Sunday, August 2, 2009

Russell Family Reunion

Kevin, Baby Cory, my mom, and I just got back from an adventurous trip to the Russell Family Reunion in Jackson Hole, WY. We spent 4 days with my mom's side of the family doing everything from white water rafting (without Cory) to hiking in the rain (with Cory).
Day 1: We packed an insane amount of stuff into my car (who knew a baby required so much stuff for only a 4 day trip!) and headed up to Jackson. Cory was amazing and slept most of the drive up. We stopped at an interesting diner near Preston, ID for lunch and reached our cozy little cabin just in time to meet up with the family for dinner at Mountain High Pizza Pies.

Day 2: Kevin and I left Cory with mom (thanks mom!) and went white water rafting with a ton of our extended family. I was a bit apprehensive to leave my tiny little guy for 3+ hours, and worried the entire drive to where we dropped into the river; I feel a bit guilty to admit this, but once we got on the water I actually forgot I had a baby for a little while. It was so relaxing and fun. The weather was perfect, and we enjoyed seeing a few bald eagles on our trek down the Snake River.

That evening we attended the main event of the reunion at a park in Jackson. We enjoyed good food and great company! Cory sported his new hat that I think he is absolutely adorable in.

This was my first trip to Jackson Hole, so we strolled around downtown and of course Kevin had to get a picture in front of one of the huge arch of elk sheds.
Downtown Jackson:

Day 3: We drove to Jenny Lake and on the way we saw a huge bull moose! Then we took an exciting boat ride across the lake with my sister Aimee and her family, my mom, and my cousin Celesta and her family. I thought the boat ride would be an easy pontoon boat kind of a ride, but the boat was more like a speed boat that sprayed everyone on board as it made its way to the other side of the lake. Everyone was ducking down and I was like..."I can't believe I have my 7 week old baby on this thing right now." We managed to keep Cory dry, but when we got off the boat and onto the dock, we found ourselves in a tricky situation. Cory woke up starving and there were no facilities. Kevin took Cory in his arms (the trail was way to rough for a stroller) and we hiked up the trail and found a "good" spot where I could sit and nurse. We had 10 minutes till the next boat of people arrived. Once Cory was enjoying his lunch, a MILLION mosquitos took full advantage of our situation. They were swarming everywhere!!! Kevin and mom tried to keep them off of me and Cory, while not getting eaten alive in the process. Once Cory's belly was full, we pressed on. With most of the mosquitos behind us I thought we could finally enjoy the hike, but then came the rain. Poor Kevin hiked with Cory in his arms, holding an umbrella. Cory was such a good sport, but after a while, we decided to turn back. It was a bit disappointing to not finish the entire hike, but you can only put a baby through so much. We warmed up in the car before heading to Old Faithful.

Next we headed to Old Faithful and met up with a bunch of the family in time to watch the geyser go!

We enjoyed seeing Old Faithful as well as the neat geysers surrounding it. We spent the next 2 nights in West Yellowstone. The sink in this motel was tiny, but Cory was able to barely fit. Here's a nice shot of me looking quite silly while talking to him:

Day 4: We spent the entire day touring Yellowstone and saw a ton of buffalo, some antelope, deer, and elk. There was quite possibly a bear, but it was so far away we couldn't be completely sure. I enjoyed the geysers, hot springs and mud pots, but I LOVED seeing Yellowstone's Grand Canyon and the upper and lower falls. We live in such a magnificent world and I love all of the beautiful diversity we have to enjoy.

Cory was such a good little guy the entire trip and only gave us a hard time the last 2 hours of the drive back home. This trip was a lot of work, but we really enjoyed spending time family we seldom see and exploring the beauty of west!


Sandy White said...

What adorable pictures!! I'm so jealous you get to be home with Cory--enjoy it, even though we miss you here tons!

The Tureks said...

Sounds like you all are doing just wonderful! Your pictures are great and your son is just adorable.

Darlyn said...

Jess, Cory is really, really cute! What a fun trip (I love Yellowstone). I'm glad you made it even though he's such a tiny guy.

Niki {A*Lovely*Lifestyle} said...

I know this is random, but my name is Boyd Worthen. I stumbled across your blog and realized you are friends with Bryce Prior. We were missionary companions in Chicago. If you have a contact number for him could you send it to me or give him my email. Thanks!!

Kevin and Tiffany Hanson said...

Here is our blog address...