Yellowstone

Trip Start Jun 05, 2010
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Trip End Aug 13, 2010


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Where I stayed
Walmart

Flag of United States  , Idaho
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

We pulled out of Cody around 9 or 10 and headed toward the east gate at Yellowstone NP. Our plan was to spend the day driving through the park and catch as many sites as we could, then dry camp somewhere outside of the park on the west side….and that's what we did.

Unlike Zion or Bryce, Yellowstone’s attractions are spread out quite a bit and there is a lot to see here but it will take you some days. I’ve been here a couple of times before with my parents but remember very little. I’m sure most of you have seen this place as well. We took the 14 into the park. There was a lot of construction going on so we were waiting around in the road some before getting through the gate. Our NP pass saved us $25 on the park entrance. The lady at the gate said that the fastest way through the park to the west gate, if we wanted to do it in one day, would be the southern loop. She said that there was lots of road work happening on the northern route that would hold us up. The southern loop will take us past the Old Faithful so that works. We stopped off at the lake and had lunch. A big thunder head was approaching. The temp dropped from 75 to 55 and it started dumping some slush on us as we drove around the lake. It was like someone was launching spoonfuls of a Slurpy onto our windshield. I was thinking this might be called sleet? I don’t know.

We pulled into a parking lot at West Thumb and took a walk around these mudpots and cauldrons. I liked the warning sign of this sightseer being torched as he stands on a geyser. (see pic) Great piece of art. We were about an hour here then drove toward the Old Faithful. It was crowded here and parking was kind of a pain in the ass but I did some "creative parking" and made it work. After 2 months on the road, I’m getting pretty experienced maneuvering this thing into tight spots with little or no damage!

We were here about 20 minutes before the eruption so we sat around (with about 500 other people) and watched it go off. That was alright (see pic and vid) but the cooler stuff to see is on the trek up behind Old Faithful. There were tons of geysers and cauldrons to see here. Some of them could go off twice a day or once a week. We walked a couple of the loops but none of them erupted on us. If you watch the video you might notice, on the lower left, behind Old Faithful, one of them is going off in the background. (Hard to see due to the crappy quality of my video.)

If we had more time I would have liked to drive up to the northern side of the park and check out the canyon. We read that we might catch more glimpses of big animals there. As it were we saw some elk grazing in a field and that was about it for big game. For being summer the crowds weren’t that bad. I was able to park at any of the turnouts and there was little or no traffic on our route. The sign at the entrance said that campgrounds in the park were full. Also, we noticed many of campgrounds that appeared almost empty just outside of the park. Some right on the river. Something to think about if we ever come back here.

We left the park around 6 or 7 then made it to a Walmart parking lot in Rexburg, Idaho just before dark. This was close to a Lithia dealership where I was planning on getting an oil change the next day. I’m about 500 miles past due.

I asked Violet that day….”Did you like seeing those geysers and stuff.” She replied….”Dad….I live in a trailer…..” As I mentioned in an earlier post….Vi is done with being a tourist and can’t wait for school to start.   
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Mom on

That is where I have a picture of Tona trying to feed a moose...it was a tough choice trying to decide if she was in immediate danger or if I had time to snap a pic...fortunately the moose didn't want to charge! Whew!

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