You might've heard that Yellowstone experienced flooding recently. I wasn't worried. Our reservations aren't until the end of July. I had three weeks with multiple (like 3) cabins reserved. I needed to whittle that down before June 15th, or we'd be charged a partial fee for not canceling within 30 days.
As an aside: I reserved these multiple rooms June '21 when we thought the adoption of the two boys would be finalized by now and we needed extra room. Sigh. Also, going back to the pool this year, where I hung out with them every available moment last summer because they loved the pool, has felt a bit odd/sad/different. Wherever they are, are they missing our pool? Everything is fine, but there are times, like when I saw a boy in the grocery store that looked EXACTLY like Harry, that have made me literally freeze.
Anywho, Coach and I sat down Sunday and played our favorite game of who's on first, or in this case - who is staying back to watch Reg play b-ball and then flying out to Yellowstone, and when do we come home. Coach was like CAN WE STAY IN THE PARK FOR ONLY THREE DAYS? Um, no - not going through the challenge of getting there to bail in the blink of an eye.
There isn't a convenient place to fly into Yellowstone, so we decided that I'd drive to Sioux Falls on Sunday the 24th with Lad, Tank, Mini, and Curly. After driving 8 hours, we'd pick up Coach and Reg at the airport.
We discussed an end date. I looked at flights home for Coach, who didn't want to take a week off of work. Flying him home ended up not being feasible.
Freakishly we were out of frequent flyer miles. I bought 25,000 American Airlines miles to the tune of $800 and redeemed them for the Sioux Falls leg of the trip. I wanted to use miles in case ANYTHING happened and we needed to cancel. I've never bought miles. I tend to accumulate them easily by using my credit card for every-dang-thing. Don't worry (if you're like my dad the previous sentence would make you sweat), we pay the balance every month. Not gonna lie, I think traveling for free because our large weekly grocery haul is so costly and adds up to miles is a decent trade off.
It felt like a weight was lifted once the details of the trip were nailed down. I called Yellowstone to update our reservation. Because of the flooding and people calling to see what the story was, it was really hard to get someone on the phone. I left a message on a different line just in case no one ever answered at the reservation line. Eventually I got through and the woman was very helpful.
The next day someone at Yellowstone called me back, saying they'd gotten my message.
Me: I'M ALL SET, I GOT TO SPEAK TO SOMEONE. WHILE I HAVE YOU ON THE PHONE, I GUESS I SHOULD ASK, DO YOU THINK EVERYTHING FROM THE FLOODING WILL BE BACK TO NORMAL BY THE TIME WE GET OUT THERE?
Yellowstone person (YP): OH YES, I BELIEVE SO. SO LONG AS YOU AREN'T STAYING AT MANMOTH OR ROOSEVELT.
Me: OH, UM. WE ARE STAYING AT ROOSEVELT.
YP: OH, CAN YOU HOLD WHILE I VERIFY, BECAUSE I DON'T THINK THAT PART OF THE PARK IS GONNA OPEN THIS SEASON.
I stood in my kitchen about to walk out the door to the pool. My chin was on the floor. My kids were staring at me, because I think I gasped and sputtered a bit. My eyes may have bugged out of my head. She came back to the line and confirmed that that part of the park will not reopen this season.
The last two years when the pandemic cancelled our reservation, Yellowstone sent me a special code so I could reserve before the general public who weren't having a Holy Grail Mission Experience. At this point, the reservations for next summer have already opened and Roosevelt, which is where we've been trying to stay for 5 consecutive years, is booked. There'll be no secret code this year, but I'm sensing a secret message: STAY AWAY. I think we might just have to wave the white flag here. Maybe bring the grandkids one day.
If you haven't followed the saga, or if you have and you no longer
care remember the madness chain of events, I'm creating a timeline to share soon.
On the bright side, I am assuming the universe is talking to us alerting us that a bear attack was imminent. So, look at us . . . winning. Not being mauled by bears.
We've been to Glacier, Estes Park, Mesa Verde, and the Grand Canyon. Other suggestions? Not attempting anything this summer. We just went to Europe and Florida and we just bought a car. I owe you details about Prague, and oh yeah - the story behind the car purchase. I still need to share my plan for the summer, and how that's going. Any guesses? Anyone want to invite my messy, hungry family for a visit? Turns out we have some time the end of July.