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Published: January 17th 2013
The sign at the start of the walking trail told us to “Carry Bear Spray at all Times...”
After 1 nights rest in Idaho Falls we were up at 6am ready for our drive through Yellowstone National Park. A continental breakfast and a coffee and we were raring to get the 3 hour drive to the entrance done so we could explore the world’s first National Park. We entered through the North West corner in Wyoming where the majority of the park is found although overall the park is spread over 3 states. This would be the second time using our annual National Park Pass.
After reading that 3.4 million people visited the park in 2011 we knew we would be part of a big crowd and noticed this when the traffic stopped to watch 2 elk feeding on the side of the road.
The Park spans over 3,468 square miles which works out to round 8,983 square km’s if my maths is correct, saying this, we knew 1 day here would not give us all it could offer. Our second stop was the first hot spring of the day. The sign at the start of the walking trail told us to “Carry Bear Spray at all Times”. A can of Bear Spray would have prevented
the events that follow.....just kidding. The spring was amazing, but nothing compared to the orange sulphur coloured springs we saw throughout the rest of the park. We walked on elevated boardwalks and felt the heat bubbling from the mud beneath us.
Our lunch stop was at the famous old geyser sight where the majority of visitors for this day seemed to be waiting. We waited as long as we could for the old bugger to do his thing with no luck so we continued East around Yellowstone Lake to exit our day at the park.
Our hotel was 2 hours from here in a small town called Greybull. We slept in a historic room above the local pub. Population 1862. We soon realised the only thing open in the town was a diner. A full plate of roast beef, mashed potato and gravy did the trick before we needed to make our next decision – where to next?
Cereal & juice at our Greybull pub for an early take-off. 7 minutes into our drive it was suggested that as we only have 1/4 tank of fuel perhaps we should fill up. Unfortunately nothing opens in Greybull before
10 on a Saturday (probably), so we were heading off into the unknown. Luckily Dirty Annie’s was open 7 more minutes down the road and we refuelled at the lone station.
It seems that every fuel station we have encountered on our travels thus far has it’s own personality & way of doing things. Always pay at the counter before filling, or by credit card at the pump. But what if I want to fill it but don’t know how much it will take you say. Well, pay what you think and if your tank takes less you can collect your change. We have come across only one where you can pay post fill. Other stations also require you to remove the nozzle then lift another handle. It all gets very complicated when you are to-ing & fro-ing from the front counter to pay and establish how to troubleshoot the fuel bowser.
Our decision was made to head to see the mountain honouring George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Constructed between 1927-1941, carved predominately by dynamite. We can now say we have seen Mt Rushmore.
We drove about 1 hour South to Hot Springs,
South Dakota. We spent the night here before deciding on our next destination.
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