Jul 24, 2010
Aug 03, 2010
Where I stayed
Yellowstone Valley Inn
. This view was well worth the 3/4 mile round trip. Then we drove to Inspiration Point. I wasn't that impressed but Miles though it was pretty cool. We saw the glacial erratic boulder that was HUGE (over 500 ton). We went to the Canyon Visitor center next. They had a very nice interactive display about supervolcanoes. Then we went to the south rim of the canyon. We checked out the Upper Falls viewpoint then headed for the famous Uncle Toms Point. Down, down, down 328 steps later we had arrived at an awesome viewpoint. My legs were wobbly all the way back up. Next we checked out Artists point which had an excellent view of the canyon and the falls. Our next stop was mud volcano. There was a bison just hanging out by one of the springs. We noticed that the tire was a little low on air and the Lake Village map had a picture of a gas station. It was a bit out of the way with a good view of Yellowstone Lake. The hotel here looked very old but was busy still the same. We got lunch here since we were out of bread. $4.19 for my tuna sandwich and $4/99 for his turkey and cheese. After eating the sandwich we decided to do the Natural Bridge Trail 2 miles round trip. We took an old abandon road which was now a bike trail. The Natural bridge according to the book was 150 ft. high but when we got there it was only around 50 ft high. It took 40 minutes to do the two miles. Next we drove to Fishing Bridge and were was a gas station with air. Miles got a gourmet huckleberry slushy. It wasn't too bad at all. We went to the Visitor Center and they had lots of animals on display. We decided our last trail in Yellowstone would be Stormy Point Nature Trail. It was two miles round trip. Part of the loop went through wildflowers and past Indianhead Lake, the next part went through dense forest the it opened up to the lake. To continue the loop we went back through the forest then back into the wildflowers. Imagine our surpise through when we popped out of the woods, and there in our path was a huge bison
. We got some pictures then walked through thick weeds to avoid getting too close to the bison. Next we took the two miles Lake Butte Overlook drive. From the top was a beautiful view even the Tetons came into view. Miles had phone service here and for the first time was able to get ahold of the cross country coach. He informed Miles that he had taken a job elsewhere and that Miles could have the job of cross countru coach. Right before we exited the park we caught a glimpse of a coyote running along the road. Then we saw a picture of a badger which Miles got a couple of good pictures of. We exited the park and drove to the campground which was 32 miles outside the park. Yellowstone Valley Inn was mostly for RV's and there were two tiny areas for tents. They wanted us to look at the area before committing because the winds were sometimes high. It had been raining on and off and the worker said sometimes the winds blew people away. We set up the tent behind a little tiny building to block the wind from that direction. Next we went to the restaurant. Miles got a 1/2 rack of ribs for $16.95 which came with soup, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. I got the turkey manhannan with salad for $11.95. They guy ended up not charging us for drinks and there seemed to be almost no taxes, so it was a good meal for cheaper than we thought. Next we got in the hot tub and chatted with a family from Florida. After that we showered since we didn't get to that morning. I had some grad work to do so we went and sat in the lobby while it rained. It continued to rain and when Miles went to the tent he found it to be wet inside. We put down towels, layed perpendicular to normal and tried to go to sleep. This was the most difficult night to fall asleep so far.
We didn't have to get up quite as early. We got up just before 7:00 and took down the tent. There were no showers at this campground so we took off about 7:25. We were in line at the road closure by 7:30. People were out of their cars walking around. By 8:00 on the nose we were moving along. Our plan had worked perfectly. We had smooth sailing all the way. We did the one way Virginia Cascades road but there was no pullout to get a good picture. We ended up stopping in the middle of the road, but didn't have a good view. We got to the "Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone" and did the Brink of Upper Falls trail first. It was a view from the top of the smaller falls. We hopped back in the car and went to the Brink of Lower Falls. This trail was 3/8ths of a mile of steep switch backs to get to where the Lower Falls start. There was a nice view of the other falls but in my opinion, not worth the 3/4 mile round trip. Next we drove to Lookout Point. That was a nice view but no rest for the legs as we dd Red Rock Point another 3/8th miles straight down steep switchbacks