Category: camping

The Boiling River

I am finally writing about our favorite parts of our trip to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks. Here is the first place we loved.

When researching the things I wanted to see in Yellowstone, I did what every girl in her twenties would do: I searched Pinterest for every pin even remotely related to Yellowstone. Of course, I created a board to gather all my pins and spent way more time than I’d like to admit searching and reading all the blog posts about the coolest spots and best things to do with a family in the park. Through my search, I found a lot of pictures of people swimming in hot springs in this place called the Boiling River. I knew this was one place I really wanted to explore.

north entranceThe Boiling River is actually part of the Gardiner River. This river is located almost at the North Entrance of the park. Just a little past Fort Yellowstone (If you are coming from the south). There is a little parking area, which will most likely be full of tons of cars, many have to park on the other side of the road or anywhere they can find. It is pretty well packed for a hot springs in the middle of the summer. Once you park, there is a half-mile trail that you must hike to get to the pool, but it is pretty easy and well-maintained.

boiling river1So, How does it work? How are you able to swim in the scalding hot water? Well, at part of the Gardiner River, the boiling hot water from the Boiling River flows into the freezing cold Gardiner River. The water mixes to create a nice hot bath area. Now, don’t be fooled. There are spots where the rushing cold water will get you, while other spots will shoot out really hot water. So, be careful. Rocks have been strategically placed to give a nice wading area. So, the fast rushing river doesn’t take you downstream. Be sure to wear water shoes (those rocks hurt) and don’t put your head underwater (there are signs everywhere telling you not to do this, even though many didn’t listen) since you could get sick from the exposure.

IMG_4604 IMG_4594We enjoyed the nice warm water. Although, I think I would enjoy it more in the fall or spring, when it isn’t too hot outside. But hey, who would ever turn down a chance to swim in a hot spring in Yellowstone?

A camping we will go

We have been waiting all winter long for summer, nice warm weather, the snow to be melted, and a chance to go camping. Since Bri had a four day weekend, we knew this was the perfect opportunity. All week the weather got warmer and warmer. By Thursday the outlook said it would be sunny and 88 degrees. So, we headed out. IMG_3833

We knew the mountains closest to us would still have snow and temperatures that drop into the thirties at night. With Asher, we knew we wanted to find a place that would stay relatively warm at night. So, after a little bit of searching, we found a campsite that looked nice in Ukiah, Oregon. This little town is about 2 hours Northwest from us. There are two ways to get there, taking the main freeway and then cutting across (not a very pretty drive), or to take the backroads through the Blue Mountains (a very pretty drive). We weren’t sure about the snow and if the backroads would be cleared yet, since we know the road up and around Anthony Lakes is not yet open for the season. We decided on the safer route. IMG_3851

Earlier Friday morning we noticed that the weather forecast had changed to 30% chance of rain. Now, the weather forecasters never seem to care about even trying to be accurate when predicting the weather in Eastern Oregon. So, we never can rely on the weather forecasts. It didn’t seem like it would rain when we packed up, so we continued without a care in the world. Well, the moment we pulled out of the garage, the drops began to fall.

It poured until we got there. Then it stopped as we pulled into our campsite. We quickly put up the tent, set up our bed, and got Asher inside before it once again began to rain. It rained without a break until about 7:30. We spent a few hours playing Phase 10, reading, and keeping Asher occupied with toys and selfies. We sure were glad Ash is only 6 months old, having a toddler would be a completely different experience. We probably would have packed up and gone home. IMG_3813IMG_3800

Luckily, the rain really died down after 7:30. We were getting worried we wouldn’t be able to eat dinner. We were able to get out and make dinner, and Zach even got a chance to do a little fishing before the day ended. We finished the evening with a movie on the laptop (which was smart to bring, since it was too wet to make a fire). IMG_3822 IMG_3830

This morning we got up, Zach started a fire, while I made us breakfast. Ash and I even got to watch Zach do some more fishing (even if the fish weren’t biting). There wasn’t any hiking around our campsite, so we decided to head home via the backroads after asking a forest ranger if the roads were clear. IMG_3854

Only in Oregon, would there be highways that are not paved. So, for about 40 miles we traveled a windy, desolate, one-lane gravel road. At times there were giant potholes and fallen trees in our route. It was a beautiful ride. We passed over a few summits, followed a fast-flowing river, and saw many mines. At the end of the road we reached Olive Lake. This was a surprise to us because we were originally planning on camping here with some friends, but the snow blocked the entrance a week ago. We knew they were going to try to get in anyway, so we decided to stop to see if they did. The snow had diminished a lot in the last week, so we easily made the trek up to the lake. It is a beautiful lake that we can’t wait to camp at this summer. IMG_3849IMG_3852

We ended the trip with a stop in Sumpter. They have a huge flea market here every year. We haven’t been since we came out for our interview two years ago. We met up with some friends, walked around, and got some kettle corn. All in all, it was a successful trip full of fun, friends, family, and funny faces!IMG_3846