a mud burp -a silly boy -a silly girl -a final 6-point as we left the park -- woo hoo | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0

41: 0 | 0 | 0 | Well, here we are at the Artist Paint Pots. This was a really cool place as there were lots of hot spots. We were going to just walk around a little and then we decided to do the full loop and were so glad we did. At the top, there were all sorts of boiling mud pots, which were really interesting to watch. And, on the way back down, we hiked through some really pretty areas with trees and it was beautiful. We also enjoyed viewing the motorhome parked in the distance with a certain grandpa and a "napping" Rhett waiting for us. . . | 0

42: Artist Paint Pots | An aerial view

43: pretty cool . . . or HOT rather. . .

44: Christmas | Ornaments | 2011 Family | Rock Creek Hollow 2011 | Etched on a rock we found there | to commemorate the 6 - point elk we saw . . . twice . . . | . . . because this trip was ALL about the ornaments . . .

45: to remember the photographer who just kept snapping and snapping pictures!!! | random West Yellowstone find honoring the time Annie's dad "joked her." | A surprise bonus ornament Lynne found after we got home. It takes the cake. It is a perfect reminder of the MacDaddy of all road trips!

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  • Title: The Great Outdoors
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