Aloha is back from yellowstone!!!
Man oh man I would give my right arm to live there.and I thought Hawaii was beautiful. Came home Sunday, what a shitty town this is.
Ah well, the drive up was okay. Listened to Phil (Collins) all the way up, which was enjoyable at the very least! Got past Ashton and the flood of memories came back. See, I aven't been to yellowstone since I was ten or twelve, so I've forgotten alot. But anyways, as we got up the Ashton hill all the pines closed in and the entire landscape was transformed. Suddenly Idaho looked beautiful. Then we hit the construction.
UUggghh! We were delayed two hours by the construction, but it was worth it. The sun began to set behind the Bitterroot Range, and the sky turned from blue to a splash of purple and pink. Oh and the pink. you could see the Grand Tetons rising up to the Southeast, we were in a traffic jam (because of the construction) between Last Chance and Mack's in. My God those Tetons are beautiful, especially when the full moon is rising over the largest Teton and the sky is pink as it was.
Got into West Yellowstone VERY late. that place has changed so much you wouldn't believe! There's like a million more hotels than there were in my childhood memories.
We were in a cabin near the entrance into West Yellowstone. The semi-trucks kept me awake all night as the cabin is right next to US Highway 20. But I did finally fall asleep and dreamt abotu women. (Nothing sexual, mind you )
Next day, had a HUGE pancake breakfast at the Running Bear Restaurant (Good), and stocked up on soda pop and snacks at the Associated Grocery Store a block off Canyon St. then we went into the park.
There was a line at the West Entrance, but the change of scenery was immediate, and even waiting in a line of cars was pretty darn enjoyable.
Once past, we entered the Park and passed the fishing areas. Just before Mt. Jackson we encountered a herd of about 115 Elk, on the FIRST DAY!! Needless to say I emptied a roll of pictures.
Drove on past Mt. Haynes, turned LEFT at Madison Junction and went on up to Norris Geyser Basin. Took the loop trail. I forget the name but it wasn't the Porcelain Basin trail, it was the other one. Anyway me and my sister really enjoyed that one, but it was HOT AS HELL. It was 1:15 PM when we finally finished the loop and left Norris, but not before someone put their hand in a thermal pool on the Porcelain loop.
My God people are INCREDIBLY stupid, and this was a 30-year old woman too. God.
ANYWAY, as soon as we left Norris we turned left yet again (North) and started on our way to Mammoth hot springs.
Now let me tell you, as soon as you get past Norris on your way to Mammoth, the scenery get's WILDLY beautiful. I mean there is NOTHING else like it. I'll decline to describe it all, but let's just say you shouldn't miss it when you go to Yellowstone.
However as you approach Mammoth, it get's very dry, and you find yourself in Grassland. At Mammoth, sage brush desert. We only stopped in Mammoth for a bite to eat and for a toilet. (Everything but the Chili or Chili dog sucks, and there's a huge line for the bathrooms)
Anyways, the boardwalk at Mammoth is no longe worth you time. They had an earthquake up there a while back, and all the water has dried up. So unless your impressed with colored rock, just eat and continue on you way!
We continued East towards Tower-Roosevelt. You cross a huge bridge (the view is spectacular), and once past that, you are again in a beautiful pine forest.
I got a wild hair up my arse to try the Blacktail Plateau Drive. DON'T DO IT!! I was in a 1991 Toyota Tercel. Lemme tell ya they are not a good off-road vehicle. I forgot to thech the key on our Yellowstone map and thought the drive was PAVED. NO!!! It is not!!
Avoid the Blacktail Plateau Drive. It was 6 miles of creeping along at ten miles per hour, one-way, with large rocks in the road scraping the belly of your car, bumpy as hell, and just not worth it.
The Drive comes out near the Petrified Tree. Go see the petrified tree.
OK, now that we're done with the Petrified Tree, we go to see Tower Fall. Again I had that wild hair. I went to the lookout for the fall, alright, but I also decided to take the trail to the bottom.
THE TRAIL TO THE BASE OF TOWER FALL IS WORTH IT!! IT REALLY IS!!!!
In .6 miles you descend 1,000ft to the base of the falls. Once the path loops around at the bottom, you find yourself in a huge amphitheatre with moss growing on the rock walls, the thunder of the waterfall, boulders as large as couches, and a rushing river. Look up, the pinnacles of rock you saw at the lookout are WAY above you. You definitely feel that 1,000 feet you descended.
Now I make the stupid mistake of RUNNING back up the trail. I was in a hurry as we had to be to Lake Yellowstone at a certain time, so I ran .6 miles and ascended 1,000 feet. I had altitude problems and you better believe it. I had to sit down, ever muscle in my body ached and I, for a minute, thought that I was about to have a heart attack.
And then I thought of you guys, and thought that I have to live because no-one would tell you all that I ha apssed away and you all would wonder where I was. So Airliners.net gave me the will to live.
Seriously though, I should not have ran up that, I did come close to having a problem and I'm glad that I didn't.
OK, next was Canyon Villiage. First we drove into Inspration Point. Nice, but not orth it. At least, not worth it once you see Artist Point. We went there next and the view was MUCH better!!
OK, now we were in a hurry to get to Lake Yellowstone. We got there and checked into the Lake Lodge, which is a very beautiful place!!
However the dinner buffet smells horrible, but it tastes OK. I had the Teriyaki Stir Fry. It smelled like crap. It tasted bland. But when you put ALOT of Kikoman Soy Sauce on it, it tastes GREAT!!!!
After dinner we checked into our cabin, whcih was very, very nice. But they are always out of ice, and they ask you do not fill up your cooler with ice. So that was a bummer.
Once checked in, I wnet down, camera in hand, to the beach of Lake Yellowstone, and what a great beach it was. The moon was up and the sky was purple, and, as it was, it turned the lake to turquoise. I sat on the beach just inches from where the water was gently lapping the shoreline, and looked out over the lake. I don't know how long I was like that. The water just really captivated me. You're just mezmorized with the beauty of it all, it was very fantastic.
And it got darker......
And I sat up and walked along the beach, southward, on the West Shore. I walked and walked and walked till I came to some large lava rocks. I sat on one and looked at the lake again. It was darker now and the moon was now doing it's work with the lake. Out in the middle of the lake, were three pools of moonlight, each a different brightness than the others. And extending from them to the shoreline, to me, was a reflected beam of moonlight. It was a beautiful sight that I'll never forget. I also have alot of pictures, you'll see them as soon as they develop.
I dreamt of girls and mountains that night.
Next day, we drove down the West Thumb and had breakfast. Saw the Mud Volcano and West Thumb Geyser basin on the way. I love the Lake.
After breakfast, we drove to Old Faithful. As was our luck, we got there just after she had gone off, so I had an hour to explore the other geysers of Black Sand and Upper geyser basin. So I took the boardwalk. Went through the springs areas, crossed a couple of bridged, but the good stuff starts at Castle Geyser. I never saw her erupt but she's neat. Coming from Castle Geyser on the boardwalk, you cross a bridge on the river, and are met with a waterrfall of turquoise water. It comes from Sawmill Geyser, just up the path, probably yellowstone's most fantastic geyser. you have to see it for yourself, but Sawmil has a unique personality all it's own. I spent four hours just watching sawmill, the fscination never ends.
At this point I went back to see old faithful erupt, and then we left. We drove all the way to Mack's Inn Idaho where we took in a dinner show production of Oklahome. In the preshow entertainment, I had a very lovely young lady sing to me. This was the first time it ever happened to me and needless to say, my heart skipped a beat or two. She's a aspiring young singer, age 18, by the name of Ashley. I bought her CD and I hope she makes it as far as she hopes, she's very talented and I just love her.
We got back to West Yellowstone late that night. I slept well, no dreams.
Next day was Saturday. We had breakfast at the 3 bears (VERY GOOD) and then took in the Hot Rod parade and bought me an expensive winter coat.
We went back to Old Faithful and I spent another four hours watching Sawmill Geyser. Keep in mind you do not have to WAIt four hourse, Sawmill is CONSTANTLY erupting, I am saying you can spend four hours just watching it.
This is a long post so I'll hurry up an end it.
That day I also made it all the way to Morning Glory Pool, explored Biscuit Basin, Midway Basin, and the foutain Paint Pots, and came back to our hotel in West Yellowstone.
The next day was sunday. Had breakfast at the hotel, went to see an IMAX showing of "Yellowstone" (Fantastic), bought souvenirs, and left for home. Stopped in Ashton for a toilet. Ashton is depressing, all of the pine trees are gone and you're on cattle land again. YUCK.
Drove back to Idaho Falls, and had lunch at 3PM. From there, drove back to Pocatello and it was all over.
So there is my Yellowstone trip. I hope you ejoyed reading it!!! I'm back so I am available for discussion.
Aloha AhiAhi and goodbye,