Day 2 Yellowstone National Park

Tonight’s posting is especially for my friends, The Durham’s, who shared with me last night how much they were enjoying my journey and reminded me I was past due on a posting. I told them I had worked over 70 hours this past week and I knew I needed to find time to write. We agreed sleep was over-rated so here goes my post for tonight instead of sleep, just kidding. I actually started this post last night but because I had eaten a wonderful meal compliment of the Pelham Volunteer Fire Departments’ annual Christmas party, I did not make it long enough to finish my post. Dinner was catered by Lillards Family Restaurant in Providence, NC. As many of you know I am not supposed to eat pork, which was the main dish, so I opted not to eat that. I thought I was doing really well with my food choices, no macaroni and cheese, no cream potatoes or gravy, and no bread. I had green beans, a tablespoon of chicken casserole just to see what it tasted like, and it was good, and a small salad. But as I was heading back to the table, I thought I heard someone call my name. I looked around and there did not seem to be anyone in sight. I turned to walk away again, and there it was, a soft whisper, “Kathy, over here, it is me, strawberry cake, your favorite.” Well the weakness set in and you guessed it, I had a large piece of strawberry cake. I may have a few extra pains in the morning from the dairy, sugar, and gluten, but I can assure you it was worth it. If you are in the area, you definitely will want to stop in at Lillards.

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Day 2 at Yellowstone National Park:  When Chip and Bailey go hunting it is always early in the morning or in the late evening so it makes sense to go try to photoshoot some animals around the same time so we are up early and heading out. We again did not go far from the campground when we saw a cow moose and then a bull moose. This was one of the highlights of the trip, as we knew moose were not as easily seen as some of the other animals in the park. Yellow Stone has 2.2 million acres of land, and you never know where the animals may be.

We then saw a mama bear and two cubs. This was one of the animals that were definitely on my list that I really wanted to see. I love to see bears in the wild and as soon as I saw them from the road and Chip could get slowed down, he quickly said we had to move on because of traffic. I gave him my sweet look, and he said, get out and I will go find somewhere to park. I couldn’t get out of the truck fast enough and headed up into the woods where a crowd was gathering to get photos of the mama and her cubs searching for food along the forest floor. There were some other tourists like me, that got as close as we could, before the Forest Ranger, nicely, told us we had to back up. What I wouldn’t have given to have had a camera like some of the others near me had. I would have just loved to have seen their pictures. I definitely can say I had never seen cameras as big as I did on this adventure. I would love to have a lens as big as they had, but I know with my weak hands, I would never be able to manage a camera that big, so I will just have to dream about it. Though I may someday get me one and let my right-hand man, Chip, get it set up for me on a tripod and then I can take pictures of the beauty that can be barely seen with the naked eye so I can share them with others. I am pretty sure it will be more than my hands prohibiting me from having a lens that big, as the cost must be astronomical as well. But there is no harm in dreaming, my mama always told me if you are going to dream, dream big.

 


We stopped at the gift shop to pick up a couple of small gifts for family at home, and the cashier told us a coyote had come through the parking lot earlier and everyone was so busy looking at a bear across the road he was the only one who saw it.
Though I would have liked to have seen another bear, there was a large crowd at this one and we decided if everyone was there, we would get ahead of the crowd and see what else wildlife was on the roads ahead. We stopped a zillion times along the way, enjoying the beauty of the land. We saw a lot of buffalo, and I mean a lot of buffalo roaming the meadows, as well as walking along the highway.

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We went to Mount Washburn. The elevation was 10,243 feet and it was not recommended for people with heart problems or respiratory problems. I did not know this and failed to use my inhaler before we started up the mountain for a short hike. It was amazing to me how elevation played such a huge part in me not being able to breathe. We did not go too far though I really wanted to go further up the mountain in hope of seeing a grizzly bear in the wild. Chip had bear spray with us, but he was hesitant to go any further. Was it because I could not breathe or because maybe he did not want to come upon a bear and have to test out his bear spray. We might not have walked to the top this time, but I can assure you if I get to go again, I will have my inhaler in my pocket and he can have bear spray in his, and I am going to the top. I did at least get to play with a snowball. Did I mention how cold it was on the mountain? I had on every stitch of clothing I had in the truck with us.

We stopped at the Grand Canyon of Yellow Stone. We were able to get some beautiful pictures.

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We went to see Old Faithful and arrived early, so we could see all the other geysers there were there to see. There was a nice raised wooden boardwalk trail that winded around a lot of small geysers throughout the park and it was fun to watch them doing their own little “spurting off.” There were signs everywhere warning people to not step off the boardwalk and to not touch the springs. Chip kept saying, I just want to see how hot they are, and I kept saying, no you are not going to, can’t you read. I felt like a mother telling her son, multiple times, no, no no.


We elected to stop on a bench away from the Old Faithful and watched it from a distance. I think we had the best seat in the house, away from the crowd. I was more than glad to sit, as standing I do not do well with. One thing or another is bound to hurt when I stand for very long and more times than not you will find me sitting. It is not because I am lazy, on the contrary, I like to move, I just don’t like to stand. I honestly would rather walk 3 miles than stand for 10 minutes. And anyway, I think I do everything better sitting. My Deddie used to laugh as I would even sit down to peel potatoes. Most people peel potatoes standing at the counter, but not me, I am sitting. Deddie told me I reminded him of his mama, my granny, who also sat to do a lot of tasks, and to this day I still smile when I am sitting down doing tasks that one should be standing, thinking of my Deddie and granny.

We had to stop for this buffalo and wait for him to cross the sidewalk as we were walking back to the parking lot.

As we were leaving the park, we continued to see a lot of random hot springs along the highway and you guessed it, Chip kept saying he wanted to “just see how hot it was.” As you can see in the picture, who won this battle, but he was satisfied to know, they were hot, hotter than you would want to take a bath in. Then he said, well hotter than most normal people would take a bath in, but reminded me I take a bath hotter than is normal. Does that make me “not normal”? Trust me it is not the first time he has told me I am not normal, and I am sure it will not be the last time.

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One of the areas Chip had especially wanted to stop at was the Grand Prismatic Springs, which are a popular destination because of the beautiful colors. The hot spring has orange, yellow, and green rings around the edges and the vibrant blue water in the middle of the spring.

 

We were excited to see this as we had already seen pictures and they were breath-taking. However, it was a cool day and because the springs were hot and the air was cool, there was so much steam we could not truly see the springs. I am sharing some of our pictures but have included the one from the Yellowstone webpage https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do/grand-prismatic-midway-geyser-basin. Here you can learn about what has created the bands of color and more facts about the springs.

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One of the next highlights of the trip as we had to stop for a bull elk on the road. We traveled a little bit further and there was a larger bull elk stopped on the edge of the road.

 

We were able to stop beside him and capture him bugling. In the far distance, you can hear another elk bugle back, when assumed it was the first one, we had seen just a few minutes earlier. It was priceless for me to catch this on video. Thank goodness for modern technology. Turn up your sound. You can literally hear him breathing.


We had to stop multiple times on the way back to the campground for buffalo crossing the highway. We would see car lights flashing at us and quickly learned it was someone letting you know you were approaching something in the road. There were no lights along the roads and buffalo are dark and you would come up over a little hill or around a curve and there they were, in the middle of the road taking their sweet time crossing the road. It took us a lot longer to get back to the campground than we expected because there were a lot of buffalo moving about and they are very slow.

Day 2 was even more spectacular than day one and we now wish we had at least a few more days to spend in Yellowstone, but unfortunately tomorrow we must leave so we can continue our journey in the time we were allotted.

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