07/26/2014 Betsy

AN ALL AMERICAN ROAD Beartooth Mountain Highway   A note:  anyone following this blog can gauge how often I do laundry!  I have to drive a few miles to the washer and dryers and that is where the internet is!  Unfortunately there is none in the campground so update when I can…. That being said, we took one of our days off, piled Billy into the car and took off to explore the Beartooth Mountains.  What a day that was!!!!!! Heading up to Roosevelt Tower we hung a right towards the northeast entrance to the Park.  This road took us…

07/21/2014 Betsy

FROM LUSH VALLEYS TO THE DESERT!   We drove up to Mammoth to check out the campground there and then over to the little town of Gardiner, MT 3 miles outside the north entrance.   This is a different world from the east side of the Park. To get here, you go through  the lush Hayden and LaMar valleys.;  through Yellowstone Canyon and Tower Falls then drop 1500’ to Mammoth Springs at 6200’.  It is much, much drier here as well as hotter.. The Gardner Canyon drops you right into Gardiner, Montana – a little town on your way to Livingston!…

07/21/2014 Betsy

ALL THAT RAIN BRINGS……   ROCK SLIDES   We had a series of storms over two days, thunder and heavy rain bands coming through during the day.  Apparently it was worse at the top of the mountain and in the canyons!  By the evening of the second day we heard on the radio that the road  between Cody and the East Entrance was closed 7 miles east of the  entrance.  This is about 35 miles from Cody in the middle of the canyon following the Shoshone River.    The road was closed all night until the next day and then opened…

07/14/2014 Betsy

HIKE UP MYSTIC FALLS LOOKOUT HIKE DOWN INTO MYSTIC FALLS “inspires a sense of wonder as the water cascades tumbles”   John Muir wrote of this area:  “The sun shines, not on us, but in us.  The rivers flow not past, but through us.  The trees sway and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song is our song….if only one is poor enough to listen”   After a couple of “work days” doing laundry and grocery shopping, we took time to further explore the Old Faithful…

07/14/2014 Betsy

MOUNTAINS OF THE IMAGINATION Grand Tetons National Park   Decided to ‘leave the reservation’ and drive over to Grand Teton National Park. Before we left Yellowstone we crossed the Continental Divide passing Lewis Lake  on the western slope of the Continental Divide. LEWIS FALLS Lewis lake flows into the Lewis River over the falls down through the Lewis River Gorge. OMG LEWIS CANYON This drive is one of the more dramatic ones because there is nothing between the side of the road and a tumble down the gorge!  When I got out…

07/10/2014 Betsy

WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM …. IN THE CAMPGROUND   The campgrounds (all of them in YSNP) and the lodges have been full, every night for the past several weeks and will remain so throughout the summer.  All of our 900 sites are operational and occupied.  Our location in the lower campground (Loops A,B,C,D) are in the meadow created by clear-cutting of the trees years and years ago so this is where the bison roam! What a difference in their appearance from when we arrived in  mid-June to now.  Just about every tree has bark rubbed off where the bison has…

07/10/2014 Betsy

 ELEPHANT BACK MOUNTAIN Death March II   This happens at the beginning of each summer.  Our first couple of hikes are like death marches.  As the summer goes by, we get in better shape and the same hikes by the end of the summer are great.  Here we are battling 7700′ elevation as well as elevation gaining hikes. Our torture today was a hike up Elephant Back to a beautiful vista of Lake Yellowstone.  Hike started out deceptively flat gaining only 200’ before reaching the loop.  This hike took us through lodge poles that were 200 – 300 years old. Once…

07/10/2014 Betsy

JULY 5TH –    Uncle Tom Trail into the Canyon   Well, we survived Fourth of July….two pot luck meals, marched in the parade, and had great discussions with our fellow campground hosts.  I’d call it a rather full day!   BUFFALO AMONG THE FLOWERS Summer has arrived with mid-70s during the day and mid-40’s at night.  Can it get any better than that?  We decided to drive up towards Yellowstone Canyon and revisit some of the places we first saw in the snow (a couple of weeks ago!).               Our…

07/09/2014 Betsy

NATURAL  BRIDGE TRAIL Mini-death march Hiking “Tryout”   We decided to hike up to the Natural Bridge.  The weather was overcast with rain off in the distance, but decided we’d give it a try.   BEAR CLAW SHARPENERS BISON’S RUB THEIR WINTER COAT OFF The trail took us through a dense canopy of spruces and subalpine firs running parallel to the Bridge Bay shoreline.  Evidence of bears sharpening their claws and bison rubbing off their winter coats were among the trees. Bridge Bay is a natural bay off of Lake Yellowstone.  Soon…

07/09/2014 Betsy

YSNP – All About the Animals July 3, 2014   The elk are out and about as you can tell from the animal-jams!   A herd was young elk have been hanging out in the corral and the crowds were parking on each side of the road and hiking across the bison paddies to get to the fence to take their pictures.   What posers!   Then another older herd was hanging out in the meadow where Billy walks each morning drawing crowds to photograph.  What posers! This is such a magical place.