A Little Fresh Mountain Air Therapy

We spent the week of July 4th visiting one of the most beautiful natural landscapes I have ever seen: Yellowstone.  I expected it to be great, but having spent a lot of time in the mountains, I didn't expect it to be that different than the other wonderful places we have frequented.  Boy was I wrong.  It was absolutely stunning, unlike anything else I have ever experienced.

Let me back up.  Yellowstone is about a 10-11 hour drive from us here in Denver and we decided to make a proper road trip out of it.  We were under no illusions that we were going to find any big tourist towns/cities in Wyoming, but we are game for exploring cute small towns, so we began researching towns that were about halfway to Yellowstone.  We ended up stopping in Riverton on the way up.  Cute little town, but apparently everything is closed on Sundays... which also happened to be the day we arrived.  We found one restaurant open for dinner (thank goodness!) before going for a little drive around the area.  The next morning we found a super cute coffee shop to grab a quick breakfast for the road.  The owner was an older gent who gave us a little tour of the coffee roaster in the back (sounds creepy, but he was a super sweet grandpa-like man!).  He gave us a really good impression of what the people were like there.

Wyoming also had a lot more rolling hills than we expected, and of course we had the promise of the mountains looming in the distance.  We drove the final 4 hours on Monday morning before landing at our final destination: The Old Faithful Inn.

Instead of trying to tell you how amazing it was, I will let the photos speak for themselves...  and I apologize in advance for the photo bonanza (overload) that follows..

long drives require lots of caffeine... 

blurry husbands...

the stunning, rustic Old Faithful Inn.

nightly live music, including two of my favorite instruments: piano and violin.

 the one and only, old faithful.

the view from our room when we checked into our hotel. 

early morning lake views. 

just missed spotting three wolves. super disappointed we didn't get to see them. 

playing spot the wildlife... 

beautiful crystal clear water. 

misleading the guys to a "viewpoint" of Grand Prismatic Spring only to find out you couldn't see it from there... 

second times a charm. the breathtaking grand prismatic spring. 

taking some back roads... 

and the creme de la creme... mama bear and two cubs spotted on our last day! 

babes are a bit harder to spot.. 

ah ha! there he is crossing the log. so cute.

tuckered out after all the excitement.. 

a quick visit through grand teton national park on our way home.. 

definitely a first. does one person even qualify as a "town?" apparently so.. 

 lunch in a cute little town on our way home.

 altitude much? 

It was just the mountain adventure we were looking for, and so much more.  Great company, stunning scenery, and fresh mountain air.  Does it get any better?

Chris is now craving the mountains every. single. day.  Literally can't get enough.  :)  So we have been doing lots of hikes to satisfy his craving for higher altitudes.  

I don't know about you, but I plan on taking advantage of a lot more of these fun adventures before the Summer slips away!

Happy Friday!