Our first major stop was in St. Louis, Missouri, at some really big arch thing.

We all climbed inside a special elevator and traveled to the top of the St. Louis Gateway Arch, inside, of course. That thing is over 600 feet tall.
When we got back down to ground level, we took a tour boat ride on the Mississippi River.
Boat rides are always fun! ~ 06-13-2017

Inside at the top of
the Gateway Arch

This video is 100 seconds long

...and from the inside top
Joss could see Michigan!
(well, that's what she said).

There are two videos here
with a 1 second blank
between them and all
are stuck together with magic.

Joss got her feet wet in the Mississippi River right by the St. Louis Gateway Arch.

Kick the

This video is 1 minute
and 14 seconds long

For the first time...
Joss got her feet wet
in the BIG muddy river.
Actually, it wasn't all that
muddy - just wet.

After a bunch of driving, Oklahoma was our home for a week.

Joss floated in Oologah Lake in Blue Creek Campground near Claremore, Oklahoma.
She got more than her feet wet. Watch out for the sharks, Joss!

Into the Lake

This video is 1 minute
and 1 second long

Lake Oolagah was so inviting
on this hot summer day.

We kinda passed right through Kansas.

Joss tried her hand at bowling in Old Cow Town, Wichita, Kansas. This was a fun place!

Bowling isn't easy

This video is 51 second long

More practice is needed.

Colorado is Beautiful in the Summer! Our home for over a week.

When in Colorado and the campgrounds are full...
...roadside parking along a nice river will work just fine. It's free and legal.

Roadside Camping

This video is 1 minute
and 53 seconds long

Bring your own facilities
or poop in the river.

Up on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, there is snow in June. What a cool summer playground.
Joss started with a short-sleeve tee shirt, but that didn't work very well. The air is chilly!

Snow in June?

This video is 30 seconds long

Joss had to rethink the short sleeve shirt idea

Hali joined the snow romp and made some yellow snow. ~ 06-26-2017

Hali also enjoyed the snow

This video is 1 minute
and 14 seconds long

It's a family outing
in the Rockies.

Okay, my arms are getting cold! Maybe I'll go get a sweater.

Beautiful mountains

This video is 1 minute
and 40 seconds long

How far can Joss run at ten thousand feet up.
We were above the tree line.

On a trail walk to Adams Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park, Joss found a lot of downed trees and had to walk them all.
It was easy walking across to the rock, but a little more trouble coming back. She did it.

A log bridge

This video is 2 minutes
and 16 seconds long

This log has Joss' name on it.
Careful, it can be slippery.

In beautiful downtown Grand Lake, Colorado, on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, there is mini-golf and we had time for a round.
A hole-in-one! Well, maybe 9 or 10 or 12. But, who's counting. ~ 06-28-2017

A short round
of Golf

This video is 22 seconds long

We can add golf to Joss' list of activities like water kicking, bowling, log walking and rock climbing.

Elk Creek Campground in Colorado is a hangout for the local moose.
Looks a lot like Bullwinkle. Where's Rocky?

Moose in the Campground

This video is 2 minute
and 55 seconds long

Every day these wild creatures roamed the campground.
All of the campers took pictures.

Another lesson in camping - If you want a campfire, you will need to split firewood.
Joss gave it her best with a small hammer. Her Daddy was patient... very patient.

How 'bout a Campfire

This video is 1 minute
and 49 seconds long

Joss learned how to split wood
for a campfire.

The weather was absolutely beautiful and perfect for a picnic at Shadow Mountain picnic area in Rocky Mountain National Park. ~ 07-01-2017

Toss the Ring

This video is 41 seconds long

A little play time in the Colorado sunshine.

Well, fireworks are a no-no in the National Parks, but sparklers don't make any noise and are kinda like a hand-held flashy campfire thing. Joss was dressed in a fire-proof nightie (right) for the occasion. Fun, fun, fun on the fourth!

The 4th of July

This video is 31 seconds long

Sparklers are always fun.
This calls for a special dance.
"Dance of the Sparklers"

...and then there was this state of Utah...
We stopped at the Flaming Gorge Dam and partook in a most interesting tour that led us across the top of the dam and then inside for an elevator ride down to the generator room at the bottom.

Flaming Gorge Dam

This video is 36 seconds long

That dam water is really noisy
as it shoots out the bottom
and flows down the river

On our dam tour, we took an elevator inside and went all the way down to the bottom where the generators are located. Pretty cool high-tech stuff here.
Joss really wanted to get in there and touch the generators. ~ 07-05-2017

At the bottom
of the Dam

This video is 52 seconds long

The closer we got to the exiting water, the noisier it got.
We needed earplugs.

The water behind the dam travels thru large pipes, flows thru the generators to make electricity, and then exits the dam in a spectacular and noisy display.

That's a lotta water

This video is 59 seconds long

The water exits the dam with
a pressure of 180 psi and
makes a lotta noise.

We stopped at the Red Canyon Overlook and Visitor Center in Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in the northeast corner of Utah. It was late in the afternoon, too late, and the visitor center was closed, but the canyon was still open, ha, ha. We were pretty much the only visitors there. The view was fantastic! ~ 07-05-2017

Red Canyon
Scenic Overlook

This video is 1 minute
and 59 seconds long

Big river in a big canyon.

North out of Utah, the State of Wyoming held us captive for a long time. We loved it!

Thermopolis Hot Springs State Park
Thermopolis Hot Springs State Park in Wyoming was a great place to spend a few hours on a beautiful sunny day. The park had EVERYTHING! Hot spring water bubbling out of the ground, boardwalks going around the springs, a suspension bridge going over the river, a picnic pavillion, a playground, and a large hot spring pool. ~ 07-07-2017
What's a park without steel tee-pees and a metal buffalo sign.

Joss can't catch
her Daddy

This video is 49 seconds long

She tried. Run Joss run.

Cody Wyoming Welcomed Us ~ This town is geared up for tourists... and cowboys.

The Irma Hotel in downtown Cody, Wyoming, built by the legendary Buffalo Bill, puts on a gunfight show at five o'clock every afternoon.
A really corny show with a thin plot, but it's free.
Oh, and Joss got to dance with a real cowboy. ~ 07-08-2017

Gunfight Part 1

This video is 7 minutes
and 21 seconds long

Gunfight at the Irma Hotel
Part 1 of 2

Joss got paid to watch the show. He stole the money from the bank.

Gunfight Part 2

This video is 4 minute
and 23 seconds long

More bad acting and
cowboys getting shot.

The Rodeo in Cody, Wyoming, is the BEST. Ride 'em cowboy!
The bull riding is absolutely insane.

The Rodeo

This video is 1 minute
and 30 seconds long

We had such a good time
we went back for a second show

There are five videos here
with a 1 second blank
between them and all
are stuck together with magic.

At the Buffalo Bill Center in Cody, cowgirl Joss took a nice long ride on a horse.
The cowboy was really nice and talked horse stuff to her the whole time. She loved it!

Joss the Cowgirl

This video is 12 minute
and 10 seconds long

The cowboys just happen to have a small horse for a small girl.

We finally made it to Yellowstone National Park ... the nation's first National Park.
    We spent 8 days here!

Kepler Cascades is a waterfall on the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park.

Kepler Cascades

This video is 60 seconds long

Joss, point to the waterfall.

Another educational stop for Joss on the long boardwalk around Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park. ~ 07-15-2017

Norris Geyser

This video is 4 minutes
and 21 seconds long

The thermal activity here is
some of the best Yellowstone
has to offer. And it stinks.

There are four videos here
with a 1 second blank
between them and all
are stuck together with magic.

Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park is one steamy and stinky place.
We spent a lot of time here walking around on the top of an active volcano.

Cloud Maker

This video is 1 minute
and 1 second long

The steam keeps coming out of the ground 24 hours a day
making clouds.
Yellowstone NP makes 97% of the clouds for the entire world.
And that's the truth!

It was a long walk down the boardwalk and a bunch of stairs to get to this point.
Well worth it! White water rafting anyone?

LeHardy's Rapids

This video is 2 minutes
and 27 seconds long

This is some very noisy
white water.

After it poured Cats-N-Dogs on Mammoth Campground in Yellowstone National Park,
it hailed! Yes indeedy, little round pieces of ice... in the hot summer. Cool! ~ 07-16-2017

Rain, Rain, Rain

This video is 2 minutes
and 28 seconds long

It came down in buckets!
No video of the hail afterwards.

Smile Joss! It's picture and movie time.
We stopped at so many waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park... and took pictures.

Kepler Cascades

This video is 1 minute
and 58 seconds long

Joss really liked all of the
waterfalls in Yellowstone

Joss! Be careful! How many times did we tell her that? All summer long.
She didn't even get wet. ~ 07-17-2017

Gettin' to
the other side

This video is 2 minutes
and 19 seconds long

She can do it.

The Artists' Paintpots are really cool! Or, actually HOT!
We watched them bloop, bloop, bloop for the longest time. ~ 07-18-2017

Artists' Paintpots

This video is 1 minute
and 59 seconds long

Bloop... Bloop...

Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota was our next major stop
Home to wild horses, bison, prairie dogs, coyotes, fox and all kinds of flying critters.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park (South Unit) is just the best place for wild horses.
They roam all over the park and are very easy to spot. And some have spots.

Wild Horses

This video is 31 seconds long

Doing what they do best.

The wild horses are absolutely beautiful creatures. The cowboys sure do like them.

Visitors to
Praire Dog Town

This video is 1 minute
and 37 seconds long

The wild horses visit the
praire dogs every day.

The praire dogs have a busy day keeping an eye on the tourists, the wild horses who keep stepping in their holes, and the coyotees that want to eat them.

Praire Dogs

This video is 13 second long

They are so cute!

A beautiful day for a long walk on one of the many trails to nowhere. Smile Joss.

Rugged Country

This video is 1 minute
and 5 seconds long

As far as you can see...

Theodore Roosevelt National Park has bison roaming all over the place.
They easily become part of the traffic.
Oh, and what's the difference between a bison and a buffalo?
No, it's not the size of their poop. Guess again.

Bison doing what they do best

This video is 1 minute
and 33 seconds long

A drop and roll in the dirt will
get rid of those pesky bugs.

Where do the Bison roam? Anywhere they want - and the road is part of anywhere.

Bison making a lot of grunting noise

This video is 1 minute
and 34 seconds long

These boys are really huge.

In our final days of this summer-long camping trip, we headed east out of North Dakota.

This swallow bird nest was right above the door for the National Buffalo Museum.
The babies were as noisy as they could be waiting for mom (or dad) to bring them lunch. Four tiny birds with big wide open mouths. ~ 08-05-2017

Baby Swallows

This video is 49 seconds long

The little ones are waiting for something to eat.