We arrived in Yellowstone on Saturday June 19. After just over a week, we’ve visited most of the areas on the east side of the park. Each day we chose an area to visit and made that our central focus, usually eating lunch at the location as well as touring the visitor center and viewing attractions and wildlife. Yellowstone is bigger than either of the two smallest states (Rhode Island and Delaware) so it’s not reasonable to see it all at once. Traffic on the two-lane roads can be heavy, especially when wildlife is close to the road and people run out of places to pull off so they simply stop in the roadway. The top speed limit is 45 mph, and frequently it’s lower near junctions and attractions. With over 3 million visitors during the summer season in 2009, you can imagine how many vehicles are on the road. And yet, only a small portion of the park is accessible by road.
It would be a very long blog if I reported on everything we’ve done and seen, so here are a few highlights.
We’re staying at the Fishing Bridge RV Park, the only campground in Yellowstone with hookups, although there’s no electricity and generator use is allowed in only two of six sections. Don’t let the name fool you, however; you can’t fish from the bridge!
Wildlife is prevalent. We’ve seen deer, bison, elk, pelicans, various birds, geese, chipmunks, rabbits, and bears. Here are a few pictures.
The Lake Hotel offered the first lodging in Yellowstone in the 1890’s. It has been expanded and restored over the years.
Each location’s General Store offers at least a few unique items, which encourages visitors to go to them all!
Old Faithful Inn, built in 1903-04, is the largest log hotel in the world. We hope to get back to take a guided tour.
We’ve seen lots of rivers, streams, lakes and waterfalls; walked up and down many steps, stairways and ramps; eaten at a few good and several not-so-good places; bought a few souvenirs; ooo’d and awe’d over lots of great scenery; marveled at the huge amount of unspoiled wilderness (thanks to the protection of being a National Park); endured a few rainstorms; and met with several friends. And we saw a beautiful full moon.
It’s been a busy, yet relaxing, time. And it’s not over yet. On Tuesday, we’re moving to Henrys Lake, a few miles west of the west Yellowstone entrance, and will focus on the western portion of the park.
If you’d like to learn more about Yellowstone National Park, simply Google it and you’ll have lots of reading material. One of the most interesting sites I found was this one (click to go there), which gives a list of facts about the park. If you haven’t been here, I highly recommend it, and you should plan at least 2-3 weeks and/ or multiple visits to be able to see it. Even then, you’ll just be skimming the surface.