Yellowstone - Pictures from May 24th and 25th

Trip Start Mar 04, 2007
Trip End Jun 16, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Montana
Saturday, May 26, 2007

Yellowstone - Friday morning (May 25th)

I've decided to spend five days in Yellowstone. The Madison Hotel is only $23 per night for a hostel room (see pictures). Also, I need to wait to get to Helena until Tuesday when I can pick up the engine cover for my car and get an oil change at the dealership.
It's snowing like crazy again and this is the day I decided to get up at 4:30 to drive into Yellowstone and see the sunrise - ha! With plenty of time and not much to see, I went on to Lake Village and had breakfast at the Yellowstone Hotel. Beautiful hotel, nice view of the lake - I think (visibility is very limited), and decent breakfast buffet. Free coffee in the lobby.

The past two days, I've been busy seeing the sights, but the weather hasn't been great. Mostly cloudy. I've developed a lot of patience (don't laugh), waiting for the sun to peek out for 10 seconds to get a picture.

I'm amazed at the number of foreign tourists here in Yellowstone, from Germany, France, the Netherlands, Japan, India, Canada - not that that counts ; ) - , etc.

Also, many things have been closed and don't open until tomorrow (May 26th). It's okay, there is plenty to see and do - it just means you have to plan your day in advance a bit more closely.

Overall, I've found Yellowstone to be incredible - it's wildness a bit frightening and beauty boundless. It makes you want to break out in song, "America the Beautiful."

A review on some of the "Hot" Spots:
Mammoth Hot Springs - dried up with very few bubblers, like Orange Mound. Though there are excellent view of the snow covered mountains, it's not really worth the trip.

Road between Mammoth and Norris - again not so much.

Norris Geyser Basin - A huge collection of geysers and a long trail around them. Unfortunately, the day was bleak and it diminished some of the colorfulness of the area. Mostly, the area has an off world quality - moonscape-ish, if that's a word.

Road between Norris and Madison - good animal sightings, especially Buffalo, Gibbon River and Gibbon Falls are pretty.

Road between Madison and Yellowstone - awesome. This is where Lower, Middle and Upper Geyser Basins are as well as Firehole Canyon Drive, the Grand Prismatic Spring and Biscuit Basin. This can take several hours and is worth it!

Old Faithful - what can I say - it's touristy but reliable, so you can get in and out quickly if you know what time approximately, it's going to blow. The Inn is being retrofitted and is really a unique piece of architecture. Unfortunately, I had a bad lunch experience there, which put me in a foul mood and put me off exploring it more closely. The signs were there when the "seater" kept looking around for the party of one while I was standing right in front of here, alone. "Am I invisible?" I asked. From there it got worse, my order came after 20 minutes (half sandwich and soup) wrong and cold. Then it took 15 more minutes to get the half-sandwich back and it had shrunk considerably from what was originally put in front of me. The soup came another 10 minutes later, sans the chips and pickle that were on the plate to begin with. Needless to say, I told the manager that this was unacceptable and walked out.

Remember, I mentioned Bob and Betty from the Badlands and the Black Hills, well, I ran into them again yesterday in Yellowstone. We're old buds now. I expect to see them in Alaska as well.

I'm not able to get Internet access nor cell here reliably. I'll send this up in several installments so as not to overwhelm you.
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