Due to our lack of wifi and minimal cell service in the park, updates have been few and far between…but it certainly wasn’t for lack of doing! I think we drove every road in the park, some several times over. Each time was like the first though, as we constantly marveled at the scenery, wildlife, and how the time of day and lighting affected some of the features.
On Monday we visited Old Faithful first thing, the crowds were not bad and we arrived about 10 minutes before an eruption…got lucky on that one. It was interesting how built up that area is compared to other park “centers”. Our next stop was a family favorite, Grand Prismatic Spring. It was like being on another planet, and the wind being strong that day, made the steam even more dramatic. It was in that area that we found the Fire hole River. I had received a tip to fish that and/or the Madison and despite the high water in most places, both were quite fish-able. I tried my luck, yet without some “local knowledge” on what flies to use I couldn’t manage to catch the attention of the fish.
We later headed to West Yellowstone to check out the Wolf/Grizzly Discovery Center and I stopped by a fly shop (Blue Ribbon Flies) where I got the “local” I needed…a few flies in hand we headed on back to camp.
Tuesday, Brad decided to bike for a bit and I had the girls in tow as I tried my luck again on a much too popular fishing hole further downstream…they bit, but I never got to bring one in for the girls. I was disappointed but it was still fun!
Getting to that area of the park was about a hour+ drive each way for us, and the travel times were starting to wear us down. We took a breather on Wednesday: laundry, showers and making blends took up the morning. Not being ones to sit still too long though, we headed up to Canyon in the afternoon to check out another overlook of the Yellowstone Canyon and grab dinner. I am sooo glad we went as a traffic jam alerted us to something “good”…we pulled over and joined the spectators as they watched a very large grizzly dining on some delicacy along the banks of the Yellowstone River. We were all about 400 ft away and he still looked big! My point and shoot camera didn’t stand much of a chance though.
Discussions Thursday morning led us to decide to head out of the Park a day early, feeling as though we had covered the ground that we could…it is hard sometimes for Brad and I to remind ourselves that the girls don’t have the stamina we do and carrying Kimberly up and down these trails was not so much fun after a while. Ironically enough, it was a fruitful drive out. We took the route: Fishing Bridge to Canyon to Norris to Mammoth (for those of you familiar) and were rewarded with a wolf sighting in a small valley near Norris…and another grizzly sighting, this one much closer, about 150 feet away, along a small stream, also eating…and finally, a big Bald Eagle as we neared Mammoth for our exit from the park.
It was a fantastic visit…one I will never forget and I hope it has a lasting impression on the girls as well. My most memorable moment: watching Virginia AND Kimberly receive their Junior Ranger badges at the Lake Visitors Center…