June 29, 2013 | I entered Yellowstone NP through the East Gate, and it was not a pretty picture. Nothing but dead trees.
Once I had driven to the Lake — that would be Yellowstone Lake — and started around the Grand Loop things looked a little better. One thing was definitely in abundance, and that was buffalo. The great shaggy beasts were everywhere! And wherever a buffalo could be found, there could be found numerous cars stopped on the highway to have a gawk. At one such stoppage, one of the beasts came up on the highway and took a stroll past the cars. He was this close! (see slideshow)
There is such a variety of environments within Yellowstone. Craggy high mountains, wide valleys, rivers, "thermal areas", dense pine forests, and of course the acres and acres of dead trees.
I saved Old Faithful for the end of the day. Big mistake. By the time I got there it was raining and I was not about to stand in the rain for an hour to watch the old girl blow her stack. Since I will pass that way again in the morning on my way to Grand Teton, perhaps I will meet a better fate.
In fact, around Old Faithful was the only part of the park where I got the sense that there were a lot of people in the park. Elsewhere there were few cars on the road and there were always parking spots at points of interest.
Tonight I am lodged in West Yellowstone, Montana. It's a strange town. Sophie said that "due to incomplete data, no turn-by-turn guidance would be given." I had asked her to find MacDonald's so I could use their wifi, and in the end I could see those golden arches while Sophie was telling me she couldn't give directions. The Best Western where I am staying supposedly has free wi-fi, but it was soooooo slooooow that I couldn't upload pictures; my ftp would time out! Good grief.
Tomorrow will be a drive-thru of Grand Teton on my way to Craters of the Moon, the last stop on this grand tour.
Last updated on May 12, 2016