Friday, August 07, 2009

Week o' Vacationing 2009: Day 8

I've really got to get the last of these vacations blogged up before I've forgotten all about them...things have just been crazy all week long. I feel like I haven't hardly had time to just sit down this entire week, except when I was at work. And the busy times look to continue until at least Sunday evening. Maybe beyond. When did things get so crazy?

Anyway, our Yellowstone camping excursion began on the morning of Friday the 24th (yay for Pioneer Day!), we got up fairly bright and early, and Kellen and I drove over to Alicia's to help load up the vehicles. Thankfully, Jason was able to borrow his dad's truck or else we would never have had sufficient space to pack everything in. Eventually, we were all packed up and ready to go.

We drove north through Idaho (only my 3rd time in Idaho) up to West Yellowstone (my very 1st time in Montana) where we got lunch and then ventured into the park.

West entrance to park
No one I know, just took a picture of the entrance as we drove in.

Mere moments in, we caught our first sight of nature on display, a bald eagle nested quite near the road. The nice thing about Yellowstone is that if there's anything of interest along the way, you can count on other drivers to pull over and look at it. Makes it easy to know where to look. We also saw our first buffalo not too much further down the road. At the time, quite a novelty. By the end of the week, we'd have seen plenty of these guys.

Bald Eagle
Our national bird, in our national park.

First buffalo

Our first stop of the day was Old Faithful, but before getting there, we got to drive past a variety of geothermal features that I was honestly a little bummed we didn't stop to check out. Just seeing steam coming out of the ground is pretty cool if you ask me. Upon arriving at Old Faithful, a sign informed us we had about 45 minute until the next geyser ought to be arriving. We were able to get decent seats and then took turns watching them while people wandered around various gift shops and ice cream vendors.

Old Faithful
What it looks like when it's not being faithful

Kelly waiting for Old Faithful
Kelly and Kellen eating their ice cream

When it was finally time, I have to say I was impressed. A giant spout of hot water coming out of the ground at regular intervals. I can understand why this is part of our first national park. And no, I'm not being sarcastic. I was really impressed.

Old Faithful
Getting started

Old Faithful
Full steam ahead

After checking Old Faithful off the list, Alicia had a hike planned for us. We headed south to the bottom of the loop and then went a smidge further south to the Riddle Lake trailhead. The hike was a fairly mild walk (very little ups or down) that lasted maybe 45 minutes each way. The lake itself was fairly deserted, we only saw maybe 5 other people during the whole journey. The lake was fairly uninteresting if you ask me, but it was nice to be out enjoying nature. We even heard some wolves howling in the distance.

Hiking to Riddle Lake
On our way to Riddle Lake

Riddle Lake
At Riddle Lake

Hiking back to the road

After our hike, it was time to head to our campsite for the night. We had a reservation at Bridge Bay, near Fishing Bridge by Yellowstone Lake. We got checked in, set up camp, and got to work cooking tin fiol dinners in the coals of our campfire. Dinner was delicious, and we had a good time hanging out around the fire until it was time to retire.


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