Thursday, July 19, 2012

Yellowstone NP

Monday

Wow what a day.  My tire monitor alarmed again this morning so I decided to take the car to have it looked at.  I checked reviews using YELP on my iPhone and found one place highly recommended.  So I headed over there to Randy's Auto Service.  Pam at the front desk and Clark the technician took good care of me.  He found a small piece of metal in the tire.  He dismounted it and patched it from the inside.  I was back to the Campground in less than an hour and we loaded up and headed into the park.  We had one false start and had to go back into the coach for lunch and water and a couple other items.  (We did forget to close a roof vent).

Clark just finishing up, he even hand torques the lug nuts
Our first stop was at a small falls, then we pressed on toward Old Faithful, here are a few pictures.



Don't fall in
I am so tired tonight we were in the park over 12 hours today and did not eat supper until after 10pm.  Bonnie did a roast in the crockpot so it was ready for us when we got home.  Its 11:30pm now and we are hitting the road at 7am tomorrow.  So I will let the pictures tell the story.


Mud flats




Beautiful twisted pieces of pine
 It rained and hailed on us and the girls got soaked.  An hour before this picture it was raining and we were worried the coach would get soaked with the open vent.


Ground Squirrel 

Old Faithful starting to vent

A good blow

Crossed this twice today


Mudpot
We saw Eagles, Coyote, Elk, Wolves, Geese, and Bison to name a few.

Right outside my window

Maybe 30 Elk

Part of the Wolf pack
 We stopped at one last waterfalls

Bonnie's Mom
We are tired but will sleep good and do the upper loop tomorrow.



Tuesday

We were all up before 6am and on the road by 7am.  One false start we had to come back to wash the windshield and get the inside film off the windows with the sun so low and bright.  We were headed for the North entrance to the park.  Bonnie had us signed up for a program at the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center.  We had about an hour long tour and got to see a lot of their historical records and specimens.  I enjoyed the tour and was happy to learn all that they are doing to preserve the records of what has happened here at the park.  Along the way we did not run into much traffic so we were able to make a few stops along the way to see some more of the sights.  Here are a few of the pictures.

It was pretty foggy the first half of the trip

But this is all steam coming out of vents on the side of the hill

This is Sheepeater Cliff

This guy is a Yellow Bellied Marmont

We spotted a couple Elk

This concrete roadway used to be wooden
Ranger Billy showed us the artifacts and specimens

These are the jawbones from some of the first wolves that were reintroduced into the park and died unexpectedly

An ancient tool made from obsidian a black volcanic rock

One of the first to try to make money at Yellowstond
 He would put horseshoes in the springs for a week or so to get them coated in minerals and then sell them.

Here is a finished one

After the tour we took a gravel road further north that is actually part of the park and can be accessed without going through the park entrance.  We spotted a small group of Prong Horn Antelope standing belly deep in the tall grass.

Pronghorns

Then back into the park proper through the Roosevelt Gate.


I took a couples picture and they took ours.

At the North Entrance

Here is what we did the rest of the day.

Stopped at the petrified tree

Lunch near the petrified tree

Tower Falls

The down logs are from the 1988 fires, the new pines sprouted also in 1988 after the fires

This guys was trying to sleep near the Rangers Museum

The Ranger had a couple kids that were visiting help him fold the flag.

Some of these hot springs really bubble

Lots of Ravens in the par,
We visited lots of other spots also but some are hard to capture in pictures.  I will post them on Facebook.  We were back to the coach by a little after 7, had left overs and decided to sleep in some in the morning.  It is in the 40s at night so it should be great sleeping weather.  We will tour the town in the morning.

Wednesday

We all slept in for an extra hour this morning.  Bonnie called today our bonus day.  We looked around town and the ladies shopped until a little after noon.  Then after lunch we headed into the park planning to stay into the evening and hoping to see some more wildlife.

Spotted these elk on the way into the park

Bonnie took this shot
Then we stopped at at a few of the thermal features that we had missed the first time, we decided we would turn around at Old Faithful.

Amazed at how clear the water is this one was not even steaming

Vintage travel car, one of the tour groups uses this

Colorful hot spring

This geyser was to erupt at 5:30 +or- 2 hours.  We were there at 3:30 so we left

Pulled up to this one just as it erupted

Then on to Old Faithful got there just as it started to erupt

Back to the other on just as it was finishing it eruption, glad we did not sit and wait
 Then we ran into another critter jam on the way out, only about 10 minutes it was 2 Elk again.  Our neighbor Lee was smoking ribs on this smoker and I chatted with them for a while.  Then in for left overs and to work on the blog.  The internet is very slow tonight

This smoker uses pellets.
Well time to publish this and hit the hay.  Tomorrow we move around 300 miles to Thermopolis, WY.  We are hoping to soak in the hot springs there.

Thanks for checking in.