Thursday, June 20, 2013

Last days of Yellowstone...

Weather here has been a mixture of sun, rain and even a little hail!  June, to me, seems like the beginning of summer, but here in this part of Wyoming, it’s still springtime.  The great thing about that is things are still wildflowers blooming, calves and cubs are up and following their mamas, baby birds are getting their feathers and are starting their flying lessons, and there are less tourist to see all this!  But...the weather is unpredictable too.  So, you flow with it, grabbing a jacket with a hood even though it might be sunny when you start out, or, spending a day “off” and writing while you watch the hail come thumping down all around. 

The campground at Yellowstone is quite different from the one at Grand Tetons.  Actually, Jack and I agree that the two parks are quite different from each other, both in looks as well as how they are run.  As for looks, apart from the obvious geology, Yellowstone suffered a huge fire back in 1988 and the scars are still noticeable today.  It’s sad to drive so many miles and see millions of trees laying dead all around you; looking so much like a child’s messy room with his Tinker Toys thrown about in big bunches.  It can’t help but take away some of the beauty.  The RV campground at Yellowstone is pretty much a large parking lot with RVs parked back to back with a pine tree between each of you.  Old Tarmac slabs with just enough room to park your toad beside your rig.  The Tarmac roads to each of the areas are full of pot holes and bumps, from the harsh winters I would suppose.  As I shared previously about the Grand Tetons campground, it was laid out more natural with lots of trees and a stronger feeling of camping in a forest.  Better kept roads, but since the “slabs” were “natural” they weren’t very level though either.  Yellowstone being so large, it has many more Lodges and therefore more Gift Shops, places to eat, etc.  It seems a little more “family oriented” here, more towards children’s activities, interests, items, etc than at the Grand Tetons, we did see less children there as well.  Here it’s been fun to see so many small children seeing the animals and geysers, excited, learning, having fun and making new friends to play with.

We finished up our last days with a few sights at Inspiration Point, getting a little more of the views from that gorgeous “painted” canyon and waterfalls.  Checking out the “Glacial Boulder”, a huge granite boulder that got scooped up from the Beartooth Mountains by a glacier and deposited here some 80,000 years ago that still sits among some trees by the side of the road.  I caught a glint of white on the side of the rocky North Rim and aimed my telephoto lens on it and saw that it was a mountain goat, so took a couple of shots of it as well. Earlier in the day, a fellow photographer had his large telephoto set up on a tripod, waiting.  I took a look in that direction and spotted what he had, a large Osprey nest with mom keeping her little ones warm beneath her.  My 300 lens could only get a fair shot of her, but I took it anyway.  A little something is better than nothing!

We ended out stay with a special dinner treat at the luxurious Lake Yellowstone Hotel (c1895). “A buttercup behemoth that sets romantics aflutter; that harks back to a bygone era.” is how it is described in the tour book...and that’s pretty true.  A historic way to end our stay... the road again in Wyoming,   Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:

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