Ruth, with our friend Andrei at the Orheiul Vechi Historical Complex at Trebujeni, Moldova. Photo taken December 2, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Monday, April 27, 2015

One day in Yellowstone National Park...

We had a busy day yesterday, and took a lot of photos. So we're going to break this into two posts. That means you'll get to see more of Yellowstone later today!

There's so much to see in Yellowstone, and only part of the park is open at this time of year. Really, things don't get into full swing here until mid May. But we're only passing through and wouldn't have had enough time to see anything more anyhow.

This was our first time in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park. It's one of those places that you kind of dream about visiting at some point in your life. Mountains, and wildlife, and the great outdoors...and of course Old Faithful, that famous geyser that blows off steam and water on a regular basis.

It had been snowing fairly hard when we left our overnight spot at West Yellowstone airport at around 9:30am. And the weather didn't get much better as we experienced a mix of wet snow, rain, and sleet pretty much the whole day.

A buffalo having a cold drink on the airport road as we left our overnight spot.

The town of West Yellowstone is actually in Montana, but it borders Yellowstone Park and the state of Wyoming. So as we left town, it was only a few minutes and we were in the park itself. There's a $25 entrance fee that's valid for 7 days. But we have the National Parks annual pass and happily used that to waive the entrance fee.

There are a lot of turnoffs from the main two lane road where you can take a break and enjoy the scenery.

Too bad that we didn't have any blue sky all day.

Ruth in Yellowstone National Park.

Considering that we were only in the park for one day, we were pretty lucky in the bird and wildlife department. As you'll see further on...and in the next blog post later today. We even saw a grizzly bear mom with last year's cub!

Some type of heron?

We're so glad that we're here in the off season though. The crowds during summer must be nuts. In fact, we can imagine that it would be so busy at times that it wouldn't be enjoyable. We're thinking that the perfect time to come back here would be in early October.

Driving through another wet snow squall.

We were a bit cold, but this water wasn't. It's actually close to boiling temperature!

Bubbling mud.

As the thermal water changes course over the years it kills off any vegetation.

We spent a lot of time yesterday exploring some of the park's more than 6,000 thermal water vents. It's so amazing how this boiling water bubbles and steams it's way to the earths surface, with some of the system's underground plumbing regularly building up enough pressure to erupt into geysers.

Ruth spotted this osprey having his breakfast!

"You lookin' at  me?" Yes, because you're having a bad hair day! Too funny.

Between the cloudy sky and the steam, we couldn't see very much sometimes!

Walking the boardwalk in the rain.

A pretty blue bird.

Other than the boardwalks, we didn't go for a hike. As much as we would have wanted to, the weather just wasn't good for it. And one thing that bothered us is a severe shortage of parking facilities at some of the trailheads. Even if we wanted to, we wouldn't have had enough space to park Sherman and go for a hike. Not sure how we would get around this if we return. Maybe it's better at some of the other areas. Apparently there are over 1,000 miles of backcountry trails in the park, but if we have nowhere to leave the motorhome we may not be able to enjoy that part of it.

The leftover mineral deposits from the thermal waters is really pretty. 

Steam coming from the ground.

More mineral deposits.

Fortunately, not many people.

Okay, we're about half way through...check in later today for part two where you'll see Old Faithful, grizzly bears, and bighorn sheep!

It's almost RV season...time to stock up on the best RV holding tank treatment on the market...

Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment

(This is on Amazon.com, however this product does ship to Canada!)

24 comments:

  1. Too bad about the weather, but that sone thing you can't control.

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    1. You are right, you can't control the weather and we didn't let it stop us from having a fantastic day all the same.

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  2. You must go back in better weather. It is just gorgeous there!

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    1. We are hoping to return here in October, hopefully we will have better weather. The pictures are always so much better when you have some nice blue skies as a background.

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  3. Appreciate your post and amazed that you weren't more frustrated and disappointed with the weather and inadequate parking. It's wonderful to be encouraged, even in not so pleasant situations.

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    1. It is hard to be frustrated or disappointed after such a great day! It would certainly have been more pleasant if we had had a dry day and a bit of blue sky but we saw so much in just that one day, we really felt like it was a special day all the same.

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  4. I believe during peak times there is a shuttle to help with parking and traffic problems. Glad you got to see some of it.

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    1. Nope, Yellowstone doesn't have a shuttle bus even in their peak tourist season. There are some commercial businesses that offer bus tours for a price and I am sure that they won't be cheap either. I really think that Yellowstone should consider a shuttle service like many of the other busy National Parks do but maybe they don't because it is such a huge park and covers so many miles.

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  5. October is really a great month to visit the park. There can be snow that time of year also but usually not too much and it's not as cold. I worked in West Yellowstone one summer back in the late 60's. We used to hitch hike to parties in the park for all the workers. Lots of fun memories.

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    1. Thanks for the heads up on that Sandie and Jim, I am pretty sure that is when we will return here again.

      I bet you had many great memories of that summer, sounds like it would have been a fun.

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  6. If you are willing to hike even one mile, you can leave most of the folk behind during tourist season. We were amazed at how much solitude we enjoyed there last July by doing just that. We're stunned at how few were willing to go more than a few feet away from their vehicles. Their loss, but our gain most certainly.

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    1. We are definitely willing to hike more than a mile into the woods but even having said that, you would still have to deal with all the traffic and the lack of parking at some of the trailheads. I think most people are too nervous to hike very far in on the trails for fear of the wildlife, bears in general but as you say that is their loss and our gain.

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  7. this is the only way I will see this park in the snow...

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    1. Nothing wrong with the snow as long as it isn't coming down as you are trying to visit some of the sites, it sure starts to get messy quick in the motorhome. It was a pain putting on and taking off our shoes each and every time we wanted to stop and go out to see the views and the attractions as well but it was worth it not to have to put up with a ton of people.

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  8. I case you haven't noticed I have listed you on www.hitchitch.com
    Hope you enjoy the increased exposure.
    Ron

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    1. I was pretty sure that we had been on there for a few years now but thanks all the same.

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  9. That's a great blue heron and I believe a western bluebird. I just can't believe you saw a grisly and cub. Don't think you'd see that in the summer. We've never seen one. Would you not come back with your car so you could leave Sherman and head out anywhere you wanted? Yellowstone is huge and it takes days in each area to even scratch the surface. It's just fabulous!

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    1. I was pretty sure that it was but I didn't have access to the internet to be positive and I have made a mistake before on identifying a bird so I didn't want that to happen again. The bluebird is actually a Mountain Bluebird not a western buts thanks for the help.

      Yep, we felt pretty lucky to have seen the bear and her cub on our first day in the park but we are seasoned "safari" people so we know to take things slow and really look around and if you see another car or cars stopped on the road, it is usually for a reason.

      No, we won't come back with our car because when we travel in the motorhome we never tow and we aren't about to drive both vehicles down just for that. We will figure it out and make it work, there may have to be the odd thing that we will miss, that's all. Or maybe we will rent a car for a few days to see the things we can't see with Sherman.

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  10. I think Yellowstone is by far my favorite National Park.

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    1. It is definitely up there as one of our favourites as well!

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  11. Wonderful pictures! We have never seen the park with that much snow.

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    1. Thanks Chuck and Anneke. We would prefer to not see that much snow either but it does add a different dimension to the pictures.

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  12. I love that osprey picture! Hysterical! Love that place. How nice to be there with a little snow. We'll be going back again this summer, but we'd sure like to get back there in Sep/Oct some time too.

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    1. Thanks for commenting on the osprey shot. We thought it might have got more comments than just yours, we thought it was too funny too! Hope you enjoy your time there this summer and who knows if you make it back there in October we might just be able to meet up, providing our plans don't change before then. ;-)

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