Friday, September 30, 2011

Week-o-Vacationing 2011 Day 8: 1 Day, 2 Parks

Sunday morning, we got up, ate breakfast, and hit the road, headed north to Yellowstone National Park.  To get to Yellowstone from Jackson, you have to drive through a significant portion of Grand Tetons National Park (thankfully one admission fee covers both parks), so that was another first for me on this trip, seeing the Tetons.  We'd seen them off in the distance when we drove over from Rexburg, but driving through the park gave us some great opportunities to really take them in.

Loving the Tetons

Eventually we got to Yellowstone, and our plan was to just make the southern loop through the park and hit a few of the highlights there.  Some of the group had never been to Yellowstone before and it only seemed right to hit up Old Faithful. Unfortunately we got there about 15 minutes after it had gone off and as it's now a 90 minute wait between blasts, we had a fair amount of time to kill. So we ate lunch and hung out for a bit before eventually enjoying the geyser in all its glory.  Didn't seem quite as impressive as last time I was there, maybe because I'd seen it before or maybe because it just wasn't as high that day as the other time I'd seen it.

Group shot at Old Faithful

After we were finished there, we continued our clockwise route around the loop, stopping next at the Midway Geyser Basin, which I remembered seeing from the road last time I was in Yellowstone, but we hadn't stopped. There were a couple cool pools to look at with some really spectacular colors.

Excelsior Geyser
Excelsior Geyser

Onlookers @ Grand Prismatic Spring
People checking out the Grand Prismatic Spring

Group Shot @ Grand Prismatic Spring
Group shot at Grand Prismatic Spring

Edge of Grand Prismatic Spring
Grand Prismatic Spring

After that we continued our drive around the loop, keeping our eyes out for any wildlife, but not really seeing anything too impressive for most of the drive.  We made a few stops along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone to check out the upper and lower falls, but not really hiking down to any of the viewpoints that I had enjoyed last time I was there.  Eventually we made our way around to the other side of the river to a place called Artist's Point that was a different view of the lower falls that I hadn't been to before, and we got some nice pictures there.

From Artist's Point
Group shot (minus myself) at Artist's Point

We finished off our stops at the Mud Volcano area, which I don't love, but it's a little different than some of the other places we'd been and does have the cool "Dragon's Mouth Spring" that I like.

On our way home, we finally came across a big herd of bison, actually outside of Yellowstone. Can't remember if they were in Grand Tetons or even outside of that park. They were fairly close to the road, but we didn't stop, and they were on the opposite side of the car from me so I didn't take any pictures of them.

We did make a couple final stops in Grand Tetons to take a few pictures.

Tetons over Jackson Lake
Grand Tetons over Jackson Lake

Anyway, another very full day and I was pretty ready for bed when we got back to camp.

No comments: