Waking up with a view of the Tetons, we headed off to Yellowstone.Not far into the park, you can immediately start seeing some of the odd pools and hot springs. Of course, everyone has to endure the crowds to witness old faithful spewing out her steam every hour or so.. a little ice cream after Old faithful (Steve’s fault).And a quick tour of the immense, though crowded lodge.
Yellowstone is the final resting place of thousands, 10’s of thousands, no probably 100’s of thousands of tourist hats. Its hot and sunny – people walk out on the elvated boardwalks to get a view of the springs where the wind comes in gusts and removes your sun hat in the blink of an eye. You are instructed not to leave the boardwalks, and indeed, many places are life threateningly dangerous… So there the hats lie. We wondered whether employees come along to pick them up, or they just wait until the wind blows them out to a safe place…
We exited the Park at West Yellowstone and found some National Forest camping on a beautiful lake. The only problem was the water was infested with a dangerous algae bloom, and the air was infested with mosquitos.. We stayed in our Travato all evening with the screen doors shut. In the morning, they all had mysteriously vanished… We continue on our yellowstone tour, saw a Buffalo taking a dust bath, and took a few short hikes.
On the way out the North Gate, we stopped to see the Grand Prismatic. Jennifer remembered it having much more water in her visit a decade ago, and sure enough, we later read the water was very low at this time. It turns out the hot springs under yellowstone are actually moving under the surface of the earth and heading North east. Some day, yellowstone will be dry..
This Elk was calmly chewing his cud in the shade in front of the Mammoth Springs Hotel in downtown, with thousands of cars full of tourists slowly rolling by in the traffic bottleneck.
Exiting at the North Gate of yellowstone:
A few miles North of yellowstone we found more cheap National Forest Camping at the Tom Miner Campground, several miles down a dirt road and past a popular grizzly bear sighting spot.