Yellowstone National Park is definitely worth going to again--and again and again. In case you haven't been there yet, I will share what I call:
Jane's Common Sense Guide to Yellowstone
- Geysers are not showers; caldrons are not hot tubs; mudpots are not spa treatments. Stay on the boardwalks. Do not try to test the temperature by putting a finger in the water/mud.
- Do not store food in tents; it's an invitation to dinner for bears. They smell hot dogs for appetizers; people for the main course.
- Wildlife is WILD, and most of the critters are bigger, and probably meaner, than people. Bison (AKA buffalo), elk, bears, and wolves are not pets and do not want you to get close. They'll be happy to explain what wild means and demonstrate exactly how much personal space they need.
- Vanity is considered one of the 7 Deadly Sins; selfies with wild animals in the background could end up being just plain deadly. (But if you do it anyway, be sure to keep your finger on the shutter so the rest of the world can see just how stupid you were. Keep your kids out of the picture.)
(By the way, they really DO own the road, and they can give "road rage" a whole new definition! My theory is these descendants of the ones that roamed the Plains before they were annihilated have passed on stories about people on trains shooting at them. Cars look like trains; cameras look like guns; tourists look like people. These big old critters don't feel threatened when they attack--it's simply payback time.)
We bypassed Canyon Village this trip, and continued on to the Tower General Store--but headed back to the truck when we found they don't have Passport Stamps. Nearby is Tower Fall, surrounded by towers.
At the Roosevelt Lodge we headed east through the Lamar Valley. It's a pretty valley, and there were more buffalo, but they were as scruffy as the ones we'd seen earlier. (Scroll up if you want to see a picture again.) We did NOT, however, see any bears, and we did NOT see any wolves. I'm not quite as disappointed as not seeing bears as not seeing wolves. For all the animals I don't see, I should probably schedule in a trip to a zoo sometime.
Leaving the critters behind, we left Yellowstone through the Northeast Entrance--which I suppose would have been the NE Exit as well. We started out on the Beartooth Highway, then headed SE on the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway back to Cody. This is the route Chief Joseph took as he lead the Nez Perce Indians out of Yellowstone in 1877, trying to flee the US Calvary and escape into Canada. We did the 46 miles in a truck; they did it on horseback. I doubt if they thought it was a pretty drive.
We stopped at an overlook just across a bridge--which might be the Sunlight Bridge. If it is, then it's the highest bridge in Wyoming and crosses Sunlight Creek. Or maybe it's another bridge which crosses the Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone River. I didn't see the sign. All I know it that it was really pretty, and a long way down!!!
We stopped at Dead Indian Pass--for the view and the history. How would you like to ride a horse up this mountain?
The mountains above are part of the North Absaroka Range. South of the pass, as the sun was thinking about sliding down the mountains behind us, it was lighting up the top of this peak in front of us. (And, no, I don't know what it is either--but I could find it again!)
More pictures: Yellowstone Natl Park (Revisted)