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Published: September 25th 2014
We were up and at 'em again today. Up early and on the road early. But even though we were up and ready, not everyone was feeling too good. David has been fighting a head cold and it is taking its toll. So after some meds, we checked out of our hotel and headed right back into Yellowstone. After yesterday's success with wildlife we were anxious to get started again.
We didn't have to wait long before finding Yellowstone's prime animals in their own habitat. Just a few miles in, we saw a blue crane and a trumpeter swan floating on the river. We stopped to admire her beauty and take a few pics as well as several other people. They looked like the Secret Wolf Watching Society from a couple of days ago with their super-duper camera lens all lined up in a row. They were at the waters edge only a few feet away from the swan until the ranger showed up and made them move. And that apparently made them mad because they all loaded up and left. Why they needed to be so close is beyond me. Their lens had to magnify it at least 500
times normal view - maybe they were trying to count the swan's feathers.
After leaving the swan and the ranger, we took Firehole Lake Drive and was treated to some great scenery. A canyon, the river, the mountains and the falls. We then continued on to Old Faithful. No trip in Yellowstone is really complete without seeing Old Faithful. It was there that we called Donald (my hubby) and he was able to see us on the national park webcam. That is also one of the few places that cell service exist in the park. We watched the geyser erupt and left headed back up the highway. The road below Old Faithful is the other closed construction area so we were forced to head back up to go back south - again we were forced to take the long way around.
We briefly considered hiking to a waterfall but decided against it when no parking spots were available. So we headed on up and walked around the Midway Geyser Basin. Many interesting and colorful formations are in the basin. While we were there one of the springs decided to erupt every other minute spewing onto the boardwalk. The
rangers had to close that section and said this was a very rare occurrence. Water shooting out where it usually doesn't with such force makes you wonder if it safe to be there at all. We then took another side drive through more spring and geyser areas and were treated to an eruption at a cone geyser. It was just pure luck that we were there when it happened for it is one that cannot be predicted. Again making you wonder how safe it is there. With no other randomly spewing geysers around, we continued on around the park.
As I had predicted, my hiking crew was not up to my planned hike for the day. I don't blame them, it would have been very hard and not one to try when feeling poorly. They said we would add it to the list for our next trip. So we kept on rolling. We stopped by a few general stores (aka gift shops) purchasing a few souvenirs. Then headed back south but was treated to a private viewing of a herd of elk. Well it was private until we stopped - we then created the traffic jam with tons of
other people following us and the ranger was called out. We first saw just one elk but when we turned back around to get a better view, we see it was a herd of them including the big daddy himself standing so majestic watching over his girls. The ranger had his hands full keeping people back and traffic moving. It is not our fault if people do not know how to drive slow, use pull offs, or know the safe distance to stay from wildlife. We left that area and stopped by Artist Point.
I think Artist Point has to be the 2nd most popular stop in Yellowstone (with Old Faithful as the first). It is a beautiful view down a canyon with a huge waterfall at the end. Very scenic - post card type picture. We were there with about 1000 other people. This was the most crowded spot we had been in. And most of the crowd were non English speaking Asians. I would estimate that for every 1 American, there were 50 Asians. They all came in on tour buses and really didn't respect anyone else around them. They were rude and pushy. They literary would
push you out of the way to get their picture or view, jump in front of you while you were taking a picture, shove and elbow people around them without saying a word. I am not sure if they just didn't know better, could not speak or understand English or were just disrespectful. It was chaos. Perhaps a policy should be implemented for theses groups - they should have to go through some type of training on how to act in America before boarding that airplane and tour bus. After that, we decided to leave the crowds.
We travelled through Hayden Valley which I think is one of the most picture worthy areas in the park. We saw a couple of people stopped with their camera and as we passed them, saw a swan. We headed back to get our own view and when we got there we saw there were 6 swans. What luck! The ranger we saw earlier told us that many have not been seen in the park this year and now we had 6 at one spot. 2 were trumpeter swans and the other 4 were a different kind. It only took a few minutes
for the crowd to join us.
Having suck luck with animal sightings we decided to keep searching them out. We still had not seen Bullwinkle or a black bear. We took a few side roads and were treated to a few more awe inspiring sights. We saw another herd of 20 or so elk on a hill and watched them for a while. We did see a few more elk and of course many bison, but no Bullwinkle. Today we seemed to create the traffic jams and masses of people instead of joining them.
I think all the riding instead of walking is causing me to have sore muscles. The park is so big that lots of riding is required to see it. And even though lots of riding is required, there is no way to actually see all of the park. It is massive. But I could live here. What's not to love when surrounded by such beauty. I wonder if I were to hike way out into the extreme wilderness of the park and build a cabin, how long before rangers would know and kick me out? Would they ever know? Something to ponder. Tomorrow is
our last day and we are headed back to the Grand Tetons. Hopefully Bullwinkle will come out of hiding before the day's end.
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