Yellowstone II

Wednesday was our second day at Yellowstone and our fifth day on vacation. I think that all of the fun, sun, altitude and exercise is beginning to show its wear on us. We slept in, a little, but still got on the road close to our usual launch time. Unfortunately, we ran head-on, smack, into West Yellowstone rush hour. “We have an elk pile-up at the West Yellowstone approach.” This elk borne traffic jam was just the first of many and I can say now with some sanguine and a glass of wine, it is all part of the Yellowstone experience. In addition to elk, there were also buffalo jams, but the worst and also the best were the bear-icades. In variably after one of these animal, no tourist, generated jams occurred, one or more park rangers would descend upon it and proceed to break it up. “Move along Sir, there is nothing to see here.” “But there is a bear there, I see it.” “Move along, Sir!”

After several traffic jams, we arrived at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. In addition to Tuesday’s stop at Old Faithful, this is one of the must see sights of the park. We hiked the south rim of the canyon, but we saved Uncle Tom’s trail for Jay and company. Looking at all the yellow colored rock in this canyon, it is easy to see how this park got its name.

We circled the north loop on Wednesday, which is only seventy miles, but it easily took all afternoon. You generally only move between 30-40 MPH. The park’s speed limit is 45 MPH. The main “problem” is that you are driving through all of this spectacular scenery. There is always some pull-off that you just have to take and many of the features are just too big to be appreciated with just one stop.

Memorable moments include:

  • Seeing a bear go over the mountain, to see what it could see.
  • At 9,000’, in the heart of alpine country, I spied a flower. It was small and white, clear and bright, but the name escapes me.
  • Being able to fart in Mammoth Springs and have no one complained.

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