Yellowstone National Park: 9/4 – 9/8/18

39DDD394-C328-45A3-AF8F-13C55DA415AEThis National Park gives you the  feeling of what life was like long ago. To see wildlife roam free, and at times rule the road, is something that everyone should experience.  As we traveled through the park over four days,  I couldn’t  get this song out of my head:

”Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam, and the deer and the Antelope play.”

We were unable to stay at Canyon Campground as we had hoped as they were completely full.  So were most of the other campgrounds.  Had we made a reservation when we checked Canyon out a week ago, we could have gotten a spot.  So, we had to settle for a site at Bridge Bay Campground, which was much more open and most of their sites were lacking tree covering.  Ironically, it ended up being one of our most entertaining campsites thanks to “Bruce”, our friendly camp bison.

CF88BA72-C6FB-44DD-A5E2-36DC1FACA89C

8D646749-128A-45F8-A42A-0B9B4DD85ACE

A85E6533-D4CC-4B3A-9E65-D175BDFEA154There were signs posted everywhere to warn people to stay clear from this massive animal.

B9F0D4C4-9A21-4858-A79D-F3C8055B07AD6E007E8E-2F58-4714-946A-03DC1A38FB15The following sign was posted at the entrance to each campsite loop.

4BDF0E87-3D08-4D42-94EB-B3D55A72D1D4I am sure that this sign is there because “Bruce” (as I so lovingly named him) frequently visited our site. Every time he would come around the campsite, people would gather around like the paparazzi.  Here he comes as we were getting ready to take off for the day.

It is unbelievable how massive this animal is.   My mouth was wide open as I watched it saunter by.  His visits were regular and he always seemed to gravitate to the area next to our campsite.  He was totally entertaining!

Every day as we road through the park, we would be stuck in a traffic jam.  It’s frustrating until the jam is occurring in front of your car!

And another day…

We had had been to the famous geyser, Old Faithful, on our day trip to the park last week, so we decided to head up north this time to Mammoth Hot Springs.

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0E07FE1E-4ACB-47F6-ABB2-D71F89106152C320B560-8E5E-4340-A060-CC0A2EEAEDB31A1A4694-6424-4427-8CBA-6A5D8B49234811F7F816-9B7F-4E74-8CE7-DF64980A59D586ACBA7B-47DC-449A-807E-15E76E92493D

FC9D9398-27C3-474C-9D3E-39F31056FFEAThe pictures do not go justice to the colors that sparkle in the natural sunlight.  I tried to capture a sampling.  After walking the path around the perimeter of a Mammoth Springs, we were on our way.  We needed to get gas so we headed out of the northern entrance to the park into Gardiner, Montana.  Gardiner is like an old western town with both new and original old buildings.  What I found to be magnificent was the north entrance to the park.  It looks like an entrance to a castle.   Apparently, it was the first and only entrance at one time.

A0206145-BC86-4228-8F45-6BBBAEF47D58Here is a closeup of the inscription above the archway:

CF51A215-6D0A-4D6E-B118-17087D43D11EAt this point, we were done being tourists, and found a place along the road to chill out and eat lunch.

2856460F-9DAA-4F03-A622-56194821BC6ALater on back at camp, Scott relaxes in the trailer watching our friend roll around in the dirt, most likely scratching his back.

A50A89D6-B27D-48E2-94A9-A71C37C8E1FCOne late afternoon while at camp, we went to a daily program given by a Park Ranger at the amphitheater.  He spoke about Yellowstone’s wildlife and I was able to touch a grizzly bear.  I can only hope that I will never get this close to a grizzly again!!  Thanks Ranger Jim!

6284AF87-AE39-4F61-847B-B0CD69F4106EThe next day we took a ride to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone to the see the Upper and Lower Falls which are near Canyon Campground.

5BA001C2-7FEE-4520-BE30-5DDBB351BB0E98F4B192-0A20-4500-B59E-99E6C8185CFD5924FC33-98EA-49C3-8A88-C9223A7D7CC0On on our way back to our camp, we road along Yellowstone Lake.  It is a vision of beauty but too chilly to swim in.   While swimming is not prohibited, they advise against it due to the changing currents.  So we just hung out near the water instead.

78D20E1A-BC11-4710-80E4-C9EBB52D154C820ACABE-E1F4-4632-BA96-FC0A402ECC452A709832-1E74-4B2B-AA39-1812A6EC5F2FOn our last day in Yellowstone, we took a hike to Cygnet Lake which was about 30 miles west of our campground.  When we got to the parking lot, there were no cars parked there.   Hmmm.  Wonder why.  It was an easy 4.1 mile one way hike to the lake through a forest.  We were hoping to see wildlife but it actually didn’t happen, except for a few squirrels and chipmunks.   We did see dense areas of forest filled with healthy green trees, followed by large areas of burnt trees, and finally evidence of regrowth.  Forest fires are part of nature, but it is a sad sight to see.

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4309646A-7C02-4219-88D6-7B1140B02CDEWe did see old footprints but are not sure if they are from a horse or elk or bison.   They were big and rather deep.

46367365-750D-4B11-932A-B8380BE2DDC4Maybe the animals left when the fires erupted and haven’t returned yet. I was told by the ranger that it was a natural fire back in 2009.    I would’ve guessed it was much more recent than that.  The new trees are so small admist the towering bare limbed trees, but there were random sections of flowers and baby aspen trees to add a subtle beauty to the barren forest.

8379B7D0-AE54-4012-BBA1-7BFC4D3042D1

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2ED09B14-A521-418B-AA8A-D622CF195C86Even the fall foliage stood out, albeit sparse.

EB9338BB-1906-4ECD-84B2-ED2584066F7F00B489FA-A285-4788-B9F8-FCA57C4962C0We finally got out of the forest to an open grassy section which would lead to Cygnet Lake.   Below I am looking in the direction of the lake.

906097AA-A17B-4883-9F66-959150BBC14DThe grass was too ticklish for my bare legs, and it didn’t appear to be much of a lake worth getting tortured.  (We found out later that it had mostly dried up since the 2009 fire.)   So we turned around and headed out another 4.1 miles.

Now we are off to northern Utah!  Goodbye Yellowstone!!

 

 

 

One thought on “Yellowstone National Park: 9/4 – 9/8/18

  • We spent a full week in Yellowstone when the kids were teenagers. I loved everything about it.
    Sue and the Welcome sign are color-coordinated !
    Bruce and his buddies and their families are great and you were worried about the bears?!
    These guys are scary. I watched 2 “alphas” fight..they are fast and ferocious.
    Bob will be glad that Scott was out scouting for BIG FOOT!

    We stayed at all the hotels (4-5?) in the part when we took the girls in their teens. When at Yellowstone Lake we learned you can catch a fish and then swing your rod over and cook it in a steam pot! ha ha.

    Can’t wait to hear about Utah. Be well. K

    Like

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