Into Yellowstone, looking for Yogi Bear and Bobo-Day 1

We packed up camp at Flagg Ranch, Grand Tetons and moved to Grant Village, Yellowstone with no hassle. Grant Village Campsite is at a higher altitude and the whole enormous campsite is a dry camp, which means no facilities-power, water, sewer, so we filled our water tanks up before settling in our space. This is a pretty tight campsite and our coach is the maximum size allowed, we just squeezed in. There are about 5 campsites in the whole of Yellowstone and this one allows the biggest RV’s at 40 ft.

 

In the afternoon we thought we would have a quick drive into Yellowstone. We didn’t go far but what we saw looked very impressive-lakes, rivers, snow capped mountains, meadows, fir trees to the horizon and wildlife. Driving through Yellowstone is like going on safari. There are many animals in the park-Bison, Deer, Elk, Grizzly Bear, Black bear, Wolves, Moose, Coyote, over 300 species of birds.

The next day we decided to get up at 6 and make the most of the first of our two full days in Yellowstone. We actually got on the road at 6 which was impressive. Very few people around at this time which is nice, feeling as though you have the park to yourself. There is much to see in Yellowstone, all that’s mentioned above but also lots of thermal activity, this is the park that has Old Faithful. However what we both wanted to see the most was Mammoth Spring Falls and the Prismatic Spring. The other thermal activity is interesting but we are in Rotorua so often on our motorbikes that we’ve seen lots of it before.

Firstly, we drive to the Prismatic Spring which is a very colourful thermal spring but it was such a cold morning, below freezing that the steam created a fog bank and the spring couldn’t be seen. The boardwalk was icy! We drove onto Mammoth Spring Falls which was the furthest point north in the park we were going to. On our way we saw lots of wildlife-Bison (Buffalo)-one was having a sun bathe right beside the road, a Grizzly Bear, male elk, female elk, deer, lots of bird life-it’s thrilling to see so much wildlife roaming free. The park is 2.2 million acres in size so to see so much wildlife from your car is amazing.

 

Mammoth Spring Falls is a terraced waterfall that slowly cascades down depositing calcites which make the terrace. This is very similar to the Pink and White Terraces that used to be in NZ. I was so pleased to see these falls because when I first arrived in NZ in 1987, I thought the Pink and White Terraces were still there and so looked forward to seeing them. Imagine my disappointment to find they were no longer there!
Mammoth Spring Falls was a breathtaking site to see.  Stuart took some terrific photos there.

   

We spent over an hour walking all around, and then went to the nearby village for a much needed coffee-Elk were all around this village.

We continued driving the loop and stopping at various times to see wildlife, waterfalls, thermal activity and generally awesome views.

Back to homebase at 3ish and I am now sitting outside the coach in the woods, surrounded by the heavy scent of the fir trees and writing my blog.

I’m not sure how a day could be improved, except for my husband to pour me a beer shortly!

Tomorrow we are heading back along the route we took today to get another look at the Prismatic Spring. After tomorrow we leave Yellowstone and head west towards Oregon. I think we would have seen as much of the park as anyone could in our time here.