Day 7; Grizzlies, Bison, Moose, Elk and a Canyon!

Trip Start Jul 22, 2009
Trip End Aug 23, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wow, what a day!

We were up early and out of the house to be in the park by 8.30am. We had decided to do the Northern Loop today, there was so much to cram in.

We passed our friendly Bald Eagle on the way in, then our first stop was at the Norris Basin. We all loved this, I much preferred it to the Upper Basin, it was much quieter, but still quite eerie.

We stopped to see a huge moose at the side of the road, and then continued on towards  Mammoth Hot Springs, which we didn't find as spectacular as expected.

We then left the park, to visit the tiny town of Gardiner, Montana. This is at the Northern Entrance to the park, which is open all year round. According to a woman in one of the shops they only get about 2-3 inches of snow at a time. Gardiner was another one street wild west town, where we had the most amazing ice cream. (i had Montana Moose Moss, aka mint choc chip!). We bought a couple of T shirts, and then visited a saddle shop, where Lyn and I bought leather belts, bargain!

On our way back through the park, we spotted a traffic jam at the side of the road, this can only mean one thing - wild life! We were all so excited to spot a huge grizzly, thankfully ath the other side of a lake. We watched him drink from the water, and then have a little swim to cool off, then amble back up the mountain.

We headed out towards the Lamarr Valley, which is known as the Serengeti of America. We saw huge herds of bison, and spotted another grizzly, this one a lot closer. He wandered up the mountain to a rock, where he had a little stretch, and then back down again. Wow, what a huge powerful animal, I wouldn't like to try to outrun him! A grizzly sighting causes chaos, the road just stops, with RV's etc just stopping, people climbing onto roofs, sharing binocolars etc. When the grizzly goes, so does the touriists, and the road continues as normal. The park rangers have a hard job in trying to keep the traffic flowing, and ty to get to grizzly sightings quickly. There were rangers at the first sighting, so you had to drive on and park further away and walk back; they hadn't got to the second one, so it was all haapy mayhem!. Everybody loves a grizzly!

We then turned back from the beautiful Lamarr Valley, and headed towards the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, which I had been desperate to see. We took the road up towards the 10,000 ft Mount washburn, and passed huge pockets of ice. We had had a stunning hot day, with beautiful blue sky, but up here the temperature dropped, and we bagan to feel our first effects of altitude sickness; mild racing heart beats. Nothing as bad as Mammoth Lakes last year though.

We reached the Grand Canyon of the Yellwostone at about 7pm, along with coachloads of noisy Chinese tourists! The view from Artists Point was just Wow! This is the most famous viewpoint of the Lower Falls, where the Yellowstone River plummets 308ft, that's twice the height of Niagra Falls. The Lower Falls are just breathtaking. We then went on to the North Rim to look at the Upper Falls, which are just as fantastic, at 109 ft. The Canyon walls are a sheer 1000 foot drop. I think we were lucky to see them during early evening, when there were not so many people; I think it would have been chaos earlier on in the day, as this is the second most popular sight after Old Faithful.

We got back to the house, at about 9.30pm; knackered, but happy. It had been a good day. The kids were asleep within minutes! Tomorrow needs to be an easier day!

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rhians on

Awesome, love it love it love it. the falls have to be my favourite, what a sight.
OK have to ask what's with the pic of Lyn and the strange thing on the car seat......??

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