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Published: June 27th 2015
Sunday, 21 June, 2015
We enjoyed a lazy morning then drove to Jenny Lake. The visitor center was not nearly as crowded as yesterday. We then drove up Signal Mountain with its panoramic views before heading back for showers and dinner.
Monday, 22 June
We had problems with the electric jack on the camper, as in, it was dead. We finally managed to crank it manually using vice grips.
The drive to Yellowstone was magnificent. There was a line of cars and campers waiting to get into the park, but it moved fairly well. We stopped at Grants Village to call Peggy and Barbara for their birthday. There are only 3 or 4 cell towers in the whole park, so cell service is spotty at best. Once at Bridge Bay campground we set up the camper, which was a pain because we used the floor jack to raise the tongue off the hitch. Of course, once we were set up, Kerry found the hand crank way back in a corner of the storage compartment. Bob was having battery charging problems with his camper, so we drove back
Yellowstone National Park
at West Thumb Geyser Basin
to Grants for a new plug for him. We then drove to West Thumb to the geyser basin there. Jenna began work on her Yellowstone Jr. Ranger patch.
Tuesday, 23 June
We drove to Old Faithful Geyser basin, arriving just a few minutes before the famous geyser blew. Did you know that Old Faithful blows out 8,000 gallons of hot water through a 4” opening in just a few minutes? We stayed for a Ranger program on geysers, which completed Jenna's requirements for her badge, which in this case was a beautiful embroidered patch.
We then drove to Grand Prismatic hot springs with its fantastic colors, a favorite spot in the park.
Wednesday, 24 June
Today we drove north past Fishing Bridge and Canyon Village to Tower, where we turned west to Mammoth. We visited the visitor center at the newly remodeled Aldridge Building, a leftover from the days when the army was in charge of the park. We ate lunch next to the terraced Mammoth Hot Springs before Kerry, Jenna, Bob and Gena walked the travertine terraces. We came back
W. Thumb Geyser Basin
by Norris, after driving 7 miles of unpaved road construction, stopping at Fishing Village for showers.
Today we saw 2 bears, tons of bison, a deer or two, but no moose. We have been on moose watch since we arrived at Grand Tetons, but they have been elusive.
Thursday, 25 June
This morning we drove through the Lamar Valley, all the way to the northeast entrance to the park. Along the way we saw bison, pronghorns and some elk, but still no moose. It's gorgeous country, though, and we did enjoy ourselves.
We drove back to Canyon Village and then up the south rim road where we viewed the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone with views of both the upper and lower waterfalls.
This was a 3 bear day. We spotted 2 small black bears and a medium sized one on the road between Tower and mammoth.
Friday, 26 June
We broke camp and headed for the dump station to empty gray and black water tanks. This campground has 432 camp sites and one dump station. Needless to
W. Thumb geyser basin
say, there was a long line and it took an hour to get done.
On the way out of the park, we were held up by another critter jam. This is what happens when someone spots wildlife from the road and stops either in the road or alongside the road to take pictures. Everyone stops and a traffic jam occurs. This time we could see a large grayish animal way across the Yellowstone River. I managed a quick but blurry shot of it, but Gena got a pretty good picture, which we studied over supper and realized was a gray wolf. When I saw it originally I thought it was a bear, but it was definitely a quite large wolf and it was feeding on the carcass of some other large animal.
We left Yellowstone through the west entrance, drove a few miles through Montana, then entered Idaho. About an hour into Idaho we could see the east side of the Grand Teton Mountains, impressive from any angle.
We are stopped for the night at a campground in Arco, Idaho, the first atomic-powered town. It was a night of laundry, showers,
Jenna listening to ranger program
and planning what's next. It's getting hot, with a huge record-setting heat wave settling over the area we've been planning to visit.
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