Out West for the Hubbard — Zapolsky Wedding, August 2012

August 10, 2012. We flew out to Seattle August 9th, picked up a car and headed East to Sun Mountain Lodge on the east side of the Cascades in the Methow River Valley. That was a long day of traveling but got us to the lodge so we could wake up and enjoy a mellow day. The setting is spectacular and clearly the wildlife (at least the deer and grouse) are quite used to people wandering around.
August 10, 2012. August 10, 2012.
After a morning wandering the grounds, Sarah lined up a trail ride for us. That was lots of fun and Robert's first time controlling his own horse. We had a couple other cousins with us and everyone enjoyed it. That was a prelude to dinner... August 10, 2012.
August 10, 2012  (photo by SZap). August 10, 2012.
August 10, 2012. ... a cowboy cookout after a wagon ride (or horseback ride). Somehow, Robert ended up riding up front with the wagon driver.
August 10, 2012. August 10, 2012.
Robert took a break from eating and visiting to get some roping lessons in. He was getting pretty close by the time we all climbed back into the wagons to head back to the Lodge -- and a very nice evening reception. August 10, 2012.
August 10, 2012. August 10, 2012.
August 11, 2012  (photo by SZap).

The next day we relaxed in the pool in the morning and then put on our party clothes for the main event. A lovely sunset ceremony overlooking the valley and mountains beyond.

That's Lynn and David Z. below, flanked by Ian on the left and Sam on the right.

August 11, 2012  (photo by unknown). August 11, 2012  (photo by SZap).
The next morning, properly attired, we got rolling early for the long drive: Sun Mountain lodge to Roosevelt Lodge in Yellowstone. We stopped along the way at the Grand Coulee Dam to stretch our legs and learn a little bit. August 12, 2012.
August 12, 2012. August 12, 2012.
August 12, 2012 (phonecam).

It was a pretty long drive so Robert got some time to catch up on his jet lag...

... and play Fruit Ninjas.

We didn't realize it until later (having visited all the Yellowstone lodges) but Roosevelt Lodge was ideal for us. It's not so popular as to be crowded, the cabins were great (we had hot and cold running water) and we had several very nice hikes right from the Lodge.

August 12, 2012 (phonecam).
August 13, 2012. August 13, 2012.
August 13, 2012. Of course, there is still some driving to be done in Yellowstone. While it's astounding how much diversity is packed into a fairly small space — it's still 30 - 45 minutes between the main "junctions" and developed sites. Our first full day there, we drove over to Mammoth Hot Springs, which lived up to it's reputation.
August 13, 2012. August 13, 2012.
August 13, 2012 (photo by unknown). August 13, 2012.
There happened to be a small heard of elk hanging out at Mammoth -- we saw them again as we headed out of the park. Before being asked to give them their space by the rangers, Sarah got this photo of Robert and the elk. August 13, 2012.
August 13, 2012. August 13, 2012  (photo by SZap).
August 13, 2012. We went back by the Lodge for lunch and to hike up the short Lost Creek Falls trail. You may notice more Lego — that was a great way for Robert to break up the travel and sightseeing activities. It was a lovely trail with almost no one else around (a substantial change from Mammoth) following a pretty little creek to a tall waterfall. It was so nice, we went back again later.
August 13, 2012. August 13, 2012.
August 13, 2012. August 13, 2012  (photo by SZap).
We kept with the waterfall theme and headed to the Canyon Area and the upper and lower Yellowstone River falls. We enjoyed the hike to the brink of the lower falls and then headed across to the south rim and ended the afternoon with Uncle Tom's Trail — 368 steps down into the Canyon. August 13, 2012.
August 13, 2012. August 13, 2012.
August 13, 2012  (photo by SZap). August 13, 2012 (photo by unknown).
August 13, 2012  (photo by SZap). August 13, 2012  (photo by SZap).

We slept well that night in our cozy Roosevelt Cabin. See part two for more.

Vacation notes: