Monday, April 22, 2013

Yellowstone Trip Days 3 - 4

Day 3: Saturday July 10th, 2010 : am in Jackson, pm in Tetons and to Yellowstone (West Thumb)

7:50 a.m. Breakfast at Jackson Whitewater Inc. Followed by Whitewater trip (Mandy, Dan, Joey, JD, Andrew, Lauren) and Scenic Trip (Andy, Diana, Nancy, Mark, Debbie) 2.5 hours each

Lunch: Dornan’s Chuckwagon (Moose) Menu; on the way to see Mormon Row, Chapel of Transfiguration and Gros Ventre Slide

Drive into Yellowstone late in the day

West Thumb Geyser Basin; stop on the way: Moose Falls (for Swimming) Riddle-Lake Trail (if open), West Thumb Geyser Walk (.75 mi loop)

Hotel: Old Faithful Snow Lodge 1.866.GEYSERLAND (866-439-7375)

We did get up around 5:00 a.m. to try and see the sunrise over the valley. It was COLD and windy atop Signal Mountain and unfortunately, it was so cloudy that we didn't really get the full effect until the sun was already up and we were driving back down the mountain. Half-way back in the car, I was able to get some nice pictures of the Tetons looking especially pink in the morning glow. If you plan to do the sunrise, try and do it on a clear morning!

We had a great time on our whitewater trip, but the “scenic” riders didn't get back to JWW Inc. until like 2:00, so we ate lunch at a local pizza place instead. We did have time for Mormon Row, and a brief stop at the Chapel of transfiguration. We also stopped in at a "general store" where I tried some huckleberry soda (way too sweet). We did not have the time to swim at Moose Falls, but we did take in the West Thumb geysers, they are unique because they are basically built into the side of Yellowstone lake.

We ended up having appetizers for dinner at the bar. I can't remember why, but we couldn't have dinner in the restaurant  so we ate in the bar area at the Snow Lodge. Stayed in the Snow Cabins at Old Faithful, which are much newer than the Lodge itself, and have wi-fi. It was late and somewhat dark, but we caught our first glimpse of Old Faithful right around dusk. 

What is he wearing?

Day 4: Sunday July 11th, 2010 : Old Faithful Area Hike, Mammoth Area and Northern Gate

Fairy Falls 5-mile hike Map

Photo Op at Northern Gate

6:00 p.m. Ft Yellowstone Guided Ranger Tour

Hotel: Old Faithful Snow Lodge

After breakfast, and our first daylight sighting of Old Faithful, the day started out with Joey getting "iced" - because if you recall, that was a pretty big thing in 2010. Thankfully, he was able to burn those calories on our 5 mile hike to Fairy Falls. We were also able to see Grand Prismatic Springs on this hike - which was good because the second time we went to see it, there was nothing but fog everywhere. After the hike we checked out either Artist Paint Pots or Fountain Paint Pots - I can't remember which. We had lunch in the parking lot while waiting to meet up with the other part of our group.

People were pretty irritated with me when I pushed to go up to the Northern part of the park later on in the day, especially after 3 jam-packed days of hiking. Luckily my pseudo fit-throwing worked, and we saw Mammoth Hot Springs, which were pretty cool, did the Historic Ft. Yellowstone tour, and ended in time to see a double rainbow over the area. I would have liked to do a guided tour of Mammoth Hot springs, and I def. would have liked to see the Moran Gallery - but there really wasn't time. We didn't get up to the Northern Gate either. This is why I advocate for spending 2 nights in each area of the park; the less time you spend driving, the more time you have to enjoy everything. Trying to get everyone to take the 1.5 hour drive up to Mammoth Hot Springs was rough. In the end it worked out; Joey, JD and Andrew got to climb Bunsen Peak, which was rated the most "strenuous"  hike in my "Easy Day Hikes" book. And we saw our first Buffalo up-close on the drive back. Joey nicknamed him "Daisy".


this is my favorite picture from the entire trip


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