Yellowstone and Grand Teton

Trip Start Sep 20, 2005
Trip End Sep 19, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Hi everyone

Well Yellowstone didn't erupt, we weren't eaten by a bear (sorry Kathy), we weren't steamed alive by a geyser and we weren't boiled to death by a hot spring. So all in all a successful week.

There were lots of wow, amazing and stunning moments in Yellowstone and Grand Teton. We would have used other words but we don't have a thesaurus with us.

The Grand Tetons are amazing especially when the sun is out and it's a clear blue sky. They reach to about 10,000 feet but as we're at over 7,000 already it's easy to see the top. We almost came face to face with a bear on are walk but our inane chatter and a little singing scared it off before we saw it.

Yellowstone was also amazing (see I told you we didn't have a thesaurus). I (Stephen) personally loved the geysers mud pots and other geothermal features. I've wanted to see some since I did O-Level geography many years ago. We saw Old Faithful erupt a number of times as well as a few other ones. The whole place is beautiful in an eerie sort of way. It's very odd seeing steam just rise out of the ground.

Most of the places didn't smell much but there were a few like the sulphur pots and mud volcano that reeked. We didn't stay near them too long.

As well as seeing geothermal things we've also been spotting wildlife. Although we avoided the bear whilst walking we did want to see one so we spent a lot of time bear hunting. What we discovered was that Yellowstone contains a large number of tree stumps, logs, uprooted trees, rocks, boulders, shadows and other things that all look like bears. We had a number of false alarms. We did eventually see a black bear though which was walking through the undergrowth at a safe distance. We both got rather excited about that.

We eventually discovered the best way to spot wildlife. Drive around until you see a number of cars stopped at the side of the road. This technique helped us spot a lot of things including the bear.

We've also seen many elk and bison, some blocking our way on the road. A few coyote, one owl and lots of geese. What we haven't seen are any moose. We went to all the places the guide book said they would be and even went out hunting moose at dusk which is when they are meant to be neat the water. Nothing, not even a long distance sighting.

The weather has been mostly great. For the first few days we had clear blue skies with the temperatures in the 70sF. Then on Sunday we woke up to snow on the high ground and on Monday to over four inches everywhere. Temperatures only a little above 32F. Claire and I had a disagreement at this point. Being a soft southerner I thought it easily enough to bring everything to a halt and if it was back home enough to prevent me getting work. Claire, coming from Scotland where it is always cold, considered it a mere trifle.

The good bit is that we managed to see Yellowstone in two seasons within a week. Lots of lovely photo opportunities.

On the Sunday morning we went to a lovely church in Mammoth Hot Springs. It was quite a traditional service but very good. The preacher did an excellent sermon on Phillipians 3 v7-14.

Many of you (well two in fact) have asked for photos. Here they are!

Just a quick warning for when we get home. Consider the following equation before asking to see out photos.

Claire + digital camera + (wild animals and great views) = a very large quantity of photos!!!!!!!

Hope you are all well.

Stephen and Claire
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