Yellowstone NP

Trip Start Jun 21, 2007
Trip End Jul 08, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Friday, June 29, 2007

The breakfast at the B&B was very good and had a good variety. I was kind of surprised they made so much given that we were the only guests that morning. The owner was a chatty-kathy, but she had some good stories.
After breakfast we headed back to Yellowstone. We stopped and took our picture by the "Entering Montana" sign that we missed the previous day. It was by the Gardiner River which Brooks and I once again decided to get our feet wet in.
We then headed to Mammoth Springs, which is a very large geyser terrace...with a LOT of steps. It also served as the headquarters for the park, since it was the lowers geographic point in park, which meant that the roads into and out of the park stayed open all year round (unlike the other entrances). Brooks and Michelle spent time filling out post cards (since there was a post office located there) while I took pictures of the local elk that were lounging under the trees near by.
Next, we stopped by Undine Falls. There we asked a lady to take a picture of us with the falls in the back ground...I guess she didn't hear the part about the falls part, since we were blocking the view of falls in the picture. Much of the rest of the north part was slow going since it was mostly mountain terrain, with a lot of slow going curves. The only bright spot was the Calcite Springs Overlook which gave you an excellent view of a Yellowstone Grand Canyon, north of the main tourist spot.
While Gardiner, MT was a nice small town to visit, I will most likely not do the north loop the next time I come here (when ever that will be) and focus more on the south loop. 

We spent the rest of our time at the park exploring the Grand Canyon area. Brooks had fun looking around the Canyon Visitor Education Center. It opened up just a few years ago, so it is one visitor center that has nice displays, and activities for the younger visitors. From there we headed to Lower Falls. I walked down to the brink (top of the falls). It was 3/8 mile down a series of switchbacks, which was very strenuous on the way back up, but it was WELL WORTH it. You got a good view of the canyon and of the falls, which something I can't say about the brink of the Upper Falls. Although, it was a much shorter and much less strenuous walk to get there, it was equally less impressive. After that, the family took a short walk up the North Rim Trail to see Crystal Falls. It wasn't as impressive as Lower Falls, but it was nice since no one else was around, even though it was just 200 yards from the Upper Falls parking lot. The tour guide books are right when they say that you lose 98% of the crowd if you walk a little bit down any trail.
At that point the entire family was National-Parked-out (for now I hope), so we decided to head to Cody, WY. We got more views of the Yellowstone Lake, along with many smaller lakes. About 10 miles before we left the park we ran into more road construction, where we had to wait for about 20 minutes before we were able to move. The line of cars was at least 40 cars long. People were getting out of there cars and walking dogs and such. It reminded me of a scene out of one of those end-of-days movies where people were stuck in traffic jams and people were all out of the cars doing various activities.
We eventually got to Cody. To get there we went down the Shoshone Canyon and it had a lot of interesting rock formations to look at. Once at the hotel, Brooks and I took a dip in the very large hot tube/mini-pool before we ate at a restaurant recommended by the hotel clerk. Either it was really good or everyone was really hungry. After dinner I put Brooks to bed, while Michelle went to Wal-Mart to restock on a few things. While Brooks was trying to get to sleep, Michelle and I sat outside on our porch. It was a nice evening outside in the shade. We decided to call it an early night and we all went to bed pretty early.
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