Adventures in Yellowstone

It was another beautiful morning here in Yellowstone.  The sun was shining, the air was fresh and crisp, and the birds were singing (literally).

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Today we change camps from Madison to Canyon.  And speaking of which, I think that I have failed to mention up until this point just how huge Yellowstone is.  It’s enormous!  It can literally take hours to get between different parts of the park, and that is exactly why we are dividing our time here between two different campgrounds.

After getting the car all packed up (or basically just stuffing everything in, goodbye organized car), we headed to Artist Point and the South Rim Trail.  No, we are not at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim Trail, we are going to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone; and Artist Point is the lookout for the Canyon and the falls.

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You can easily just stop by Artist Point and enjoy the beautiful views of the Grand Canyon, but we decided to follow the South Rim Trail over to Uncle Tom’s Trail, which takes you down towards the base of the falls.

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Up until this point of the hike, I was, in my own way, enjoying it (although I was on major bear watch), but then we reached the end of Uncle Tom’s Trail, and this is what I saw…

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Okay, so I haven’t mentioned this before, but I am slightly afraid of heights.  But, I am also the kind of person who tries to push them-self beyond personal boundaries, sooo…the show must go on.  I decided to try and make the most of this giant staircase hanging over the Canyon.

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Wobbly knees, one stop to cling to the railing while sitting down, counting the stairs to distract myself, and we made it.

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It was beautiful, and I am glad that we went down; however I had a hard time enjoying it for more than a few snaps once we arrived.  After hustling back up the stairs, I felt relieved knowing that the rest of our day would be all land and car adventures.

From Artist Point we made the split decision to drive back to Old Faithful, hoping that our timing might be just right for us to enjoy a better viewing.

Luckily, our timing was spot on.  However, unlike the other morning when we quickly grabbed front row seats minutes before the eruption, this afternoon’s visit was jammed with people.

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Rows and rows of visitors eagerly awaiting Old Faithful’s magic.  And wait we did.  She was supposed to erupt at 1:15, and when she didn’t, the ranger reminded us that the times are approximate, and that it would happen within the next 10 minutes.  1:25, nothing.  1:30, nothing.  1:40, nothing.  1:42, a few little burps.  Finally, 1:48 p.m., she erupted.  Hey, 30 minutes late, but better late than never, right?

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Sadly, it was another small and quick eruption.  The ranger announced that since it was so small and quick, there would be another eruption in about 20-30 minutes.  After 2 slight misses on Old Faithful, we decided to throw in the towel and just be grateful for the experience.

To help brighten our spirits, we grabbed an ice cream cone on our way out, and then started our drive towards Canyon.  The drive was beautiful – we drove alongside Yellowstone Lake, past the Continental Divide and through beautiful pastures spotted with buffalo.

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Once we reached camp, we were both eager to set up our gear and get our fire roaring.

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The Canyon Campground was beautiful, and surprisingly different than Madison.  Madison was more cleared out with a few large pines, and Canyon is little tent clearings set in between super tiny toothpick-like pine trees that really sway with all of the winds.  But with more trees comes more privacy, and that is definitely a bonus when it comes to camping.

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Just as we finished setting up camp a fire truck pulled up on a neighboring street.  Being the kind of person who considers herself a part of the imaginary neighborhood watch program, I did what any (nosy) person would do, I went over to see what was going on.  Apparently a bunch of trees had fallen down, and so they were coming to clear them.

As I walked back to our camp, I suddenly noticed something that looked a little strange.  Yup, a fallen tree.  Literally in the 5 minutes I was gone, a tree fell over right next to our tent.

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I headed back over to the firefighters to see if they could come and cut up our tree as well, while they were at work.  They informed me that it wasn’t anything to be concerned about, that it happens all the time, and as long as it didn’t hit anyone in the head, there was no problem.  I file this one under different strokes for different folks – me personally, I’d like to keep all of my body parts intact.

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Having our fears of falling trees put to rest (not), it was beyond time to start dinner.  And tonight is a real campfire classic in our house, fajitas!

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Then again, I guess that we kind of love anything that we cook while we are camping.  Anything cooked in a lodge pan over an open flame is a sure-fire win.

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After dinner, the night fell dark much quicker than it had been, and so we decided to turn in early.  Although, as we lay all tucked into our sleeping bag, the wind howled, and the trees swayed, and we couldn’t help but feel a bit spooked.  “Don’t worry honey,”  I assured my husband, “the firefighter said as long as it doesn’t land on your head, we’re all good.”

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the forest surrounding our tent

2 Comment

  1. James says: Reply

    Magnificent pictures. I was getting worried, though. Had to wait ’til the end to see any photos of your great-looking campfire food. Worried you left out the food photos this time!

    1. Katie says: Reply

      Thanks for the compliments James!

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