Yellowstone, day one

Some day I am going to head out of town without any planning and spend a week doing nothing but resting.

Yeah, probably not.  That has all the appeal of a hospital stay for me. I like planning.  I even like over-planning.  I like my days so full that I can't possibly do everything I want to do---and I have to make another visit in the future to try to catch up (and, of course, I never will catch up).

This family vacation to Yellowstone is not so much about relaxation. It's more of a homeschool field trip.  We've been planning our stay here for months, preparing lessons and exploring options.  My goal is to write and work on an outline for my novel. My husband's goals revolve around hiking and being cold. (Norwegian ancestry makes the long, hot summers seem hotter and longer to him). My youngest is working on a unit study of animals. She's writing reports about the animals we've seen and so far she's written many notes about moose, elk, and osprey.  My oldest is working on Yellowstone ecology.  Yesterday we focused on the Yellowstone fires of 1988 as a jumping-off point for an essay she's writing. And middle child? He's working in earnest on his History Day project that isn't due until April.  He's doing a private video blog of his progress and preparing to interview Yellowstone Park Historian, Lee Whittlesey.  The topic for his project is The Hayden Expedition, so we're visiting the areas visited by the expedition as well as planning our time in the archives and the research library.

And yes, for those of you wondering how we left things at home, we did get a farm sitter for the sheep and my sister drove down to stay at our house with my mom.  So everything keeps plugging away at home while we're away. I am ever-thankful for the community of friends and family that keep us moving along on this path.

So. . . yesterday we left before dawn and arrived at our destination near Hebgen Lake by 2:30 or so.


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