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Vacation, Pt. 6 (2006-06-08 - 5:23 p.m.)

It has been an interesting couple of days. I've been sick all day today, darn it! I have a theory about why, which I will get later.

Yesterday, we did not, in fact, drive to Cody for the Buffalo Bill Museum, like we had planned to. Turns out Cody is 177 miles away by roads that probably average 45mph or slower. In fact, the only way we could see to get there was to go up through Yellowstone and hang a right. A four hour one way drive!

So, we went up the tram to the top of Rendezvous mountain, which was part of the original plan. It was quite a ride. It goes up somewhere around 4000 ft farther than where we were. It's a spectacular view from up there. Plus there is lots of snow, as evidenced by this photo. I asked Steph to throw the snowball at me for the picture. This is also so that all of you who have been reading about the autism can see who Stephanie is.

We stayed up there for a while, then headed back down to drive on to Yellowstone National Park. One thing, the air is really thin up at the top of the mountain. Climbing even minimal trails and the stairs back up to the tram was challenging. Even people in better shape than I am were huffing and puffing.

The drive to Yellowstone took us back through part of Grand Teton N.P., then up through the John D. Rockefeller Memorial forest. Which was mostly dead from a recent fire. Sad. But most fires in the area are started by lightning.

There was a long line waiting to get into Yellowstone (line of cars). We already had our pass to get in, so we just had to show that to the attendant to get in, but getting to that window probably took us 30 minutes. By this time, it was probably close to 4pm. We drove up the park road, seeing some pretty spectacular canyon terrain, then got to what they call West Thumb. From there, we turned left and arrived at Old Faithful at approximately 5:15. The great thing was that it was predicted to go off at 5:20. It was closer to 5:30, but, wow, what timing! Here is a picture of the geyser going off. It lasted about a minute this time, but that was enough for us to have gotten to see this national landmark.

We tried to get something to eat after this, because the children were hungry. But there was a 40 minute wait for the only restaurant in the area, and it was just a bit unreasonable, price-wise.

So we got some snacks at the general store, then headed on back to Jackson, with plans to get up early Friday and drive back to Yellowstone to see mudpots, falls, and maybe Mammoth Hot Springs.

We got back to Jackson and found a restaurant to eat at at about 8:59pm. They were still seating, so we went in. It was called "The GunBarrel," and boasted steaks and game. Yep. Game! Well, I thought that sounded interesting, so we started with some Buffalo wraps, which were delicious, then I ordered what they called a Mixed Game Platter. It featured Buffalo Prime Rib, Elk Chop, and Venison Bratwurst. The Elk Chop was out of this world delicious. The Buffalo Prime was ok, but too rare for my taste.

Now for the disgusting part. Those of weak stomach orientations might want to skip this part. I was fine until around 2am, when I awoke with a stomach feeling rather badly. I've had this feeling before, and fight though I might, it always ends up the same way. Sure enough, at around 7am, it all came up. Every bit of the dinner. I felt better for a couple hours, then there was more. Now...I'm not 100% sure that the food caused this, but I am 100% sure that I won't eat any more Buffalo Prime Rib, and probably won't eat any more Elk Chops. Just typing this is making me queasy.

It might have been something else, though, because there was a low-grade fever (99.6) along with it. After the second time, I took some advil and began feeling better after a while. However, right now, I'm still not feeling so great. I have basically laid around watching tv and sleeping all day. The most recent temp check was 99.1, after having as low as 98.8.

The rest of the family is going out for pasta in a few minutes. I'm staying here. I want to be able to go back to Yellowstone tomorrow.

Those of you who pray, please do that for me. I'm also having tremendous guilt feelings for getting sick on vacation.

OOHHH!!!! I almost forgot!!! Between Yellowstone and Jackson, we came up on a veritable traffic jam. At first we thought someone had been in an accident, but I realized that people were all over the side of the road with binocs and cameras.

We pulled over and got out. I asked the first person I saw what was up. There was a bear and some cubs off to the side of the road about 100 yards!! Yeow! I had already brought the camera (which by the way has 32x zoom on it) and managed to get this and this, as well as a few others.

That was way cool, and worth the whole trip yesterday.

That's it for today. Must go rest some more.

TTFN, y'all

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