Weather: The drive to Yellowstone from Idaho Falls was very nice weather as was the next
day we spent in the park. 70s-80s with clear and a little cloudy sky. That night though it started
to drizzel after we had set up our tents and eaten our marshmellows, as we were going to bed. The
temperature got down around freezing during the night because the car's themometer said 39 in the morning.
Though it rained the whole night it stopped in the morning when we were packing up, and didn't start again
until we were leaving the park.
We drove from Aunt Karen's to this "square ice cream" place. Apparently this gas station
bought a square ice cream scoop awhile back and it became famous for it. The ice cream
iteself was very good but problems arose when I went to pay for mine. I reached down
and realized my wallet wasn't there. I had left it behind at Idaho Falls. I called my
Aunt and she had already noticed. We decided to meet on the road half way between Idaho
Falls and the ice cream place. Basically I cost us an hour and a half of Grand Teton viewing.
Continuing on we
went to Grand Teton National Park where we saw large mountains and the setting sun in style.
We had dinner at Leek's Marina on the lake. We had some extremely good pizza and we didn't
see any bears. We continued on to Yellowstone through the darkness of the forest. There
wasn't anybody at the gate to Yellowstone so our Parks Pass went unused. We continued on to
Old Faithful where we got out of the car but didn't go any closer then the parking lot
because it was dark and we didn't want to get scalded or fall in. We continued on to Madison Campground
and put up our tents a little after midnight. Actually, only April, Tim, and I slept in tents
because of the threat of bears.
In the morning while packing up the two tents, I noticed a prairie dog running from one side of our campground
under the picnic table with a bunch of grass/twigs in his mouth to some place on the other side of our campground.
He did this about six times and both Steven and I got pictures of him. He'd run one way with his mouth full
of stuff and then run back the other way a little later, only to run back with more stuff. Very funny little
animal. Anyway, we roused the sleeping
people in the car and proceded back to Old Faithful. We got there just too late and waited about
an hour for it to erupt again, but it was really cool so we didn't mind that much. We had lunch
in the Old Faithful lodge which is a beautiful building crafted from what looks like live trees.
The inside atrium is supported by curving and graceful limbs and there are catwalks and staircases throughout
it. The lunch was good and we continued north towards some geyser basins, bacterial mats, and fountain
paint pots. We got lots of pictures as we were steamed by the water. One minute you're chilly, the next
you're really warm and wet as the mist surrounds and blows about you. We continued past Madison up
to Mammoth Hot Springs where we saw more pools as well as white terraces and something that looked
like a large orange marshmellow. Along the way we saw buffalo, faraway moose, and a lot of dink-alopes
(what Tim so humorously called the elk).
We drove back from Mammoth Hot Springs and went on to Canyon Village. Pat insisted on a "short cut" which
turned out to be very nice because we saw some moose closeup. At Canyon we set up our tents and then went
for dinner in the cafeteria since we didn't really want to cook with the bears around. After dinner we broke
out the marshmellows and started a fire. Soon it started to rain a little and we got ready for bed. During
the night the rain fell consistently but in the morning it had stopped. That allowed us some time to pack
up and get going to the waterfalls nearby. Steven, April, and I hiked down to the top of the lower falls which
are 300ft high. A very spectacular view. We saw the upper falls too and then took off toward the northeast
entrance so we could go through Montana. On the way up we had the pleasure of seeing a momma bear and her two
cubs. The bears were down a hill and across a stream eating and playing. We took some video and pictures from
the car but Steven went out to join some other people on the road. When the bears started up and crossed the creek
Steven high tailed it for the car and we drove off shouting at the other people to get back in their cars... silly
We stopped for lunch in Cooke City Montana and April got recognized by the waitress from the night before. We
thought this a little weird and April denied it, ah well. Continuing on we had the pleasure of driving through
a cloud, but more on that on the Mount Rushmore page.
The Lake at Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton Sky
Our tents the first night in Yellowstone
Posing prairie doge
Jumping action shot
Old Faithful blowing its top
The inside of the lodge
Some hot pool, pretty steamy eh?
Bacterial Mat in a hot pool
One of the bull elk we saw!
Steven, April and Pat at Angel Terrace
The lower falls falling
The lower falls hitting the bottom of the valley and causing mist
The bears we saw: momma on right cubs on left
(I got better pictures with the zoom lens, I should have those soon)
© 1997-2001 Shawn Patton