(To be continued)

Thursday's dawn was heralded by an alarm clock rather than the sun's warming rays and we had slept soundly, devoid of the sporadic re-situating that came with camping. Down at the Lake House restaurant we rallied empty plates for the breakfast buffet and took in the now-lit lakeside view that had their large, plentiful panes full up. The food was warm and generous, the early atmosphere sleepily subdued, and our server—the same from our evening visit—carried a kind smile. We enjoyed our ready-made and varied breakfast while discussing the possibilities along our southbound route. Afterward, we gathered our things from the hotel and I happily withdrew from its walls and halls, eager to return to the outdoors. The plan was to drive twenty-one miles to the southern entrance, stopping along the way to hike, see waterfalls, ... read more
Fishing Cone
Abyss Pool

Wednesday was the midpoint of our trip and it was the only evening we would sleep under a man-made roof in Yellowstone. We had certainly worked for it and this dawn wouldn't differ: an amibitous hike out of Canyon lay before us. Camping two nights at the same site had us fixated on one familiar conduit and we were ready to branch off and explore—which, in this case, would result in a longer, less direct route. This would indeed burn more daylight, but the convenience-to-come of sleeping indoors meant we weren't tethered to the setting of the sun: "camp" was already assembled and surrounded by sustenance; warm and waiting. My first choice was the Wapiti: it was the northern boundary of the area's wolf closure and I thought it might offer a glimpse of Hayden Valley ... read more
Mudpot east of Clear Lake
Grizzly Tracks?
Clear Lake

Per usual, a brimming bladder and the exctiement of adventures-to-be extracted me from the warmth of my sleeping bag. And Tuesday morning was a nippy one. Odd calls from the lake—a bird, I suspected—punctuated the silence. Outside the tent I paused to mimic the call and commit it to memory, but it didn't hold until Canyon where I hoped to identify it. The forest floor crackled underfoot as I made my way to the bear bag: everything was intact and I spotted no signs of nocturnal mischievousness. I then veered left, took care of business, and paid a visit to eleven-acre Ribbon Lake where I stood shivering in the sedge meadow for some time. I scanned the forest edges with my binoculars; small frogs hopped toward a sea of lily pads hugging the lake's perimeter; a ... read more
Prelude to Silver Cord Cascade
Lower Falls
Mist of Lower Falls

Monday's dawn at 1A1 was chilly, albeit comfortable, and it was the warmest Yellowstone morning we would have. Night had come and gone from the valley without a peep from wind, water, or wildlife—unlike nights to come!—and left nothing but a light dew in its wake. Margaret isn't a morning person, yet she (thankfully) handled my eagerness well; I'm not always a go-getter in the morning, but the great outdoors generally fills me with vigor. A full bladder doesn't hurt either. We cooked up url= House's Scrambled Eggs (of which we both approved), gathered camp, and hiked back to the trailhead without incident or animal, save one distant bison. Monday's plan was ambitious, but we made it, and down to the wire at that. We continued west to Mamm... read more
Wading Killdeer
Devils Thumb and Palette Spring
Orange Spring Mound

On Sunday, August 19th, Margaret and I awoke to a chilly Montana morning in Ceil's Cabin; it was offset by a warm and scrumptious homemade breakfast at The Log Cabin Cafe in Silver Gate. Our short stay was a pleasant one in all respects: the restaurant, the cabin, the food, and the folks. They have my regards and I would certainly return. Furthermore, when I was looking for lodging months back, it was the best deal I could find in the area and, I believe, the only one that included breakfast. I was still clogged with the virus' leftovers, but a decent night's sleep, a clearer mind, a tasty breakfast, and the idea of spending a week in Yellowstone had me up and at 'em. Our plan was to drive through Lamar Valley, pass through Tower-Roosevelt ... read more
Richardon's Ground Squirrel
Trout Lake
From the Porch of Roosevelt Lodge

North America » United States » Montana » Cooke City August 18th 2012

After weeks of sporadic planning carried out months in advance, Margaret and I awoke on Saturday, August 18th to endure the ten-hour drive to Cooke City-Silve Gate, Montana—a census-designated place of a hundred plus that lies just over the Wyoming border and miles beyond the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park. It was our first visit to the first national park (established in 1872) and we weren't holding back: we were to spend an entire week in the park, drive its three-hundred plus miles of roads, hike all we could handle, and spend six nights in the backcountry at four different sites—bears and all! I contracted an upper respiratory virus the week prior and the combination of its lingerings, worry (is this going to ruin my vac... read more
Pilot and Index Peaks
Ceil's Cabin

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