Yellowstone National Park

Trip Start Jul 16, 2010
Trip End Aug 15, 2010

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Where I stayed
Lions Head RV Resort

Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

(Tom) Hi, it's me again! It seemed like a very long day today!  We actually overslept 1.5 hours!!  I was the first one up this morning.  I wasn’t supposed to be the first to rise.  I woke up and went in with Mom and Dad.  Mom was surprised.  Dad was supposed to be driving.  Dad looked at me, looked at his watch, and widened his eyes.  The day hadn’t started the way we’d planned.  That’s never a good sign.  Once everyone was breakfasted up, we hit the road from Idaho.

The first cool thing we saw was a lot of crops being irrigated.  There was a ton of wheat and especially potatoes.  A few minutes later, we saw a couple of planes.  They turned out to be crop-dusters!  We saw a couple fly over before one of them swooped down and unloaded a little.  I thought it was pretty cool.  I’ve never seen one of those except in movies.  There were miles and miles of potatoes and wheat that had been planted.  I tried an Idaho potato at the campground café we went to for supper last night.  It was pretty good.  For all you Mainer’s that are reading this, I didn’t think Idaho’s were as good as Maine’s!

From then on, there weren’t many attractions.  We started to drive into Yellowstone National Park.  As we were driving in, we read a book/magazine about the beauty of Yellowstone.  Pretty much what I got out of that book was that Yellowstone was a big spot of land with geysers and springs.  Old Faithful was what I was looking forward to the most in Yellowstone.  We got right into the park and went straight to the Norris Geyser Basin.  Apparently there isn’t a Norris Geyser.  Why can’t they just take some big geyser that’s in the basin and place that in the name.  We went through half of the basin (1 loop) and it turns out that most hot springs smell really bad!!  We got to see a few geysers going off.  They weren’t like Old Faithful where it spurts out a ton of water really high, it was just a little geyser and it spit out water very slowly and only 2 or 3 feet off the ground.  All of this happened while Mom stayed in the RV to take a snooze.

After the Norris Basin, we stamped our National Park Passports at the Visitor’s Center, which was right next to the Mammoth Hot Springs. We were going to walk over to the springs but decided that it was too far away (it was!).  We walked a little from where we were parked before we were in one of the Mammoth Hot Springs parking lots.  After that, we walked up a platform a half-mile to the top of the spring.  There were a couple of things that we saw on the side of the spring thingy that were made by the mineral deposits.  Dad and Darren saw the face of a ghost!  I didn’t see it.  There was another thing that I’ll get too on the way down from the top of the spring.

Once we got to the top, we were all a little disappointed.  We’d walked all that way to see the "Mammoth Hot Spring" which was close to the size of 5 large pigs.  The spring itself was maybe 1/20 the size of the top of the mountain of mineral deposits.  Mom said that she didn’t think it was worth the walk.  A man beside us overheard her and he laughed and said that he was thinking the same thing!

When you look at the pictures, you should see the second thing we saw in the spring rock.  We thought it looked like a bear or a hound dog with the flab of his cheeks hanging down.  Everyone has different opinions.  Write a comment about what you think that it looks like.

We put a couple of Frank’s bakery chicken pies in the oven and on our way to Tower Falls; we came up to a group of cars.  Wherever there are a group of cars, there is wildlife!  Dad saw the black bear first, and then Darren, then I, and finally Mom saw it.  It was in what looked to be a berry bush.  The traffic was starting to get backed up and while we were headed back towards the RV, a man in a car slowly drove by and Dad quickly told him that there wasn’t anywhere to go.  The man kept going.  BEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!  That was the guy.  Bear ran away, nobody knew who honked, everybody mumbling, it all went downhill.  What started out as a graceful bear being photographed and binoculared turned into a mad group of people and no bear.

We continued on and saw Tower Falls.  The top was cool but from the platform, you couldn’t see the bottom.  You could see the river, but you couldn’t see where the fall hit the river.  The pies had started to brown when we got back to the RV.

We found a picnic area and got the pies out; cooked some corn and potato, and we had a picnic.  Mom wanted to eat inside so we could keep quiet and watch for animals.  Dad and Darren went outside.  I stayed with Mom.  Darren was inside within 5 minutes.  I guess it was pretty buggy outside.  Dad was in 3 minutes after Darren.  He said it was a little buggy.  We finished supper inside.

On the way to the campsite we were going to stay at, there was another line of cars along the road.  We looked into a big meadow and saw a pretty big grizzly bear.  Mom told us that we know that it’s a grizzly because it has a big hump on its back.  The bear was actually headed right for the road.  Dad went out of the RV to get a video of it from the other side of the road.  The grizzly went right in between two cars and crossed the road.  What was astounding to me was that while the bear was headed for the road, people were getting out of their cars!  Didn’t people hear that a grizzly killed a man here last week?  The bear just walked away like saying “been here, done that.”

We started rolling again and we saw a huge herd of elk!  No Uncle Scott, we didn’t shoot them!  Darren and I were asleep before we got to the campground.  Apparently, Dad got us hooked up and all level within 5-10 minutes.  We all went to sleep after that.  Even though it was pretty cool and we got to see some bears and elk, Yellowstone isn’t one of my absolute favorites.  We still have Old Faithful to go tomorrow!

(Kevin)  Hi, it’s boring dad again.  We are having a trip of a lifetime.  Yellowstone was our 7th National Park on our tour of the US.  Two more to go.  Tomorrow we will be heading to the southern part of the park to see Old Faithful then on to Grand Teton National Park. The weather has been great with only a few thunderstorms during the first few days of the trip.  We have not seen any rain since Missouri, day six of our trip.  Hope all is well back home. 

409.5 miles (including 150 miles touring the park), avg. speed 46.1 mph, travel time 8:52, stopped time 4:45, total miles for trip 5,528
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Jodi on

I love reading about where you are and what you're doing on your trip! Thanks for sharing with us! You're right Kevin, it's the trip of a lifetime; maybe you should think about putting the RV on loan after you're done with it...there's a trip to Milo I've been wanting to take, and I think the RV would be PERFECT! I'm glad you're all having a great time though, see you in a couple of weeks!

king of the johnson mill rd on

Likewise love the comments. We are living vicariously through the traveling Hanscoms! You're all good sports to deal with the various challenges along the way and still keep the famliy unit together.

Our clan would have voted someone "off the island" by now!!!!

Jana on

By the way, we have an awesome video of the grizzly bear around the cars. We will try to upload it but the file may be too big. We love our little video camera! Thank you Foster family!

Lake Unc on

Boy Tom, you continue to do an awesome job documenting your experiences. So enjoy reading about your adventure. Tell Mom and Dad that if you folks are headed for Mt Rushmore to be expecting company. The 70th Annual Sturgis SD Bike Week happens from Aug 9 thru the 15th. They are expecting 500,000 for this aniversary rally so watch for the bikes and traffic around the Black Hills. Keep Darren away from the biker chics.......

scott on

at least get some pictures of the elk if you're not going to shoot one. they are really tastey. there's enough room in the freezer now! i check the blog everyday(most i've been on a computer in my life). you guys are seeing a beautiful part of the country right now. wish i was with you,but then again the rolling t*** might smell worst then the hot springs!! see ya soon. p.s. i didn't know t*** was profanty??

Alan on

The grizzlies look at all of those cars and think, "Crunchy on the outside, chewey on the inside."

glizhette on

A grizzly bear killed a man who had been hiking with his spouse in Yellowstone National Park Wed. Park officials said the bear will not be caught or murdered. Worries over tourism have been started by the incident. I found this here: Man killed by grizzly bear in Yellowstone Park

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