2007 06 17 – Big Trip – Day 48 – Yellowstone National Park

Madison Campground, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Tachometer – 4788 miles

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Traffic Jam, Yellowstone National Park

We woke up after 9 today. The Bison left the meadow during the night. From the RV window, Ron and Shir spotted a “ground squirrel and his wife” fooling around near their hole. We got through the morning duties, always a bit slower without a hookup (no microwave to warm the milk, visit to the dump station for dumping and fresh water), and set off to see more Yellowstone.

Our first stop was Artists’ Paintpots. We walked a few hundred meters through a young forest growing instead of one that burnt a few years ago to reach some nice hydrothermal features. We saw a sizzling hot spring, a plopping mud spring and some more colorful water pools. As we headed back to the RV, it started to rain and the light breeze became a stronger wind. It started to get cold.

The rain accompanied us driving north for a few miles and we saw a small group of bison making their way from a meadow to some cover under the pine trees nearby. After a few minutes it stopped raining and we saw another group of bison, with calves, trotting down the highway in our direction. It was very cool to see them pass us by, just inches away from the RV. They left a lot of poop on the road. After they passed, we saw what a traffic backup they had created, as a long winding line of cars, about 1 mile long waited patiently for the road to be reclaimed by humans. Thankfully we were on the free side of the road.

We reached the Norris Geyser Basin area and parked for lunch as it started raining again. It was already much cooler outside than it had been in the morning. After we ate, I drove a few miles so the girls could fall asleep. We stopped along the road in a parking spot and then all 5 of was took a nap. Outside, it was raining, at times hailing, and cars and RVs passed us by as we all slept soundly for almost 2 hours.

When we woke up it seemed like the worse of the rain was over so we drove back to Norris and headed out for a walking tour of the geysers and hot springs. Steamboat Geyser, our first stop, spouts to 400 feet, but is irregular in its activity. The last time it blew was 2005, and after waiting 10 minutes watching mini eruption of 3 meters, we realized we weren’t going to get lucky today.

We continued along the boardwalk and path, juggling Shir’s stubbornness (wants to walk alone without holding a hand) Ron’s need to sit in the Stroller (“I’m really tired”), Orr’s moods (swinging from laughter to tears and back like a yoyo today) and the cold wind. The sights were very pretty in this vast thermal field, but as Paola said, 10 degrees warmer would have made it much more fun. We finished the loop (1.5 miles) at 8:30pm, but it was still light out.

Driving back to the campground we hoped to see lots of wildlife, as they are more active towards dusk. We saw to female elk eating near the road, but that’s it. When we got to the campground I wanted to prepare some BBQ, but the firewood that I had left in the morning in the campsite was gone. !!&?#$!!!. So we cooked up a supper inside the RV instead. It was after 10:30 that the children went to sleep. Tomorrow we head south to the Old Faithful Geyser area.

Good Night,

-Hemi

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