Day 11 – Yellowstone National Park

15th May:

After I posted yesterday’s blog I realised I had made two omissions! Well, it was a long day and I was rushing to get the day’s post done before we went to dinner! ๐Ÿ˜”

First of all a belated “Happy Mother’s Day” to all those celebrating in the U.S.

The second thing was our visit to Oxbow Bend. One of Si’s favourite places to visit.

Oxbow Bend

Now for today ……. rather our fine dining experience at the Blue Lion in Jackson last night.

Hence, the Blue Lion

It was fabulous, we enjoyed every mouthful. The restaurant is lovely as are the staff. I’m not one for clearing my plate but last night I could have licked the plate clean. ๐Ÿ˜‚Si was so amazed he took a photo of it.

Sand’s clean plate!

I didn’t bother with a starter but Si had mini mushrooms stuffed with crab and parmesan cheese and we both declined the salad that comes between courses. I had the elk tenderloin with wild mushroom port sauce, mashed potatoes and asparagus. Si was going to have his favourite, scallops but changed his mind at the last moment and had the 17oz New York strip, one of the specials of the day and it came with crab, salmon roe and asparagus. We were too full for desserts so we both had coffee and for me a glass of Frangelico on the side.

The elk tenderloin

Si’s very large steak!

The libations!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is also live acoustic guitar music every Wednesday to Sunday played by Marco Solis. It was lovely soft music that did intrude at all.

Marco Silas

There were lots of families celebrating Mother’s Day together. Every lady received a rose.

The lady and the rose

As we headed back some our neighbours in the other cabins were enjoying a drink or two and invited us to join them. Well, it all got rather raucous and Zoya, the manager iin charge at Dornan’s, came along and pointed that it was rather late and could we please tone it down a little! ๐Ÿ˜ž Oh my!

What a bunch! ๐Ÿ˜‚

So, to today’s adventure ……………..

We had excitement at the start of today’s adventure as first of all we saw elk but didn’t stop to photograph them as we were in a hurry. But, the next animal we saw made us stop and jump out of the car ………….. we saw a grizzly bear! ๐Ÿ˜ฑEven though it was early there were quite a few photographers excitedly waving their huge lenses about. The bear was fast-moving but Si managed to get a few shots.

Grizzly!

It was another early start, 6.15 a.m. The temperature was 36ยบF so a little chilly but as the day wore on it warmed up and the sky was blue and sunny. We were going to Yellowstone National Park and it’s always best to set out early as the traffic can be horrendous.

During the drive we once again passed over the Continental Divide, this was the third time during this holiday!

The Continental Divide complete with lots of snow

A few Yellowstone facts (I know some of you like a few facts!):

1. It was the world’s first National Park.
2. It covers 2,219,789 acres.
3. Wildlife – it has seven species of ungulates (bison, moose, elk, pronghorn being the favourites), two species ย  ย of bear and 67 other mammals, 322 species of birds, 16 species of fish and of course, the grey wolf.
4. Plants – There are over 1,100 species of native plants, more than 200 species of exotic plants and over 400 species of Thermopholes (bacteria).
5. Geology – The Park is home to one of the world’s largest calderas (a caldera is a large cauldron-like hollow that forms shortly after the emptying of a magma chamber in a volcano eruption. When large volumes of magma are erupted over a short time, structural support for the rock above the magma chamber is gone) with over 10,000 thermal features and more than 300 geysers. It has one of the world’s largest petrifiied forests. It has over 290 waterfalls with the 308′ Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River as its showpiece.
6. Yellowstone Lake is the largest (132 sq. mi.) high altitude (7,732′) lake in North America.
7. Has nine Visitor’s Centres.
8. 12 campgrounds (over 2,000 campsites)

The drive from the Grand Tetons to Yellowstone is approximately 54 miles. We made it in good time and there was no queue to get in. We were amazed at the amount of snow and the lack of traffic. There wasn’t any! ย I think it will be autumn before all the snow disappears, just in time for the next lot. โ„๏ธ

One area in the Park where everyone heads to it Grand Prismatic Spring. It’s so beautiful and some years back an overlook was built so that people can look down on the Spring to appreciate its beauty. Sadly, as with a lot of trails at the moment, the area was closed due to bear activity. Also, as the days can be quite cold still there is rather a lot of steam that rises from all the Springs and although with many this is not a problem, today it meant that Grand Prismatic was clouded in mist and so we couldn’t see it at all from ground level.

The Grand Prismatic Spring on a clear day!

All we could see of Grand Prismatic today!

Part of Grand Prismatic. Look carefully and you can see Bison hooves!

Sand on the way to Prismatic Spring

We saw quite a few bison today, some of them actually sitting right next to the hot springs.

Feeding Time!

Keeping Warm

In the steam

Another favourite with visitors is the eruption of Old Faithful a cone geyser. It was named in 1870 and was the first geyser in the park to be named. It is a highly predictable geothermal feature and has erupted every 44 minutes to two hours since 2000.

Old Faithful

The Old Faithful Inn stands right by the geyser.

The interior of the Old Faithful Inn

We were also lucky to see the eruption of Beehive Geyser.This geyser is an unpredictable one as it erupts every 8-24 hours.

Beehive Geyser

Bison Trouble! Near Old Faithful

On the way home we saw two bison just sauntering down the road, not a care in the world. Probably on their way to a dinner date! ๐Ÿ˜‚They are not afraid of the traffic at all.

As Si was taking bison photos today, this cheeky chap came right up to the car door looking for food! I gave him a piece of my huckleberry scone. He loved it!

Cheeky chap!

We also visited the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Artist Point, Brink of the Lower Falls and Biscuit Basin.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Sand and Si at Artist Point

Brink of the Falls

Biscuit Basin area

Here are some other geysers we saw today.

This is a photo of the Yellowstone River complete with snow.

Yellowstone River

On the drive back to our cabin we saw this waterfall right on the side of the road and thought how lovely it was.

Yellowstone waterfall

It’s been another long day but a very enjoyable one seeing lots of amazing things.

Please join us tomorrow for more adventures in Grand Teton National Park!

 

 

4 thoughts on “Day 11 – Yellowstone National Park

  1. Sandra, I love your facts about Yellowstone! Thank you for them! Such an amazing place. I’m happy you got such a good shot of a Grizzly! Better being in the car, then on one of your hikes! I think the snow is gorgeous. I hope you are enjoying the same places you’ve visited…but at a different time of year?

  2. What a busy day you had, amazing Yellowstone facts, such a huge place. Glad you got to see some wildlife. The geysers remind me of Iceland, very similar terrain. The Old Faithful Inn looked intriguing, is it an hotel? A long and tiring day by the sounds of it but well worth it x

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