Day 92 - Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming (USA)

Trip Start Mar 29, 2013
Trip End Aug 17, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rich and Taya have a very successful morning wander. They go down to the river and Rich is delighted to find a family of otters, a mother and her four babies. Otters - check. They spy a pelican in the distance, we later all find one nice and close by. Pelicans - check. They also see an osprey high in a tree. Osprey - check. This sighting and photo confirms a previous sighting was not an osprey, but a bald eagle.

Today we are exploring Canyon country which is just north of where we are staying at Fishing Bridge on the east side of the park. The Canyon is imaginatively named The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Both children fully on form today.

On our way to the first viewpoint we see lots more bison and a new spot today which we are pleased about a bull elk with great big antlers. Elk - check.

We chose the Artists Point viewpoint on the south rim of the Grand Canyon for our first look. Honestly we are not expecting to be wowed, we have, after all, just visited The Grand Canyon, but as with everything in these National Parks, it is fantastic. Totally different from what we were expecting. It has a huge raging waterfall at the far end of the canyon and the beautiful bright blue Yellowstone river that winds it's way down the canyon. The sides of the canyon are coloured with reds, oranges and yellows. One Japanese tourist videos Taya here, and another asks for a photo.

The second viewpoint, Uncle Tom's Trail, brings us much closer to the waterfall for a better look. Dylan insists that we should all sit down on the benches and relax. This is a word that he knows, but quite clearly doesn't understand the true meaning of! Rich is also instructed to sit with the happy land people so that everyone can relax. Over at the viewpoint Emma is treated to a drum ensemble of a favourite tune - blah blah black sheep. We prefer Dylan's version since it makes us laugh every time.

Dylan today likes to be referred to as Ranger, he is in charge of the walking routes.

A quick scoot over the bridge to the North Rim viewpoint to see the canyon from a different perspective. Whilst Emma feeds Taya and prepares the picnic lunch, Rich hikes down to a lower viewpoint right above the falls, and gets some great shots from lower down in the canyon. He jogs back up and is very sweaty by the time he returns.

We drive just beyond Canyon Village to Cascade Lake Picnic Area where we set up for our lunch and nap time. No nap for Dylan again, which seems to be becoming quite a pattern. He plays outside with his cars and makes friends with a German boy called Len.

Once Taya is up we set off for a walk from the picnic area to Cascade Lakes. We want to get out a little further from the main sights and the road, and we've read it might be a good place to spot moose, which are now top of our wish list. We only manage a short walk through the woods and meadows and over a lovely wooden bridge until the sky darkens and the rain threatens. We are completely unprepared since its been boiling all day. The mozzies here are so violent that they have us hopping around. We dread to think what it would be like if we weren't wearing repellant. We decide to cut our losses and go back to the van. We are pleased with our decision, as ten minutes later, the skies open, and a heavy rainstorm ensues. We decide we can't complain since we can still count the number of times it has rained in the last 92 days on one hand.

What to do when it rains? Shop. We go to the Fishing Bridge shop near our campsite. Dylan has us all wearing coloured hard hats with miners torches on the front, dancing round singing Bob the Builder. We pick out a new pair of jammies for Taya and Dylan. It's been cold overnight in the van for the last week or so, and they don't have enough warm options to keep them toasty at night. They both have the same pattern, red with a black moose pattern. Taya's is a sleep suit, and Dylan's are PJs. We are hoping they bring good karma and that we find our moose before we leave Yellowstone. We also stock up on a few items of food, and find Dylan a Sherif badge with his name on it. There unsurprisingly isn't one for Taya.

Sausage and sweet potato mash for dinner, which is one of Dylan's favourites, but we think Taya might have pipped him on the enjoyment factor tonight.

Bedtimes during a big storm that shakes the van. Tonight is our last night at Fishing Bridge and a full hook up. For the next two nights we will be heading west in the park to Madison, where we will be without a hookup. Lets hope those PJs are warm as we will be without heating.

Rich goes to one of the ranger talks this evening about the bison at Yellowstone. We thought we would take advantage of a few more but the subjects of the previous evenings didn't interest either of us. The talk today is by one of the rangers giving details on all the history of Yellowstone and how the bison were the first protected species in the park, and in America. Covering from head to toe in clothes and mozzie spray seems to work this evening too.

Emma has finished a book - My Animals and Other Family by Claire Balding. Really enjoyed it, despite it taking me 92 days to complete. Nearly every evening has been taken up with bedtimes, trip planning, sorting photos, and, of course, the blog, which doesn't leave too much reading time.

A another nice day in Yellowstone.
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