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Published: June 15th 2012
Memorial Day. We spent a long time in the car today. My observation while driving down Highway 89 was 'the clouds are really low today. Its like they cant be bothered to stay in the sky.'
Our first stop from Evanston was Bear Lake, which is known by locals as the 'carribean of the Rockies' because of its beautiful turquoise colour. It is also meant to be home to the 'bear lake monster'. It is 109 sq miles and is big enough to accommodate several villages on its banks. (We particularly liked 'Fishaven', which was idyllic. Jon even marked it on the GPS as a possible retirement base.)
After crossing from Wyoming, to Idaho and back into Wyoming, we eventually reached the mouth of Snake River and Jackson I(after 6.5 hours in the car). Jackson is known as the gateway to both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone. For some reason, I was expecting Jackson to wow me, but it didnt, so we had a coffee and got back in the car for the 2.5 hour drive to Yellowstone.
We had to drive through Grand Teton to get to Yellowstone and I am so glad we did. The temperature had dropped to 34 degrees and the landscape was snow capped, bu we made a few stops, including Jenny Lake, where we saw a moose (10 ft away) chilling at the edge of the forest, chewing on a piece of grass. I thought that was good until we drove on, turned a corner and saw about 50 people with telephoto lenses...I knew it was a bear, but had no idea it was the lesser spotted grizzly bear. This made my holiday, as it was out in the open, not at all bothered by the fuss surrounding it. A Park Ranger made sure we stayed 100 yards from it, but it was enough to see it in its natural habitat.
On a high, we continued on to Yellowstone Park and amazingly, there was some respite from the snow and the sun came out, so we went for a 3 mile hike to see Old Faithful and past various other geysers and onto the iconic Morning Glory Pool.
As we walked along the path, we saw nature at its best again, as a bison crossed in front of us, chasing a coyote. It was like a free safari.
The scenery is stunning in the South East of the park. Steaming geysers are all around you, surrounded by thick forest.
It is quite a drive to get from the park ring road to the West gate, but from the gate, it was a 10 mionute drive to the Yellowstone Lodge, which I thoroughly recommend as a base. We checked in at 10.30pm, headed out to a bar for some dinner and collapsed for the night.
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