I forgot to pack my journal and so I am putting some of the memories of our trip on my blog so that I have somewhat of a record somewhere.
May 4th: We packed the van with a mattress and enough supplies for the three of us for a couple of days. Dad layed comfortably on the bed in the back all of the way up to West Yellowstone and read the whole time. We arrived at the hotel and got dad out into his wheelchair and he just grinned ear to ear and did a couple of wheelies in his chair which I then caught a couple more on video later. He took a big whiff of that mountain air and I think that it did him some good. He has been saying for a while now that he just wanted to get to Yellowstone one more time. Here we are! We got dad settled into bed with the remote in hand and left on a food quest because we were hungry. Everything was closed or sit down and so we ended up getting salads from McDonald's and went back to the room to eat with dad. We settled in pretty early to bed.
May 5th: I woke up in the morning to my parents talking quietly. It reminded me of when I was a girl and I would wake up in the morning and hear my parents in the kitchen talking to one another. It was one of my favorite sounds and favorite memories from my childhood-it still is. I heard my mom say this morning, "Guess where you're going today?" and I heard my dad giggle like a child. He was so excited. We got up and got ready and then went to eat breakfast. I thought that he was doing really well until he wheeled back to the room and promptly lost what he ate. We ventured out to the park with dad sleeping on the bed in the back. We kept trying to talk to him and wake him up but he just wouldn't. He was so groggy and tried to open one eye every once in a while, but couldn't. Mom and I drove to Old Faithful and sat in the car for quite a while before mom finally went to the back and tried waking him up. He did wake up, and wanted to get out of the car-which is why we went there...there was just one minor problem, precipitation! All the way into the park, there was rain, snow, and hail. It was still raining when we wanted to get out, but it's why we were there and so we followed instruction and got him out! With all the gear that we had, we got out and started walking. It would stop raining for just a minute or so so that we could enjoy the walk a little more and mom and I got quite a work out pushing dad a long the path. It was beautiful and I will treasure today even with the rain. When we asked him if he was ready to be done, he kept pushing forward. The only thing that made us turn around was the big pile of snow that was on the path that we couldn't push his chair through. We saw a lot of geysers, hot pools, blue birds, an eagle, a ground squirrel, buffalo, and buffalo poo! We got back into the car and drove around to find some lunch. We stopped and ate at the Grill and dad kept asking me if Jeff was meeting us for lunch and if he drove the other car with the kids. I know that he is getting close. He is so disoriented sometimes. He slept he entire time back to the hotel and then for 4 hours after we got back. I slept too and mom read her book. When I woke up, I asked mom what she wanted to do and she said that she really wanted dad to wake up and so we tried to wake him up and started talking about dinner. He perked up when I said Pizza and so started my quest for pizza in an "off season" West Yellowstone. Every place is closed! I did finally find some and brought it back to the room and is tasted pretty good. We enjoyed dinner together and then mom asked him if he wanted to get in his jammies and he said no-he wanted to go for a ride. We hopped in the car, with dad sitting in a seat. He sat down and said that the seat was ingesting him. He is saying the most funny things. He has always been a joker and so sometimes I see that joker in him. He emptied a bag of souvenirs, faked throwing up...ha ha very funny dad-and we were on our way. We drove a few miles towards Bozeman, saw an eagle, turned around and asked if he was done and he asked to drive back into the park. So we did! We drove a few miles into the park and the sun was setting and we saw a swan, more buffalo, a bull elk with a large rack, some geese, and another ground squirrel. It was fun to have him awake and commenting every once in a while. We got back and he got ready for bed while I talked to my family on the phone. I have to admit...It was nice to say good bye to Jeff as he was breaking something up in the back ground while trying to get Mack to bed. I am kind of on Vacation. It's wonderful!