July 15-19, 2017
Is it possible to see any more beauty than we already have?! Every destination we visit seems to exceed our expectations or just leave use generally stunned at the natural beauty we are seeing. Each day there is more to explore and Yellowstone, being the mammoth park that it is, definitely didn’t disappoint. Yellowstone is 3,471 square miles - WOW that’s a lot of park to explore. The day we arrived we decided to spend the day driving around to different attractions in the park, we figured we would cover more ground and Moose could join us in the car :)
First stop was Old Faithful. Although Old Faithful is spectacular, it definitely wasn’t my favourite part of the park, it was very crowded and a bit too touristy for me and that ruined it a little. Yes, I know I am a tourist too! Fun fact - Yellowstone averages around 4 million visitors each year, with over half of those visits happening during June, July and August. There is something to look at in every inch of this park, it seems as though every few miles we were pulling off to the side of the road or into a car park for another hot spot. That day we drove to Black Sand Basin, Biscuit Basin, Midway Geyser Basin and Fountain Paint Pot, (pictured below) all on the south west side of the park. We also saw tons of wildlife including bison, bull elk and bighorn sheep - no grizzly’s yet but there is still time!
The National Parks offer lots of “Ranger Talks” and various “Evening Programs”, so when we arrived at Yellowstone and David saw that there was a talk that evening about birds of prey, he said he wanted to go - Ok, I thought, something to do! On the way out the door, I grabbed my phone (and a beer) because even though there is zero service around here, worst case scenario was that I could always revert to a good old game of solitaire if the party around the campfire got a little wild. We were a little early (I know shocking that we would be on time, never mind early) and at first, when we sat down in the amphitheater I presumed that the previous kids evening program was just wrapping up. Well, no I was wrong about that, needless to say we made a quick exit back to our campsite and hit the hay, it was past our bed time anyway!
The following day we took the canoe out on Yellowstone Lake, it was pretty windy so we found some smaller coves to hang out and do a little fishing - somebody please tell us where all the fish are in this damn part of the country!!! For a moment, I thought I caught one and got so excited, mainly because I would have caught a fish before David :P but my line was snagged on some debris in the lake…..better luck next time!
Time to get on our feet! We hiked Mount Washburn, which was just over 6 miles round trip, and a good strenuous climb to the top. The views at the top were incredible and actually I felt like I could have been in Scotland here - the high winds might have added to that feeling! We didn’t spend too much time at the top in fear of losing our hats and possibly our footing. The best part of this hike (besides the views) might have been the snow! It was so cool to see and touch snow in July - we had fun with it! After our long hike, we stopped by the Yellowstone Canyon area in hopes of seeing some of the falls. When we got to the lookout, there wasn’t much to see and it was a bit disappointing, but there was a ¾ of a mile trail that led you to a better spot. We debated the hike since it was all downhill and we just walked almost 7 miles, but everyone around us said it was totally worth it. And it was :) This was probably my favourite day at Yellowstone.
This park is already on my list of places to re-visit, we spent 4 days exploring but could have done with 14 more! If you haven’t been to Yellowstone, it’s a must see! Next stop Glacier National Park but not before an oil change, some routine maintenance for the truck and a trip to walmart to stock up on food! We still have chores to do on the road!