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  • Day80

    It Was All Yellow

    August 4, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Well we have finally made it to the one standing booking we've had for the whole trip - 5 nights in Yellowstone! The drive in was beautiful through the Lamar Valley past hundreds of bison. We were expecting the campsite to be basic so were delighted to find that there were hot showers & we got 2 free per night :) There was also an excellent laundrette so we are all squeaky clean. On further exploration we found a cafe, grill, restaurant & bar so we are definitely happy campers!

    After a breakfast of eggy bread, our first day in the park was spent climbing up to Observation Peak - beautiful wild flowers & I'm glad to say no bears. In the afternoon explored the Canyon region with stunning waterfalls & amazing colourful steep canyon sides.

    Our 2nd day in the park was spent exploring the geothermal spectaculars that Yellowstone has to offer. This place has over half the geysers in the world - most are reasonably impressive and everyone has heard of Old Faithful (except Helen apparently!) but was a little spoiled by having to share it with several thousand visitors. The highlights were a short walk to Mystic Falls, with its steaming cliffs and the mystical fog that hung over the river & the beautiful turquoise/orange (due to the thermophilic bacteria) Grand Prismatic Lake. Our journey home is interrupted by bison heading down to the river for an evening drink.

    The next morning we headed off around the northern loop, and a sudden pull off the road resulted in our first grizzly sighting! We jumped out of the car and watched at a safe distance, amazed by the people who ventured close with their small kids running around & one man who knocked himself out by running into a tree in his excitement... Then the teenage bear casually wandered towards the crowd and mad panic ensued!

    After the buzz of the bear encounter we headed up Bunsen Peak - it's not one of the big ones but it does offer pretty impressive 360 degree panoramas of the different habitats across the vast park. We continued our journey around the loop and ended up at Boiling River, which is a lot more pleasant than it sounds when you mix it with a cool mountain river. We somehow grabbed the best seats in one of the pre-made rock 'hot tubs' and spent 90 mins getting wrinkly whilst avoiding the sudden hot/freezing currents. A great day was topped off with a coyote running across the road in front of us.

    On our last day in the park we decided to head up Washburn Mountain, which was a lot more populated than Bunsen but it was still a nice couple of hours walk with great views from the firetower summit. The only new animal spot was a Pika, a large mouse type creature. We headed back on the quieter northern loop to little lunch spot by the creek, and explored a few little trails and off-road drives.

    Although it's not the most spectacular park in terms of craggy peaks, the sheer beauty and diversity is unquestionably gorgeous.
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