Summer 2011 Travels travel blog

The Roosevelt Arch - North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

Standing on one of the lower levels of Mammoth Hot Springs looking...

The mountains across the valley

Oneof the few springs active here. A lot of them have dried...

Run off from prior springs.

More of the prior springs

One small active spring.

An active pool on the upper level

A small lake below one of the switchbacks.

Elk Meadow

Some of the burned trees from the big fire.

The falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Bear in the meadow. This is cropped so you can see her.

Bridge into Mammoth Hot Springs from Tower. You know I loved this...

Monday morning we headed to Yellowstone. We entered via the North entrance and proceeded to the Visitor's Center at Mammoth Springs. We first inquired about tours but really didn't receive any good answers. Because we are staying so far out – we would have to get to the park by 6:30 am for one of the tours that leaves from Mammoth Springs. The rest of the tours leave from Old Faithful which is about 100 miles from our campground. So I guess we will have to drive it. Traffic is awful.

Mini Rant Ahead: In the two days we drove in Yellowstone, we saw some of the worst traffic manners we have ever seen. One motorcycle parked in an RV only site. Cars parked blocking us into parking lots. (Thank goodness another much nicer person moved his car so we could get out.) People way over the speed limit and passing on the yellow line. I would never take an RV thru there – you will never be able to get off the main roads. Compact cars are using the RV only parking all the time. A lot of the side roads are no Rvs. So park it and drive your toad. Enough abut this.

Our plan on Monday was to drive from the North entrance to Mammoth Springs to Norris, then east to Canyon Village and north to Tower and then back northwest to Mammoth and out the North entrance again. So that is what we did. It was only 80 miles but we took our time and stopped or tried to at each attraction. Some places there was no parking and some you had to hike too far for this old body. But we got to see a lot.

Our biggest thrill was a bear on the road north of Tower. It was ignoring the traffic jam it had caused and was eating grass and flowers. Before long the Rangers came along and said the bear was getting too close to the road and for everyone to get back in their cars. We had never left the truck - in fact there was no safe place to park so we just kept moving slowly with the traffic. I should have used Ron's new camera with the zoom but used mine instead so had to crop the pictures to show the bear. Don't know what kind it was. But I have decided it was a grizzly – that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

We stopped in Gardiner for dinner and was pleasantly surprised at the cost and quality. We had pulled pork sandwiches which were very good.

On the way back to the campground we saw a big horned sheep beside the road. Later we read in the paper that one had been hit by a car about where we saw it. Hope it wasn't “our” sheep.

We had a full day from about 9:30 to 6 and drove over 140 miles. We have decided to rest up tomorrow and go back on Wednesday.

Anyway that is the way our lives have been going. Hope you and yours are well and happy. ENJOY!!

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