Journey 44
Yellowstone, WY, July 2 - July 18,2012

A 12 year old young man, battling brain cancer, went on a tour/camping trip in Yellowstone National Park Thanks to Jolynn at Competition RV for coming through so quickly on a RV rental for Joseph's Journey!

Here is the letter we received from our young man about his Journey.

Dear Joseph’s Journey and Papa Bear,

Thank you so much for sending me and my family to Yellowstone National Park. I have wanted to go there my whole life and you let me go. Every time I go to a National Park I work towards earning my Junior Ranger badge for that park. So far I have eared my Junior Ranger Badge in the Rocky Mountain National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mt. Rushmore National Monument, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, and now in Yellowstone National Park. I didn’t know it but Yellowstone also has a cool program at the Old Faithful Geyser called the young scientist award. Me and my brothers all did that program to so we are all now young scientists at Yellowstone.

I am a Boy Scout in Colorado and when I was talking to a ranger at Yellowstone, they told me how to earn my Scout Ranger patch as well. Guess what, I earned that as well. Now I can put the Scout Ranger patch on my Boy Scout uniform.

I had a great time camping in the park. We saw lots of animals and I love to watch them. On the first night arriving at Yellowstone, we saw a Moose in a field beside the road. My dad pulled over and then we realized it wasn’t a moose but it was a huge Grizzly Bear. We watched it for about 10 minutes then it crossed the road behind our truck and walked over the bank. A crazy lady in a car behind us got out of her car and was standing only about 20 feet away from the bear to get pictures. I think she must be pretty stupid to be that close. My dad rolled down our windows but I yelled at him to put them back up and he did.

Near our campground we saw a cow Elk every morning. My family thinks she is the most photographed Elk in Yellowstone because she would stand beside the road every day all day long and just let people take her picture. We named her Ms. Yellowstone. We saw tons of things that I really enjoyed. Even though I can’t really walk much without getting really tired, we had my wheel chair and my mom and dad took turns pushing me around. That was fun. In the area where Old Faithful is all of the walking paths are boardwalks so I was able to go see all of the geysers in my wheelchair. We saw about 10 different geysers erupt. One of them was on a riverbank and was called Riverside Geyser. It erupted about 100 feet into the air.

Another place we went to is called the mud volcano’s of Yellowstone. It really stunk like rotten eggs there badly. We walked around the 2-mile loop to see all of the mud pots bubbling. My mom and dad didn’t like it a lot because the 2-mile loop was mostly up hill and they had to push me. LOL. When we pulled into the parking lot of the mud volcanoes, there was a huge bull Buffalo walking around the cars in the parking lot. We had to stop the truck and wait for the buffalo to get out of our way so we could park. It walked by my window only about 3 feet away. It was crazy!

Towards the end of our trip we packed up and left the park on the North side and camped for a night in Montana (just outside of the park entrance). We went back into the park the next morning to see some wild animals. We saw hundreds of Buffalo, and 2 Black Bears. When we were parked to watch the Buffalo, a Bald Eagle soared over our heads and that was pretty cool to since the Bald Eagle is our National Bird. We also heard a pack of Wolves on a hillside howling like craze but we didn’t actually see them. We did see one single Wolf earlier in the week but in a different part of the park.

When we left the National Park to go home we went through the Thermopolis Hot Springs in Wyoming. That was really neat because the swimming pools are filled from the natural hot springs and were really warm. The water actually had to be cooled down a bit so people cold swim in it. The funniest part of the hot springs was when dad wanted to take me down the water slide. My mom said she thought it was too dangerous because I might bump my head. That’s when my mom suggested that we just use the “kiddie” slide since it was a lot safer. My dad agreed and said he would go down it first so he could catch me at the bottom. The kiddie slide is only about 10 feet long and not very dangerous but when my dad went down it he broke his pinky toe! Every day he picks on my mom now because she said the kiddie slide was safer and that’s where he got hurt. I know it hurt him but I still laughed pretty hard. After that my dad was done with the water slides but I still went on the big slide afterwards and guess what, I bumped my head. The good thing is that when I bumped my head, my incision from surgery split open and a little puss came out. That is when we realized that I had an infection in my head. If I hadn’t bumped my head, I would have had my Chemotherapy and Central Line placement in 2 days and I would probably be dead now because my body wouldn’t have been able to recover from the Chemo. My mom and dad say that bumping my head saved my life.

Thank you very much for a really fun trip even though my brothers and sister annoyed me a lot. I had lots of fun.

Thank you

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