Tuesday 22 July

Trip Start Apr 13, 2008
Trip End Oct 27, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday 22nd July
Today was our 13th wedding Anniversary!  We actually forgot until later in the day because we were having an exciting day.  We arrived in Yellowstone at about 10 am.  We came through the east entrance and it was really busy! Oh dear!  We had been warned that all the campsites in the park fill up by midday and 2 were already full by the time we arrived. So we were trying to get in and straight to a camp site as fast as possible. It is a vast place and as we began driving in we realised it was going to be a couple of hours before we even reached the first one that may still have availability
We drove around the massive lake which reminded us of Lake Taupo and began to see loads of Buffalo. The scenery is unbelievable. Around every turn in the road the view is stunning.  We drove high up to about 10,000 feet through a pass with snow still on the ground and then down again into vast open areas of meadows with the occasional steaming hot spring visible from the road.
We eventually arrived at a place called Tower Falls which is a junction in the road and has a camp ground, shop etc  it turned out that the camp ground was full which was a bit of a blow as it was now lunch time!
We decided that we didn't want to spoil the rest of the day by worrying about it, so we carried on and took the time to enjoy the views and spotting the wild life.
On the way down a hill later on we saw a whole group of cars and people staring at something across the valley.  When you are in Yellowstone and you see this happening it is well worth stopping because they have obviously seen something worth looking at. In many cases we discovered that is was a Bison and after a while we had seen so many we stopped bothering with them.  However this time it was a BLACK BEAR!!!  It was clambering down a log but it was a fair way away from us. The rangers came down and asked "who owns the white RV?!"  We were sticking out into the road a bit and they were getting twitchy so we had to move on. We were so glad we saw a bear - it was our mission to see one in the wild and we did.
We finally found a campground at Mammoth Hot Springs in the northern part of the park.  It was not at all full so we got settled in and from there we were able to walk up the hill to the top where there is a visitor's centre, hotel, fuel station and most importantly the area of thermal activity on terraced rock. The water here flows down the rock creating beautiful colours as the minerals change them over time.
As we were thinking about going back to the van at around 6pm we looked up only to see big black clouds above us again. Oh no! So we RAN all the way back down the hill and got back just in time. Other people around us who had seen us walk off earlier were laughing at us as we dashed back.
We took some quite dramatic pictures of the sky while we were having tea and hopefully Steve can put some here for you to see.
We drank a bottle of wine to celebrate our anniversary and I broke one of my teeth as I munched on some steak that Steve had cooked..... No I am not blaming him!!! (it was delicious and very tender - like my gum is now)  what a romantic end to the day.
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