Monday, July 23, 2012

Days 55 & 56 - Yellowstone (Mud Volcano, Tower Fall, Mammoth Hot Springs)

Day 55 (July 19) we headed north on the eastern side of the grand loop and went north through Mud Volcano and Hayden meadow (where we saw a whole heard of buffalo) to Tower Fall.  We then went up to Mammoth Hot Springs and Montana (to say we’d been to another state on this trip).  We toured the travertine terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs and then ate dinner at the grill there.  We headed back down the western side of the grand loop and crossed over to the southeastern road.  We didn’t see much on the way back, except at one point where we had to stop in the middle of the Hayden meadow while the park rangers dealt with a Prius that hit a buffalo.  Once again we got back to our campsite around 10:30 pm. 

Bison on side of the road
Bison on side of road
Bison calves
Mud volcano (smells really bad!!!!)
Lower Yellowstone Falls
Bison crossing the road

View from mountain pass
Wildflowers in Yellowstone
Wildflower meadow

Yellowstone River
Petrified Redwood Tree

North Yellowstone Entrance
Tower Fall

Roosevelt Arch
Travertine Formations at Mammoth Hot Springs

David and Heidi at Mammoth Hot Springs
Moritz and Daniel at Mammoth Hot Springs
Friday morning we awoke to the sound of rain.  It wasn’t a heavy rain, but enough rain to make putting away the tent difficult.  We got somewhat dirty trying to fold up the tent.  We also had to try to put the leftover firewood into the car (we meant to build another campfire last night, but got back too late).  So, the firewood is now next to Erin in the backseat next to the carpet we bought in Oregon along with the plastic bag full of clothes that Katlin gave Erin.  Hopefully we get the chance to do laundry in the next few days because everyone is getting a bit low on clean clothes.

After packing up the tent and heading out of Yellowstone we drove through Wyoming towards Devil’s Tower.  We drove over more of the Rocky Mountains and through Bighorn National Forest where we saw a deer on the side of the road and came down out of the mountains.  For the first time in several weeks we are going to be at a lower elevation than 5000 feet (Yellowstone is between 7000 and 9000 feet in elevation).  This is probably the last time David will get to drive a big, long, twisty road that has huge elevation changes in a few miles.  In the car we listened to a series of lectures on philosophy of mind and then watch Close Encounters of the Third Kind (because we are on our way to Devil’s Tower!).  Tomorrow we head to Mt. Rushmore!

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