We arrived at Yellowstone National Park on July 4th, 2017.
Day 6 of our Northwest Trip – We got up and drove to West Yellowstone, Montana. West Yellowstone is a small town next to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, so we’ve been back and forth in two states all week long. We had a reservation at Hideaway RV park. We got to the park and soon realized it was not what we had in mind. Well, to start things off, the office was a fifth wheel. I, as well as Grandma or Grandpa, have never seen an office in a fifth wheel. Next, we were in a parking lot with water, sewer, and electric hook ups. Finally, it was crowded.
Grandma through a fit about how crappy the site and the “park” was and tried to find a place to stay the next night through the time we are supposed to leave. She struck out not 1, not 2, not 3, but with 6 campgrounds! Boy golly, she was desperate! Grandpa and I calmed her down and convinced her that it would be fine. We are only here to sleep anyways. Everything worked out just fine. After we got set up, we went to find dinner. We stopped at a bar-b-que place. All of us were stunned by their prices and found that they had a special that was more reasonable in cost. We ordered the pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw. Once we received it, I noticed that the slaw was not what I was used to. It tasted like North Carolina BBQ; it had a vinegar based sauce. It was ok, but I would not eat it if I did not have to. Grandma, being the princess she is, returned her cole slaw. I also returned mine due to the fact that I was still hungry and Grandpa didn’t like his either and so all three of us exchanged the slaw for fries. The pulled pork was amazing though. Since that day was the 4th of July (by the way, I hope you had a great holiday), we stood on the curb and watched a parade with lots of cool cars and crazy people. It was a “hoot”! We returned to the RV and watched the movie Interstellar. It was good. We also watched fireworks from the patio of the RV. It was pretty good day.
Day 7 – We woke up around 8 and ate a hearty breakfast consisting of eggs, sausage, and biscuits. It was good. Around noon, we finally made it into the park for the first time. We were all amazed by the scenery. We decided to not hike and to just be tourists for the day. We drove to Old Faithful and saw it erupt. It was pretty cool. We also drove and saw other parts in the park including Tower Roosevelt. In this part of the park, President Roosevelt stayed and ate in that very lodge we stepped in. It was very rustic and interesting. We were going to eat at the restaurant in the lodge, but they had a 45 minute wait so we drove back to Canyon Lodge and ate dinner there. I had a rice bowl with steak and salmon while Grandma and Grandpa had a home style meat with mashed potatoes and vegetables. We started to head back. We ended up getting back to the RV around 9. That day was a very long day.
Day 8 – We got up, ate breakfast, and got to the park around 9. We planned on going on the Beaver Pond Loop Trail. We traveled on dirt, gravel, and paved roads getting to the trail head. We started our hike with a decent sized uphill climb. I, younger and a bit more fit, got up just fine. For the “old people”, it was a different story. They got up ok, but we had to take frequent breaks through the hill. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! This trail was uphill galore. It made me work hard for a while. About a mile in, we decided to turn around. We hiked back to find the “populated” area (stores and visitor center) being overrun by Elk. It was a great photo opportunity of live animals. We shopped a bit and ate at the grill there. We went to Mammoth Hot Springs, which was a 10 minute walk from the gift shop. It was not fun considering it started to rain while we were up there and it was not what I was expecting. It was good exercise though. We made it back to the RV for a home cooked meal and relaxed for the rest of the night.
Day 9 – All of us woke up really tired and the “old people” were achy. I brought up the idea that we should just take a day off and relax. I also wanted to do some tourist shopping. We ate breakfast and went to the strip. We walked up and down for about 2 hours. One thing I found interesting about each and every store is that EVERYONE has some sort of knife display, although I am not complaining. After we finished shopping, we ate lunch. We ate at a place called Bullwinkles. It had amazing food. We decided to head over to the park after we ate. Grandpa wanted to see the Old Faithful Inn, which is an old fashioned style Inn that was originally built in 1904. It was interesting and very busy.
Day 10 – We got up and got out somewhat early. We had a 5 mile hike planned for this day. We drove over to the park and found the area where we needed to park. I walked over to see the cascades, and Grandma and Grandpa followed me. I got some great pictures of the falls. Anyway, we found the trail and followed it to the trail head. Grandma wasn’t happy that I picked a paved trail, but I convinced her it would be a good hike considering it has been more than 6 months since her last hike. At the end of the trail, there was a geyser that was erupting as we approached but we didn’t get to see a major eruption. After the hike, Grandma wanted us to drive to Grant Village to buy a pair of socks she saw when we were there a couple of days before. Grandpa agreed, and we were off. An hour and a half later, we approached the Continental Divide. I wanted a picture, so I took it and we continued on our way. Grandma and I, once we got back to the RV, went to the laundromat while Grandpa did some cleaning.
Day 11 – This day we got into the park and saw the Grand Prismatic and the Excelsior Geyser in the Midway Geyer Basin. The views were amazing, as well as the pictures we took. I am having a bit of a contest with Grandma to see who can take the best pictures; she has a very nice camera with multiple lenses verses me with my iPhone 7. Who has the advantage? Although some of her pictures were better, I did manage to get some great pictures by being in a different position and different light. I hope you enjoy all the pictures, and please, feel free to compliment them… lol.
Anyway, after we saw the basin, we took the Firehole Canyon Drive; this is a scenic road that goes along the edge of Firehole River Canyon. The name really says what it is. Although it was short, it was beautiful. The scenery was, so far, the best I have seen in the park. On our way out of the park, Grandpa wanted to drive on the River Side Drive. It was a road 20ft from the river; it was cool. We had the rest of the night for Netflix and relaxation.
Day 12 – We got into the park after a hefty line and headed toward Fishing Bridge, a part of the park we had not already visited. Grandma and I took some pictures and then we headed to Canyon Village to get to this place called Lamar Valley, which is known for wildlife sightings. On our way there, we saw a herd of bison crossing the road and grazing in the nearby meadow. That satisfied Grandma’s fix. We headed toward the exit and ended up stuck in traffic for some sort of animal sighting. We asked someone they said it was a grizzly bear so we parked and hiked partway down a hillside. There were others there looking down and across at something in the tall foliage near the water. That’s when we saw the grizzly with our binoculars and Grandma took pictures of it. Another tourist there let us look through her spotting scope and take pictures through it. It was amazing! Although the grizzly was laying on the ground, it was so majestic. We did not have anymore major sightings on the way back. Tomorrow is moving day. Stay tuned for our next adventures a few hours away! Any guesses on where we are going next?
Logan Chazen, 7/11/17