Sunday, June 24, 2012

Good Bye, Yellowstone!

With about 5 hours to drive today to get to Great Falls, Montana, we decided there'd still be enough time to squeeze in a few more stops in Yellowstone.  We didn't get to Gibbon Falls and Artist Paint Pots in the two previous days, so those were our first two stops.
Our priority for today though, was making sure we headed to a ranger station so Grace could receive her Junior Ranger badge.  The park ranger carefully reviewed her work and asked her questions. 
Here's Junior Ranger Grace!

The park ranger also gave Jeremy a "badge-looking" sticker and he was just as proud of that sticker as Grace was of her Junior Ranger badge.

Next stop was on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  We continued along the rim to try and get as many glimpses as we could.  It's pretty amazing!
On our way out of the park, we went on the same route as yesterday that allowed us to see all of the bears.  Lucky for us, we got one last glimpse of a black bear cub from across the road.
With that, we were on our way!  Here are a few other pictures of our time in Yellowstone:

Such a deceiving picture! They haven't been lovey-dovey like this for most of our trip so far, that's for sure!
We took some backroads to travel from the North Entrance of Yellowstone through Montana to Great Falls.  It was a nice drive, a lot of more mountainous and hilly than what I pictured Montana to be like.  We didn't pass by many homes, but we saw a lot of cows (which goes to show that perhaps it's true- there are more cows in Montana than people).

Tomorrow, we head towards the US-Canada border.  I am very anxious about this crossing, particularly since we found out the night before leaving Fresno that Grace's passport actually expired in May.  In the past few months, I have checked numerous times for the expirations of my own passport and green card (they're both expiring later this year), and I didn't think to check Jason's or our kids' passports.  I'm kicking myself!  We were in an absolute panic the night I finally flipped through them as I was packing for our trip.  We immediately jumped online to see what we could find out.  Both websites of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Canadian Border Services state that children under 15 are allowed to cross the border BY LAND using a birth certificate.  This is an exception because if we were to fly, there are no exceptions and everyone must have a valid passport.  If it crosses your mind, please pray for us- I can't imagine driving all this way to be denied!  Yikes...

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