Our Kids' Blog

Mount St Helens

September 23rd, 2015 by Mommy


Mount St Helens was the most anticipated stop on the trip. Emily was very excited to see a volcano that is still active. Some friends from the Seattle area met us, so that we could visit. It was wonderful to reconnect with the adults and for the little people to enjoy getting to know each other.


The diorama showed the different stages of the eruption and the effects to the local landscape. It was very well done and gave a great perspective of how devastating the eruption was. Emily and her new friend learned an amazing amount of information about the mountain. We visited two different viewing sights with museums and overlooks. We also took one hike to another overlook. We spent about three hours visiting the sites (one of the hours was spent in driving to the second viewing area).


We learned that there is a growing glacier in the crater. Pretty cool and pretty cold. Because we were high enough in elevation we had to bundle up.


Our budding readers enjoyed reading each of the signs aloud on the hike. They wanted to read each word to attentive ears. The kids were “helpful” to correct each others mispronounced words. Both kids will be entering 2nd grade come fall.


They competed in running too.


Thanks Stefan for sharing your photos!


After visiting the mountain we camped at a state park nearby. The rangers assured us that the next eruption would give warnings first, so we would be good for a couple of nights at least.

Posted in Emily Pics, Julia Pics | Comments Off on Mount St Helens

Grand Teton National Park

September 22nd, 2015 by Mommy


Just south of Yellowstone is some of the most beautiful vistas in the country. We had to drive through Teton National Park just to take in the view. We found some wildflowers, beautiful mountains, and water to throw rocks into. The girls were a little less than impressed with this park. We stayed a few hours in the park just soaking it in and then moved on toward our next stop. If we had an extra day to throw in, we would have found a campsite and settled in for the evening.

The one unique thing we found was a litter of coyotes that were living below an old farm house. They were only viewable with binoculars and zoom lenses. The ranger watching over them let us borrow hers so that we could see the little ones. There is always something new to see and do.


our flowers among the wild ones


rocks and water always bring laughter and giggles!

Posted in Emily Pics, Julia Pics | Comments Off on Grand Teton National Park

Yellowstone National Park

September 21st, 2015 by Mommy


Old Faithful in the cool morning

When picking out locations to show Emily the effects of the magma on the Earth, we put Yellowstone high on our list of must see places. The park is huge and has a lot of different examples of active volcanic effects including geysers, boiling mud, and hot springs. We spent several days at Yellowstone so that we could view both the wildlife and the thermal features at a relaxed pace and rest at bit from our mad dash across the US to that point. We stayed at the historic Old Faithful Lodge just steps from a geyser area. From that location we visited some of the other areas of the park. We saw bison, a black bear, a wolf, and an elk. The animal viewing was nothing in comparison to the fall animal displays we have seen in years past, but for the girls it was perfect.


We knew that the weather would still be cool while we visited. Because of the elevation the evenings were still close to freezing. There was still snow in areas and quite a bit of ice on the lakes. We made good use of our coats and sweatshirts. The best hike of the trip was down to a viewing point of the lower falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. We were not sure how the girls would do, but they were willing to give it a try. Before starting back up we discussed the idea of slow and steady to reach the end. Julia took the advice to heart and slow and never-stopping hiked the steep incline to the top. Emily kept right with her. They definitely beat the parents! We were so proud of their effort!


at Castle Geyser – We had passed this geyser earlier in the day and saw the sign with the estimated time for the next eruption. Emily watched the time so that we could go back and see it. She was very pleased when we made it in time.


The all important bison also known as bicey to Julia. The day we entered the park and she saw her first five live-living-free-bison she declared the day to be the “best day ever”.


the Edwards girls all looking at the camera. the girls both picked out matching sweatshirts from the park and loved matching each other.


the only way we could get Julia to take this photo was with Emily promising to hold her up. she was a bit afraid that she would fall backward.


just a silly morning photo of the girls in our rustic room in new jammies.

Posted in Emily Pics, Julia Pics | Comments Off on Yellowstone National Park

Devils Tower

September 20th, 2015 by Mommy


Devils Tower is an old “volcano” that had magma push up into the sedimentary rock, but never had enough pressure to erupt. When the molten magma cooled it left these interesting tube like stands of a granite like rock called Phonolite. Over time the surrounding ground eroded away exposing the tower. Devils Tower National Monument is found in Eastern Wyoming. We spent about 3 hours at the park, but much of that was because we used the Jr. Ranger program to help the girls learn about the tower and surrounding environments.


We walked the 1-1/3 mile hike around the base of the tower seeing it from all the sides. We saw two climbers making an assent to the top. We were really proud of the girls for their good attitudes on the hike and Julia’s willingness to keep going. On the walk the girls completed the workbook requirements for becoming Jr. Rangers at the monument. They were very proud and excited to do this. When we left we spent some time watching a colony of prairie dogs and their antics.

Posted in Emily Pics, Julia Pics | Comments Off on Devils Tower

Mt Rushmore

September 19th, 2015 by Mommy

When traveling we often find hidden themes or repeated things in what we see. Finding granite was one of these repeated things. Mt Rushmore is a very large piece of art chiseled into a granite mountain top. This was the first example of granite we found. Mt Rushmore is found south of Rapid City, SD in the Black Hills.


There had been quite a bit of rain on this travel day, and we were also chasing the sun and extending when our evenings started as we went. The consequence of this was that the girls were way past bedtime and exhausted. They did not enjoy this stop as much as we had hoped. We took the loop walk around to the base of the Presidents and saw some of the museum exhibits. The videos on how they did the carving was pretty interesting to the girls. This was a good opportunity to talk about each of the presidents and what they contributed to our country. The stop took about two hours and was a great way to stretch our legs.

Posted in Emily General, Julia Pics | Comments Off on Mt Rushmore

Badlands National Park

September 18th, 2015 by Mommy


Badlands National Park is located in South Dakota not far off of Interstate 90. At Badlands you will find the examples of the erosive forces of weather and wind on a plateau. The amazing rock formations and colors are accented by the weather and lighting. Grasslands and a herd of bison are also found in the park. We allowed enough time to drive through the park and to see the visitor center, but not for hiking. When we arrived it was between quick moving storms crossing the state. The visit to the visitor center was timed during one of the storms. Over all our visit to park lasted three hours.


a storm is coming!

Our expectations for the park were pretty simple. We needed another stop, vistas for the parents to enjoy, a picnic spot, and a new and unusual landscape to introduce to the girls. We were pleased to find that the girls enjoyed the park a lot. Unlike most parks that expect you to stick to the trail, this park doesn’t mind if you adventure off the path. Emily loved the idea of exploring. Because of the rain we weren’t able to drive into the portion of the park with the bison, but we saw two in the distance. This is a place that Emily wants to revisit.


lunch vista!

Posted in Emily Pics, Julia Pics | Comments Off on Badlands National Park

« Previous Entries Next Entries »