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Published: November 10th 2005
Lake Tahoe 17-18/10/05
We drove as far as Tahoe City on Lake Tahoe and stopped overnight. The next morning we hiked up Eagle Rock to take in the views and try out the new lens. There was a fire over the other side of the lake which had been burning for a couple of days, and you could see a thin layer of smoke spreading out across the lake. We chatted for a while to a couple called Tammy and Terry (encouraging them to take the trip to the Amazon that they had always dreamed about) before heading back down into town and replacing our Petzl head torches which had been destroyed in the bike crash. We then drove on to Elko, home of the Cowboy Poetry Festival (of which we have no examples) and had pizza and beer for dinner. We were given a free bottle of pumpkin beer by the barmaid (as it wasn't selling particularly well). It was rather good - tasted a bit like Leffe Blonde. We may well have to go back and have some more!
The Craters of the Moon 19-20/10/05
Drove to Idaho (land of potatoes) the next day,
Old Faithful doing its thing
The show lasted 5 minutes and was very impressive
stopped at Idaho Falls and slept well. The next morning we backtracked to Pocatello to pick up a selection of AAA maps and tour books before driving to the 'Craters of the Moon' National Park. This a 75 square mile area of lava fields that has been described as the wierdest natural place in America (as oposed to L.A. - the wierdest unnatural place in America). We had fun scrambling through lava tubes and up volcanoes until late afternoon, photos at the bottom of this blog. We drove on to West Yellowstone (in Montana), arriving at 10pm after all the food places had shut, so we subsisted on beer instead.
Drove into Yellowstone and headed towards Old Faithful. We discovered a new trick shortly after getting into the park, if you park up and stand by your car with binoculars every car which approaches will stop so the occupants can see what you are staring at! We got about 30 people looking at a crow and caused quite a tailback. Saw some elk from a distance and, as we got near to the Visitor Centre, we saw two bison; They are amazing, very big and very
Rush hour in Yellowstone
Herd of bison? Of course I've heard of bison!!
solid looking. At Old Faithful we saw 5 more bison in the car park, they're still amazing. We waited for Old Faithful to erupt, as it happened there were lots of Ooohs and Aaahs and a round of applause. I think it would be more surprising if it didn't erupt!
In the afternoon we drove around Yellowstone Lake hoping to see more wildlife, we headed back to West Yellowstone via Yellowstone Canyon - amazing waterfalls. Just before Canyon Village we met a herd of bison walking up the road and got some close up shots of them - wow!
As we approached the park entrance we met... more bison walking up the road. Frankly this is getting silly, they are supposed to be an endangered species, although I have to admit that given the option of walking between grazing areas on the road or through the trees, the road definitely wins every time for ease and speed.
Still haven't seen grizzly bear, wolf or moose.
22/10/05 we drove into the Lamar Valley today, this is supposed to be the place to see wildlife in Yellowstone and we did - bison, elk, bison and erm, bison!
23/10/05 in a last ditch
Great Fountain Geyser
This is much less predictable than Old Faithful and we missed its eruption by 15 mins (of course)
attempt to see bear, wolf or moose we headed for Grand Teton today. Held up by the usual herd of bison just outside Madison; this time two young bulls started having a fight which was a bit off-putting as we were driving a compact car whose body parts are mainly plastic. An old bull broke it up and moved them on.
We lunched at an empty pickernick site, still no sign of Yogi or Boo Boo, just a pair of very tame birds. We obviously don't eat the right food.
After we entered Grand Teton we saw a movement in the shrubs to our right and finally we saw...MOOSE, a family group - hurrah! I think we're going to have to admit defeat on the bear and wolf front.
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