Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 17: They call it mellow Yellow...(stone)

We woke up early in Buffalo, Wyoming and headed straight for Yellowstone National Park. Neither Justin, nor I had been there so we were pretty excited that it worked out for this trip. We approached the park through the East gate, and passed through Cody. The roads leading to Cody were mostly open range so we had to be on the lookout for cows standing in the road, and they were on several occasions. I may have said it before, but Jasper is not fond of cows. She hates cows. The fact that they were inches from our car gave her no joy.

From Cody, the road winds through some beautiful canyons. I don’t think I was prepared for such an extreme change of scenery after the yellow fields along the interstate. We stopped at the Buffalo Bill Reservoir so that Jasper could take a swim before we entered the park. The reservoir is huge and it was really deep where she was swimming. She had a blast. Justin put her back on leash and we were walking up the beach when Miss Jasper had a run-in with her mortal enemy: a rattlesnake. Luckily Justin saw it in time and pulled her back, but the snake gave us a good rattle (hahaha).

Once in the park we passed through some burned forest and came upon Yellowstone Lake. The minute we were in sulfur range Jasper’s nose was going nuts, sniff sniff sniffing out the window like I’ve never seen. We saw our first herd of bison in a meadow (Jasper doesn’t like bison either, turns out) and then stopped at West Thumb Geyser Basin to walk around. Some amazing pools there. There is one called the Abyss pool and it was spectacular—clear blue water and it truly looks like an abyss.

Then we headed toward Old Faithful. We got there at 5:00pm and the next eruption was expected around 5:45 so we wandered around a bit. By 5:30 most of the seats around the geyser were taken. We too were in the ready with our cameras. By 5:50 the group of old people next to us were complaining about whether they were going to miss their dinner reservations. Also, I’m pretty sure I heard every possible geyser pun at least twice. At about 5:52 Old Faithful started blowing some heavy steam and spouted a little a couple feet up and then stopped. I think the entire crowd was worried that was it. At 6:00 the geyser started steaming heavily and sprayed up into the air. It was way higher than I was expecting and sprayed for a few minutes. I snapped quite a few pictures but it was way more impressive to sit and watch it with my own eyes. Such a beautiful cascade of water. Definitely worth the wait.

Since it was getting late we decided to check for accommodations to get another day in the park, but they were all sold out in the park and the nearby towns too. With the remaining light we headed toward the North exit hoping to see more wildlife. Just as we pulled out of the Old Faithful parking lot we were stopped by three bison crossing the road. A few miles up the way we saw a bison and a mule deer grazing across the river, and then up the road a few herds of deer and bison. It was amazing to see these huge animals in the wild. It was dark by the time we made it out of the park and crossed into Montana, but we were happy with what we had seen and definitely will plan another trip to the park in the future.


  1. Awesome pictures -- I remain super jealous! Although the title of this post did make me throw up in my mouth a little.

  2. Jay, please see my March 20, 2009 post for your advance apology. But really, how could I pass up the chance to give my roadtrip posts their own song titles? Maybe I've had too much time listening to the radio...