Yellowstone National Park, 200, Old Yellowstone Trl, Gardiner, Montana, Wyoming
We've seen some great things in Yellowstone yesterday and today before exiting the park! Yesterday we drove from our campsite in Madison to the Canyon area. We parked at the Grand View lookout and hiked the North Rim Trail 2 miles to Inspiration Point, enjoyed the spectacular view, were inspired by the beautiful colors in the canyon and the river and falls, and them hiked back.
We then drove into Hayden Valley - a guarantee bison spotting location. Just entering the valley we pulled aside and started on the Mary Mountain hike which headed West skirting the North end of the valley. We only made it about a mile because bison kept blocking our path. Seems they are fond of the nice packed down hiking trail! We went out of our way to avoid them but finally got tired of walking through mud, tall grass, and shrubs. By the time we decided to turn around, the main herd had moved over to completely block our trail back. We had to make a long detour and when we finally reached the road, some of the herd was causing a 'Yellowstone traffic jam'. Since it wasn't very safe for us to be walking through the bison I flagged down a truck and got us a ride in their truck bed the mile back to the RV. Great up-close view of bison as we went through.
After driving through the jam, we headed to the Lake area. In the hotel I visited my old place of employment - the Lake Hotel's gift shop. My old boss was there and recognized me! Crazy. Very strange being back, but really neat.
Last night we stayed at the Bridge Bay campground and a quick but intense thunder and hail storm passed over.
This morning I convinced Dave to get up at 4:30am to do a sunrise hike up Elephant Back. It's a 4mi round-trip hike that I did once while working here. It was as beautiful as I remembered it watching the sun rise over the mountains and the lake. Unfortunately the mosquitos were annoying. We headed out of the park and into Cody where Dave bought some fireworks and then we visited the huge and interesting Buffalo Bill museum. We said we'd only pay $12 to enter and when we saw the $18 entrance fees we started to walk away but the cashier guy called us back and said not to worry about what the sign says, he'd take $20 for the two of us. Not bad!
Now off to the Bighorn mountains, good luck Yotabago!