NAVIGATION ∧

the photo journal + misc. news of Emma Kisiel

FDRT Part 2: Yellowstone Southern Loop

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We got in to our first campground in the park, Madison Campground, on Sunday night. Early Monday morning, I walked Cody around the campground, and then my dad and I started our drive along the southern edge of Yellowstone. Our first stop was at Fountain Paint Pots, where we walked around and took our time checking out all the geysers. Next, we went to the Old Faithful area and stood in the rain waiting to see the geyser erupt. The sky was totally gray, so it was pretty hard to actually make out the geyser, but I didn’t mind. We walked in to some of the buildings – the Snow Lodge, the visitor center, the Old Faithful Inn – and then drove to Biscuit Basin to do the Mystic Falls Loop. The geysers there were really incredible, and the waterfall at the turnaround point (unless we did things very wrong, none of the loops we did were actually loops) was really pretty. I walked Cody around the parking area (no dogs allowed in National Parks) and then we drove to the West Thumb Geyser Basin on the edge of Yellowstone Lake. We ended the day at Bridge Bay, our campsite for the night.

The animal tally for the day was 1 great blue heron, 1 bison, 1 (incredibly cute) American red squirrel, lots of chipmunks, lots of caterpillars, 3 elk, and 1 yellow-bellied marmot. There was a lot more to be seen the next two days!

FDRT Part 1: Miracle of America Museum

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On Saturday, the 16th of June, my dad and I left for our Father-Daughter Road Trip! This trip was over six years in the making, originally intended to take place after I graduated from college in 2011 (as my dad had taken my sister on a similar trip at that point in her life) and then planned to happen the July 4 holiday, 2013, from where I was in Lawrence to where my dad was in Colorado Springs to Billings/Missoula/Bozeman, MT. My parents ended up selling their house and moving to Pittsburgh that summer, so we had to put our trip on hold. But this time (I’m looking back at the notes I made in the spring of 2013 and it makes me smile to see) we ended up doing all that we’d originally wanted to, plus a lot more! And, because my parents were considering buying one someday, we rented an RV so my dad could see what it was like! It was such an adventure.

The first day of the trip, we drove 4.5 hours to Walla Walla, WA, just a bit out of the way of our destination for the night, Coeur d’Alene, ID, so we could visit my friend Maria and see her studio where she teaches at Whitman College. First, we had to see Walla Walla’s Museum of Un-Natural History, which was a blast. We went to The Saint and the Sinner for lunch, grabbed my dog from the RV (yes, he came along!) and walked around town/the college campus, stopping in to the toy store Inland Octopus (which has a really cool model train display) and getting ice cream at Bright’s Candies. I didn’t take my camera out that first day, but I took a lot of pictures on my phone and some on my little Fuji – I plan on making a post with those last.

We got in to our campground in Coeur d’Alene after 9 (it was a 3.5-hour drive from Walla Walla) and went straight to bed, only driving through the downtown in the morning. Once we headed out, I texted my friend Lauren in Bigfork, MT, to see if she could meet us at the Miracle of America Museum. Three hours later, the three of us were exploring this insanely awesome place with one of the largest collections of American history, founded in 1981. There are 35 buildings and 340,000 artifacts to explore. The whole time I was thinking about how much Nathaniel would love it, so we have to go back someday soon.

It was an almost 6-hour drive from Polson to our first campground in… Yellowstone! Much of it we had to do in the dark and the pouring rain, so we were relieved to get there. And instantly fall asleep.

First Rose Garden Visit of the Season

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We misjudged a tiny bit once we started to see roses blooming around town and made our first trip to the rose garden in mid-May. There weren’t a ton of roses, but lots of other flowers were in bloom. We went back a week and a half later with my friend Maria who was visiting from Walla Walla, and a small but significant amount was blooming. I’m sure it’s looking really good right about now – maybe I’ll take my dad when he gets in to town on Wednesday! On Saturday the two of us leave for the father-daughter road trip we’ve been wanting to take for over six years now. I’m SO stoked. And happy to be caught up on photos cos I’ll be taking so many next week!!