No blog yesterday because we have been in Yellowstone the past two days. I’m pretty sure there was no internet access anywhere in the park…and that is a big park! So, to catch up from yesterday, I will start with Saturday morning. We finally slept in until about 7:00 and got some much needed rest. Yes, 7:00 is sleeping in for this trip. The drive wasn’t long to Yellowstone, so we got there by late morning. Before we could even set up our campsite, we saw some elk and buffalo. The buffalo were on the side of the road, so they were very close to the cars. We even saw a Black Bear! He was less than 100 feet away, and I thought Beau wanted to jump out of the car and run over to him, he was so excited. If he had, I would’ve been right behind him with the pepper spray. I’m pretty sure we were able to see every wild animal Yellowstone had to offer, minus the wolves. It was amazing!
On Saturday, we drove the north loop of the park and saw Norris Geyser Basin and Mammoth Springs. As soon as we stepped out of the car, the smell of sulpher let us know we were in the right place. There were some really cool geysers on the 1 ½ mile walk through Norris; all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors. After our day discovering the north loop, we headed back to our campsite in the middle of Yellowstone, and, of course, had some smores! Beau had something he likes to call Rees’mores. Instead of Hershey chocolate, he uses Reese’s cups. He’s working on a patent as I type this.
One thing we hadn’t really taken note of was how much cooler the temperature had gotten as the day went on. As we got settled in our tent for what felt like a cool, crisp autumn evening, the night quickly became what felt like a cold winter’s night. I soon came to realize that my sleeping bag was not nearly warm enough for the 30 degree temperature. I vividly remember waking up at one point and telling Beau that I was pretty sure I had hypothermia….but I wasn’t kidding at the time. When we woke up and realized the mountain peaks had fresh snow on them, the realization began to set in that the strange sounding rain I thought I heard the night before was actually sleet. Hmmm…maybe I was right about the hypothermia, and I just recovered really quickly.
Due to the lack of sleep, we decided we may as well go ahead and head out into the park and see what the early morning had to offer. Good decision! Almost as soon as we set out on the south loop of the park, we came across two huge buffalo walking in the road. As soon as we saw each other, we stopped the car, and the buffalo paused. The first buffalo kept walking directly at our car, almost as if to say (in a very Clint Eastwood voice, I imagine) “Get off my road.” However, he and his counterpart eventually conceded defeat. The lead buffalo went so close to the driver side of the car, that Beau could’ve easily reached out to touch him, but I begged him to roll the window back up so he wouldn’t get gored. The other walked a couple feet away from the car on my side. It was definitely worth waking up early!
The Southern Loop, in the Coopers’ opinion, was much prettier than the Northern Loop. On this loop, we saw the beautiful Yellowstone Lake, quite a few more geysers, Grand Prismatic Spring, and Old Faithful. As we all know, Old Faithful has its name for a reason, which explains why so many people flock to it. However, if you get there after it as erupted, you have to wait a good hour to an hour and a half until it erupts again. Beau & I drove circles around the parking lot looking for a place to pull in, but had no luck. Finally, after a few minutes, we parked on a curb, and began racing to where we saw everyone standing. As soon as we rounded the corner, it began smoking and then erupting! We could not have had better timing. After lunch at the Old Faithful Lodge, and walking around the historic Old Faithful Inn, we began making our way out of Yellowstone. We had originally planned four days in the park, however, we didn’t realize we could see everything in two full days. Plus, it will be nice not to get hypothermia again tonight.
Tomorrow, we really don’t have an agenda. I guess we’ll pull our best Lewis & Clark impersonation and see what else we can discover.