Home of Yogi Bear...Yellowstone National Park
Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
81Trip End Dec 10, 2008
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We drove into the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park, where we were met by a lovely Park Ranger who informs us of what roads are open, and what is happening in the park. Beautiful weather, blue sky, very dry and windy, quite unlike the snow mountains of the National Parks in Canada. ... and we're in cruise mode.
We head straight to Mammoth Hot Springs,... natural thermal activity. In fact this whole area for the next hour or so, is full of thermal geysers, boiling water, and steam everywhere. Yes, very much like Rotorua, but with little smell , and it's free. All these places have fenced walkways .. very organized; impressive.
On our trip (in this particular area) along with the thermal activity, we saw the twin lakes, Gibbon Falls, and stopped for donuts at a picnic area alongside the Gibbon River
Our highlight of the day would have to be all the beautiful animals that we came across. These animals in their natural environment, and we are definitely the invaders. They seem very tolerant of people and cars, but these animals absolutely 'rule the park'. As the kids said, they all act like Kings and Models, taking over everything and posing for their photographs.
We got to our Madison campsite, but as it was only mid afternoon, we decided to carry on... thank goodness we did. 30 seconds down the road there was a herd of Elk grazing and bathing in the river, (right next door to the campground). Just as we'd got over that bit of excitement, we rounded the corner, head on, into a Bison (buffalo), making its way merrily down the road. Slamming on the brakes, trying to catch our breath, reach for the camera, whilst the kids were screaming, it was bit like 'Faulty Towers' ... all chaos, good intentions, and everything turns out in the end. It was absolutely incredible, as this 2000 pound beast (at a guess), casually walked past our van (although we were all a little worried when it did head straight for us),.... This thing is as tall as our window (remember we're at a height), and it was just 'king'. Awesome. (See Tara's video this blog, as her breathless 20 second oratory, says it all!)
Moving on, past the Lower and Midway Geysers Basins, we come to our destination the 'Old Faithful'
Heading back to the campsite, about 5.00pm, we saw buffalo on the side of the road, plus a wolf, sun-basking in the late afternoon sun. Beautiful . They are known to travel and hunt in packs, so it was unusual to see a wolf on its own, but even with only one, we still are very respectful of their space, and we're ready to run in a second!!
Camped out tonight in a the State Park, elk right here, campfires going, cool now, but a clear, beautiful autumn evening ....