Thursday, April 22, 2010

Family Trip to Yellowstone Day 6

August 23, 2009
Canyon Campground

We had oatmeal for breakfast - a campsite favorite, but we ate quickly and headed for a real treat - the showers! How nice it is to get clean after a few days of grubbing it with only hand and face washing and teeth brushing.

While we were in the laundry/shower complex, the proprietors showed us pictures of a grizzly vs. wolf encounter in the Heyden Valley where a dominant female wolf aggravated the bear until he surrendered his kill and then the wolf pack came in to feed. Pretty amazing stuff!

We drove to the Roosevelt area for a traditional stagecoach ride along the old roads that used to take vacationers from lodge to lodge around the park. Our team of horses included Deacon and Preacher. The girls enjoyed the ride immensely, but it seemed like it was over too soon.





Pets for Preacher and Deacon...


We continued on towards Mammoth Hot Springs, stopping to see a petrified tree, and what one excited motorist exclaimed to be a wolverine. I too was excited to see a wolverine, because they are nocturnal I think so to see one in the daylight is a treat. Turned out, it was a marmot, but cute nonetheless.

Petrified Tree...


Marmot...


After all the excitement, we stopped to have lunch overlooking Hellroaring Creek and the Buffalo Plateau Trail that I would hike into the backcountry with Tom Crabbs a few days later.



Onward to Mammoth Hot Springs!The girls loved seeing all the elk who had come to bed down and graze on the superior tasting, well kept lawn grass prior to the mating season.



It was an overcast day, but even so, the hot springs and all the travertine formations were pretty cool to see. We walked around the boardwalks and listened in on the park ranger talks, took pictures and took other people's pictures.







Hailey and Kathi with Liberty Cap sticking out of their heads....


Me and the girls...


Someone told us about a hot spring, the Boiling River, near the N entrance of the park where you could wade in the river to feet the volcanic heat! We decided to check it out.

We walked down the long path and you could see the hot spring coming out of the ground. Down in the stream people had piled up rocks to make small pools and many people were soaking in the pools. Away from the hot spring, the stream was cold, but in the seams with the hot water, it was very pleasant. I guess we'd make poor trout!

The Boiling River...


Kathi and Dana taking a soak....


We pressed on and set up the tripod to get our picture at the N entrance, the famous Roosevelt Arch.



We took a quick drive-by look at Gardner, stopped in a few shops, and visited the Yellowstone Association HQ.

On the way home, we took the 7-mile Blacktail Plateau (one-way) gravel drive and stopped to take pictures of the beautiful mountains and rock formations, and juxtapositions of stands of trees.

Just east of Mammoth....


Blacktail Plateau drive...






We stopped for a free re-fill cup of coffee at Roosevelt and then stopped again at Calcite Springs Overlook - the narrowest point int he Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. Columns of basalt are sandwiched between thick deposits of sedimentary gravel for a very dramatic effect as you can see here...



We made another stop at Tower Falls and walked the short path to see the falls. Very nice.



As we drove south along Antelope Creek we scanned for bears but did not see any. It started to rain (which always makes Hailey happy, but it did not make her mother happy with the road being high steep and windy and me driving and looking for bears!

Due to the rain, we decided to treat ourselves and instead of cooking outside, we splurged on dinner at the Canyon gift shop restaurant counter. Burgers, hot dogs, and grilled cheese all around.

Even with overcast skies and the rain at the end, it was a good day.

3 comments:

GeraldF_Rotter雅慧 said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical.........................................

Carly Orr said...

what month of the year did you travel? still sounded cold in the evenings, especially if camping, is that right?

KevinDuBoisPhoto said...

Hi Carly:

We were there August 19-31. The days were warm and sunny, T-shirt weather. Mornings and evenings were cool, but not cold. You have to factor in the elevation. If I recall correctly, most of Yellowstone is around or above 8,000 feet and that makes it cooler in the summertime - especially for us flatlanders!

Kevin