Yellowstone – fabulous and smoky

We are back on the road. We left Tuesday after waiting for the Labor Day crowds to go home. We arrived at Baker’s Hole campground around 4:00 and got the next to last spot here. It is a huge site next to the river with a good open exposure. We were really interested in how the solar set up would work, and it is wonderful! We have turned on the generator only long enough to run the expresso machine in the mornings. The solar has brought the battery up to full charge every day. We have run the fans all day, used the satellite television system extensively, and run the heater quite a bit at night and in the mornings. We have been more extravagant with power than we usually are, and it is still lovely.

For the last few years we have concentrated on seeing animals while in the park. This time we decided to concentrate on the thermal features. I always recommend first (or second) time visitors to Yellowstone really spend time at the variety of thermal features. The animals and scenery are spectacular, but there is nowhere else on earth with such an abundance of funeroles, hot springs, paint pots and geysers like YNP. My back is still bothering me, and Kevin’s knee is still a problem, but we did take some short loops to see some of the best spots.


The basin from a distance on a cool morning
An itty bitty geyser on a ~5 minute cycle
Another geyser
Old Faithful from the walking trail
Another view of Old Faithful

The park is weirdly smoky, though the pollution is still better than at home.

A very smoky sunrise heading into the park
The smoke was intense. Trust me, there are mountains over there.

We were planning on heading to Mammoth Spring campground from here, but the road between Norris and Mammoth is closing for construction on Sunday. The detour is something I do NOT want to do with a trailer, so we decided to go to Gros Ventre in Grand Teton National Park again. Tomorrow we will ride the bikes into West Yellowstone and visit the museum and Visitor Center there. Oddly enough, I haven’t ever been to either of them.

Catch-up posts – Yellowstone, Bozeman, and The Book of Mormon 13-16 August

I am way behind on posting because I was waiting for pictures from Kevin’s camera. I finally got them, so I will work at catching up.

We decided to sell one of our cars to my son living in Bozeman. To get him and the car in the same location, we decided to drive up there while spending a couple of days in the Yellowstone area. Then we would go to Bozeman, pick him up, and head back home in time to attend The Book of Mormon musical. Since the trip was going to be short, we decided to take the itty bitty motorcycle camper. It is a pop up that is designed to tow behind a big motorcycle, but a Kevin modified the lights to work with a car. We left on Sunday morning early and got to Baker’s Hole campground not long after noon. Baker’s Hole is one of our favorite campgrounds. It is 3 miles north of West Yellowstone so it provides easy access to Yellowstone. It costs less than campgrounds in the park, and the sites are more attractive and roomy than the park campgrounds. You do have to take the 30 minute drive in through the West Entrance, but that is part of the experience. The campground even had decent Verizon data access.

Here is a picture of the little camper as Kevin is getting it ready.

It is called a Bunkhouse model.

We had a great animal viewing experience! We saw both a big bear and a wolf, a rare combination.

The bear walked right up to the road then walked away again.
The wolf was protecting a bison car case from other scavengers.

We spent Tuesday night at the Bozeman Hot Springs campground in town so we could get an early start. Fairly boring, but convenient. We made it back by 3:30 in time to unpack, take showers, and go to the musical which was wonderful! It was funny how certain comments in the show that might have gone straight over the heads of most audiences got roaring laughter in Salt Lake City with a Mormon-knowledgeable audience.

Bonus picture: Moose along the Gros Ventre River in Grand Teton from the last post.