Barely a few miles into the park along the Madison River, we spotted a herd of elk. The elk rut is happening now so the males are out trying to secure their harems for the season. In the middle of the picture is a male elk, his females were behind him off to the right of this picture. What made this stop interesting was another younger male elk who was trying to approach. He was hundreds of yards away and coming in slowly. But the male in the picture could see or smell the new male and he was standing guard. After a few minutes, the younger elk got the message he was not wanted and turned around. But the elk who was guarding his females still went after the younger elk. It was about 40 degrees outside and the kids started complaining about being cold so we never got to see what happened between the elk. Mommy really wanted to stay, but happy kids was the priority for this trip.
Our next stop was Firehole Falls. The pictures don't do the colors justice. Everything was starting to turn yellow, gold, and orange for fall. It was gorgeous.
Since the cameras on our cell phones are better than the camera we own, we let the girls have the digital camera for the day. Below are a few that Lily and Annie took while we were at Firehole Falls. They are both great with the camera.
They loved the sounds of the mudpots. The slurps and pops were pretty entertaining.
We made it to Old Faithful about an hour before the next scheduled eruption. It was close to lunch time and the kids were low on energy. We played in the visitor's center and then secured a viewing spot outside.
This was hands down the highlight of our trip. The weather was warm. The lake was beautiful. The sand was soft. We just took off our shoes, laid down on the sunny beach, and let the kids play until they were ready to stop.
By the time we finished at Yellowstone Lake, it was late in the afternoon. We needed to get going if we were going to be home at a reasonable hour. We decided to skip some of the stops we had scheduled so the kids would have energy to walk Norris Geyser Basin.