Wednesday, July 21st: Yellowstone National Park
We got up at 7am and stocked up with supplies in a local store. We drove into Yellowstone at around 11am along the route which would eventually lead into our campsite. We stopped at the Petrified Tree viewpoint. While there we spotted a black bear walking and munching it's way through a wildflower meadow. We watched this marvelous sight for a while. We drove on to Lower Falls and Artist's point. Artist's point is the ultimate sight: it contains a canyon surrounded by Yellow-stained stone/rocks, which make it easy to understand the Yellowstone name. The area was packed but the view splendid! We drove to several sulfur-smelling bubbling pools including sulfur cauldron and the mud volcano. The sight was quite cool!
On the way to the campground we were held up in a buffalo traffic jam! Herds of mating buffalo were crossing the street with tourists stopping to take pictures and hope that the beasts did not hit their cars! The beasts are quite bug and bolt suddenly...any clash with them and you could say goodbye to your vehicle.
We made it to Bridge Bay campground and took up a fairly basic campsite. The site was surrounded by the magnificent Yellowstone lake on the Yellowstone river and we watched the boats and fishermen at work as we strolled along the bank.
Thursday, July 22nd: We had a rough nights sleep because of some late-arriving Coloradans but we were still on the road by 8am. We headed towards Geyser Country and started at West Thumb Geyser. West thumb geyser area had multiple beautiful
geysers on display...along with many pools fed with warm water (160F) from underground.
We moved on to see Old Faithful next. We arrived at 9:40 and OF gushed at 10:50am. In between we walked around a geyser-filled wooden platform that hosted multiple other gushers. OF's power did not disappoint and it gushed for several minutes, spewing thousands of gallons of water. The rest of our days was filled up with multiple stops displaying multiple geysers...
By the evening we were tired of Geysers so we took the road between Madison and Norris. We quickly stopped at a popular swimming pool and moved on to the Mammoth Hot Springs, a cliff with a terraced formation that was carved out by water. It was quite a site. It was very hot and spying a town below the terraces, we headed into Mammoth for some ice-cream. It was delicious, and not content we headed next door to the Mammoth lodge for a beer and some Calamari.
After the refreshments, we stopped at a Ranger station and got maps for the following day's hikes. We moved on and had a picnic near the Tower lodge in a picnic area. Following this, we headed back to camp and saw what we think was the same black bear we saw the day before..in an area again near the Petrified tree! It was a sight but we moved on and let him be..