I start to stir a bit. The sun is awake. It is sneaking into my van. I slowly open my eyes and notice it has become day. We have been waking so early every day that it feels like 6:00 am is sleeping in. I am happy because I wake up next to my entire world. My loving wife. I spend half of my life away from home. So to have as much time as I have had on vacation with my family has been like a dream. I even start feeling a little guilty that I am not at work. Like I’m not doing what needs to be done. I just lay there for a bit enjoying the moment. I start to get up wondering if Aaron has awaken yet. I open the fridge and pull out the potatoes that I shredded the night before. Start the stove and begin cooking. I look out and Aaron is starting the BBQ. I bring him the bacon and he begins the pancakes as well. We are finishing the last of the food. We are impressed that even the last mornings food is still good. We have succeeded in keeping 10 people fed. Three or more meals a day. For eight days out of coolers and a mini fridge. We ate amazing too. Like this morning. Hash browns, bacon and pancakes. All our dinners have been incredible and the sandwiches for lunch were real dagowoods. Non of this Chinsey PBnJ junk. The rest of our clan starts moving around as the smell of breakfast fills the camp. Soon everyone is up and eating. Even the teens voluntarily wake before 7:00 am. Our goal has been reached. We were hoping to turn their schedules around since school starts 1 day after we finish our vacation. After everyone eats we clean up, pack up and we decide to take our time leaving Yellowstone but leave we must. Today we travel through Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Wyoming. By nights end we have to be home. It’s our last day away. Even though it has been an amazing time everyone has good reason to get home and are even a little antsy.
We are enjoying the slow pace as we drive and notice a lot of activity up ahead. We slow even more and to our surprise Tristen yells “it’s Wolves.” Amber looks out across the plains and says “I think he is right. Where are the binoculars?” She looks through and it is a wolf. It’s running along a little ridge then drops behind.
We park, get out and look everywhere for more. I suggest we drive over the null and see if we can see it on the other side. We load up and mosey to the other side. Sure enough three black wolves off in the distance about a mile out.
The have a kill and are loving life. All of a sudden the Yellowstone Safari tour shows up. They pull out every kind of spotting scope and binocular you could imagine. He is telling the group all about the wolves and how rare it is that we get to witness this activity. It rarely happens this close to the road where we get to enjoy it. I hear commotion coming from across the street behind us and see a white wolf running towards us. I tell my group and the tour group. We all watch as she runs right past us not 50 feet away towards the three black male wolves.
A little while passes and the tour guide invites us into his group for no charge offering the kids a chance to see the Cubs through his spotting scopes. The kids don’t even realize the chance they have just had. I tip the guide generously as he didn’t even ask for anything. He try’s to refuse but of course I insist. We didn’t pay for the tour yet he gave my kids an unforgettable experience anyway. Thank you Yellowstone Safari Tours. We hesitantly leave knowing we have a lot of ground to cover. In a daze we leave Yellowstone. And enter right into Grand Teton National Park.
Stopping for a restroom break and I notice my gray water tank is about to fall out from under my van. So again it’s Aaron to the rescue. After about a half an hour he has us back on the road. Because of the debacle we don’t have time for a hike but it is the closest park to our home. We know we will be back soon. We stop at the discovery center, browse for a while. It’s setup kind of like a small museum. We gather our kiddos and back on the road to Jackson. Stopping for BBQ then a walk on the boardwalks through the downtown area.
When all of a sudden it’s a real life showdown right in the center of town. Through the summer the town of Jackson puts on a shoot out every day at 6:00pm. And we got to witness it.
The kids loved it. After some more shopping and ice cream we decide it’s time to roll on. We fuel up as the sun has now set and and my wife finishes the drive home. We don’t arrive until 2:00 am. Every one terribly exhausted barely climbs out of there seats only enticed by the thought of their own beds. Finally we are home. And the feeling is incredible!