Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yep, I went to Yellowstone.

It was not my intention to go through the park this go round. I wanted to spend more time and be able to hike around a bit. But I was so close, how could I not just go in and take a peek? So I drove a little further south and went in the ‘West Entrance.’ I followed the trains of other vehicles and saw all the same sites as every other tourist in there. I clicked my shutter in all the same places and oohed and aahed at the appropriate times. Like when I saw a bison for the first time. About 20 feet away from me:



And when I saw some of the geothermal features of the park, like this acidic and alluringly blue pool:



I saw a managed fire as it burned through the park. I took a picture with me in it to prove I was there:



And I stopped at all the overpasses to see things like the yellowstone river as it passes through some yellow stone:



After about four hours I had to decide if I was staying in the park or not for the night. A quick check at one of the campgrounds, and the ridiculous price to stay told me what I would be doing. I headed up towards Cooke City and turned off on a dirt road a few miles outside of the park. After about thirty minutes of putzing around random dirt trails I made camp:



It had a pretty nice view:



I decided to sleep in the truck to save myself the trouble of setting up the tent. I made my first camp fire of the trip, and cooked a sweet potato next to a can of black beans in the fire. Delicious. Morning time came and it was time to leave. And boy was it smoky! I drove back into the park and watched the sun rise through a thick cloud that had settled over the entire park overnight:



It was pretty, as the sun through smoke can be:



Unfortunately, after the sunrise all the smoke did was obscure the lovely vistas. Like the ‘Grand Canyon’ of yellowstone. I saw this:


I’m sure it’s much more grand when you can see it.


So I decided to start skipping the big vistas, and visited another set of thermal pools. The cool morning air made it very beautiful:



I saw some young bison right on the walkway:



And then their dad got a little too close for my comfort, and started stamping his paw at me in an aggressive manner.


I got the hell out of there and left the park through the East entrance. I’d had enough of the tourist game, and besides; it was time to get the dog out of the truck and do some hiking. I decided to head East through Wyoming.


Catalyst said...

Yo, Tombo! Just wanted to let you know I've been following along. I'm enjoying your trip . . perhaps at times even more than you are. You're getting close to my birth-and-growing-up-place, North Dakota. Be careful, it could begin snowing any day!

AJ said...

Awesome! I love Yellowstone, it's pretty much Disney Land for science majors. :P

Headed east huh? Getting close to my home: The Black Hills. Also home to Mount Rushmore, Spearfish Canyon, Custer State Park, the Badlands, and some awesome hiking trails! Hurry before the snow arrives!

Steve said...

Great post. Enjoyed the photos and commentary.

TomboCheck said...

Catalyst - Yeah, there are certainly times where this trip is a little hard for me to enjoy, but overall it's going really well. I ended up bypassing North Dakota through its more southerly sibling. Man, what a boring state that was to drive through once you get east of the badlands. Great if you like corn fields and soy bean fields I guess. :)

AJ - Yeah, I imagine a science major would get a little more out of it. With the dog in tow it was hard for me to truly enjoy the place fully, since I couldn't go out and do any long hikes.

I loved the black hills in South Dakota, but after that it got a bit less interesting scenery-wise.

Steve - Thanks!