Friday, September 25, 2009

Road Trip Day 8: Yellowstone

On the eighth day of our "See the USA in my Chevrolet" road trip, we set out toward Yellowstone National Park. As we saw the snow capped mountains in the distance, we realized again that what we until now had regarded as mountains were merely foothills to the real McCoy on the horizon. The scenery along the way was captivating. There were beautiful lakes whose survaces were bluer than the clear skies above!
The mountains grew nearer and we became very conscious that we were climbing to higher altitudes.

Then came the real mountains; our ears were popping frequently!

For a while we were driving up and up; then we were headed downward for a long stretch. Our brakes overheated at one point, and we had to stop for a while.
Hubby had to down-shift often to avoid burning up the brakes altogether! As we climbed higher still, I couldn't help but think of the brave settlers who crossed these same mountains in covered wagons, with no knowledge of what lay ahead of them. What brave, hearty souls they must have been! Imagine: Each time they reached the peak of one incline, only to be faced by another higher one!

Finally, we reached the entrance to Yellowstone National Park! (as you can see, I accidently got a shot of me getting a shot of the sign!)

We were met by the offical Park greeter. Actually, there were three greeters, but I wasn't quick enough with my camera to get all three. They were just strolling down the road, totally unimpressed with all the cars coming by. We had to drive between them; had I been brave enough, I could have lowered the window and reached out and petted one; I just wasn't sure how receptive they would be! Plus, the one below was giving me the hairy eyeball--I wondered if I had buffalo breath. I had eaten a buffalo burger the night before (very tasty, btw), and perhaps he sensed that I was carrying part of one of his brethren in my intestines!
We were informed that there was a fire in the park, and that a couple of roads would be closed for our protection. We saw a few firefighters, and the smoke in the distance. The park is so huge, however, that our visit was unaffected by the road closures.

We drove by Yellowstone River for quite a distance, which was very blue and very majestic.

From time to time, curves in the road brought the smoke from the fire back into our field of vision. (I actually had several pictures of the smoke in the distance; I accidentally published the same one twice! Sorry.)

There were many hot springs, as seen below. In some areas, they were so many, that wooden walkways had been constructed to allow tourists to get up close and personal with the springs without actually stepping in the muck.

Old Faithful, the famous geyser, erupts on the average of every 40 to 125 minutes. Our visit didn't fit in with OF's schedule, so the best I could do was to get a shot of the steam pouring forth, which was a constant sight.

We saw lots of elk! They might be walking along side the road, or grazing off in the fields, or wading in the streams. We saw no less than 15; I was unprepared for the first few individual ones we saw...I was too busy gaping at the views! I finally did get several shots, as you can see below. They, like the buffalo, were totally undisturbed by the cars stopping and cameras snapping!

At the highest point in the park, there was a sign describing the Continental Divide. The altitude was 8,391 feet. It's called the Contintal Divide because all rivers and streams to the east of the Divide flow toward the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico; rivers and streams to the west of the Divide flow toward the Pacific Ocean.

Finally, we left the park and entered Montana.

We stayed last night in Belgrade and had the good fortune to this time have a wonderful bed and get a glorious night's sleep! Oh, I forgot to mention..we had lunch at Granny's Diner in Buffalo, Wyoming. We had just passed a sign that said Wyoming is the Beef State. The only steak offering on the menu at Granny's was New York Sirloin! I thought that was curious. Plus, the people at the next table had a small dog with them who was sitting in a high chair having lunch, too. I found that a little strange!

We have no planned stops for today or tomorrow until we reach Kirkland, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, where we'll get to visit a few days with our little granddaughter Rosabelle and her mom and dad, before we continue on our trek.

Gotta' go! Bye for now. Again, thanks to all of you who come along for the ride. I look forward to and enjoy your comments.


Scrappy Girl said...

Those blue lakes were gorgeous! How nice. I think I would have been afraid of the Buffalo too!

Steven Anthony said...

Last time I vivsted YS, my greeter was a giant moose and her baby, they must take

the pics are beautiful..loving this trip;)

safe travels my friend.

jules said...

You pet the buffalo?!?! You are brave! That is amazing! (We didn't see any moose in Maine. :-( I was disappointed! )

Jen said...

Loving this trip! The pictures are great!! I get to see what I might have seen if, well you know. Glad you are having beautiful weather too. Drive safely you two, see you on "Wrestling Retirement" tomorrow.

tori said...

love the pics brings back memories of our family trip out there! have a great visit w your granddaughter!

Entrepreneur Chick said...

I just had a blast! (And spent not a dime on gas...) I do enjoy living vicariously through Eva.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Really great photos, the area looks beautiful! And I love buffalo!

I crossed the Continental Divide last summer here in Canada. Things like that impress me for some reason. :) I'd love to go to Yellowstone. It's a road trip I need to get together for sure. Me and the Airstream. :)

Stereos and Souffles said...

I need to get to Yellowstone some day soon! Have fun in Kirkland/Seattle, the weather should be gorgeous there right now.

The Good Cook said...

Don't we life in gloriously beautiful country!!

Cinnamon Girl aka Reeni♥ said...

What beautiful pictures!!! The dog in the high chair sounds interesting!! Did you get a picture of that?

McVal said...

Gorgeous pictures! The last time I was there, I think I was about 4 years old.

Cathy said...

I haven't been to Yellowstone yet, thanks for taking me on a virtual trip! Great photos!

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

Sounds like you are having a fabulous trip. Thanks for posting such details and great pictures.

Gloria said...

What an adventure . . and thanks for letting us all participate!