Well we didn’t rob any banks like old Butch did over 100 years ago, but the cannonballs the kids did at the Winnemucca KOA in Nevada pool probably should be outlawed! It was our longest day if driving, almost 440 miles from LHS to Winnemucca, and the most boring drive on rt. 80 across Nevada.
Just about 180 miles south west of the west entrance to Yellowstone lies a little tucked away gem of excitement called Lava Hot Springs.
We put it on the itinerary because of the hot springs which run anywhere from 105 to 112 degrees farenheit… little did we know there was much much more fun to be had here.
Next up, the crazy public pool with 2 massive curly slides, 2 3 story speed slides, 5 diving boards, and 3 diving platforms of 5, 7, and 10 meters!
Finally, we come to our tubing adventure, of which we have no photos, sadly. It turns out the Portneuf river which runs right through town and past our KOA campground is rated the best river for tubing in the US, go figure! Our first run was great, we had a quad raft/tube and set off down the river over at least 6 sets of rapids, some were pretty insane, possibly class 2/3 rapids, but we handeled them. Supposedly back in the spring the river was closed due to snow cap runoff flooding the river creating class 4 rapids.
So, after one run, Jackson and Carrie decided to sit out the remainder of our two runs and headed next door to the hot springs. Lily and I traded in the quad raft for a more mobile two seater… first run- success! 2nd run, not so much… we tipped after the 4th rapid and ended up being dragged down stream for what seemed at least 45 seconds to a minute. We sustained minor cuts and bruises all over our shins, and eventually got back onto our float and made it to safety, my flip flops were lost… in the end Prestons 2 – Portneuf River 1, doesnt feel like a victory though, but ine heck of a memory we shall have!
One final day to squeeze in some things we didn’t see… the Grand Prismatic which was a parking lot to get into, but well worth it.
Fishing on Yellowstone Lake, caught an 18″ Cutthroat Trout which had to be released. We didn’t catch anything we could clean and eat:( but still a beautiful trip… from the lake there are NO buildings visible, truly looks the same way it did when it was discovered.
It’s easy to forget that Yellowstone is a wild and dangerous place. On one of our ventures we picked up a book, Deaths in Yellowstone- Accidents and foolhardiness in the first national park, which has become our evening after dinner entertainment.
Visiting geologic features in the park have a whole new intrigue, transforming comments from “Daddy look at that bubbling pool”, to “Hey, is that the place where the boy dove in head first after his dog and died!?”
Yellowstone is probably the most beautiful and fascinating land I’ve ever seen! From high snow covered peaks, to grassy valleys, canyons, waterfalls, lakes, rivers, its just amazing.
Then, you have your wild life, of which we, to this point, have only seen bison, elk, and various small ground animals like squirrels and chipmunks. Pelicans, geese, tons of other unnamed birds I’m sure.
All this stuff is amazing, and then you throw in the fact that the park is sitting on top of an active volcano!! I did not know that, there are bubbling pools of 200 degree waters, geysers, mud pits that percolate… it really at times feels like you are on a different planet!!