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Published: October 5th 2011
Monday morning we visited the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Very nice museum, 5 galleries including a Plains Indian section, a Natural History of Yellowstone section, the Whitney Art Gallery, a firearms exhibit and a section about Buffalo Bill himself. In true fashion, that was the section I most wanted to see, and it was the one that was closed. Sigh....
The other galleries were nice, with the Western Art being the nicest. I didn't go into the firearms wing, but did go out into the sculpture garden.
Even though the museum was nice, and I'm glad we stopped there, I think it would have been nicer to have more time in the Park itself.
Drive to and through the Park was really nice. Got to Old Faithful just in time to watch it go off. Gotta say, even in the rain, that was impressive. Some of the folks on the tour are disappointed, we were supposed to be staying at the Old Faithful Inn, but instead were at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. I liked the Lodge so I'm not unhappy. And we got to see the inside of the Old Faithful Inn, which, while rustic and unique, I found too dark and overdone for my taste. Quick dinner and then I got to watch Old Faithful a second time.
Tuesday morning I got up early and walked around the geyser field. Didn't get to see Old Faithful go off again, but did see the Plume Geyser spurt. We drove from Old Faithful and went to the Mammoth Hot Springs area. We stopped off at the Celestine Pool and saw the Mud pots and the Spasm Geyser. Again, we had rain, but you know what comes from rain? Rainbows. Three of them we saw during the drive. And they were gorgeous.
We had to go out of the park for lunch into the town of West Yellowstone. Decent food at a decent price.
After lunch we went back into the park and stopped at Gibbone Falls, the Upper and Lower Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Going over Dunraven Pass we saw our second rainbow, a complete one spanning the valley. Our third came at Overlook Cliff, a calcite formation that made me really dizzy!
We saw a whole bunch of bison and even watched some running across the road. Those things are scary big. And speaking of scary, having elk bugling outside your window at 1:45 am is really mindblowing.
The elk were all hanging out in front of hotel at Mammoth Hot Springs. One of my fellow travelers called it elk-a-vision.
Got up early again this morning to walk over to the hot springs themselves. Once again, in the rain. Sigh... But the good part was that I had the pathway all to myself for quite a while. Retraced our route through Yellowstone to come out the south gate into the Grand Teton National Park. Stopped at Jackson Lake Lodge for lunch and some mountain veiwing. And the clouds cooperated a bit, they moved out of the way and were able to see the mountains for a little bit. After that, more driving, with a stop at Jenny Lake for more pictures and the Grand Teton Visitors center.
Dinner tonight is included in the tour, but is not what was listed in our brochure. We should have had a chuck wagon dinner, but I guess those are done for the season. Tomorrow is a free day, and hopefully the weather will cooperate and let me explore the town.
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