Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day Nineteen: Colter Bay to West Yellowstone

So today was almost entirely spent inside parks as we drove from Grand Tetons to Yellowstone via the connecting John D Rockefeller Memorial Parkway. I had not realized how much money and effort Rockefeller put into the Grand Tetons - the place, and the views of those stunning mountains, probably wouldn't exist were it not for him. And the views are spectacular. Yellowstone is gorgeous, too - of course we saw the geysers - I wish we'd had another day here. There were a lot of ravens - particularly four playing at Gibbons Falls. And it was here we finally saw an elk and several bison, though no moose or bear...

This is Lake Lewis, on the Lewis River (named for, yes, Meriwether Lewis)

Lake Lewis

The John D Rockefeller Memorial Parkway

John D Rockefeller Memorial Parkway sign

What a great choice - you can't go wrong!

Junction - Yellowstone/Grand Tetons

We picked this way (a borrowed image, the sign was covered in children, and we had a lot of cars behind us...)

Yellowstone entrance

Inside Yellowstone, the Lewis river runs through Lewis Canyon, where you can still plainly see remnants of the 1988 fire that swept through the park.

Lewis river

lewis canyon

river

These falls are called - you guessed it - Lewis Falls

lewis falls

The Continental Divide snakes through the park along the top of the mountains; we crossed it several times

Continental Divide sign

Still Lewis Lake

Lewis lake

Note - we're higher this time

Continental Divide sign

This spectacular thing is the Kepler Cascades

Kepler Cascades

This sign is cute but pointed: it's a long way down

falling man sign at Kepler Cascades

Here's a shot from the walkway; even with the solid floor and the protective railings, this view made me quite dizzy.

looking over the rails at Kepler Cascades

First view of Old Faithful - the bleachers (three deep) are a nice touch for us short folks! I took about fifty shots, but most of them look much alike. It erupted within a couple of minutes of their prediction, well within the window, and was (I keep using this word, I know) spectacular. We were well back from it, but still got drops of geyser water on us...

Old Faithful


Old Faithful

Old Faithful

Old Faithful

After Old Faithful, we walked the shorter loop (1.1 miles) and looked at others. Again I have seventy one pictures - here are a small sampling:

Pump Geyser

Pump Geyser

The geyser area

geyser area

Aurum Geyser

Aurum Geyser

Beehive geyser

Beehive geyser

Beehive geyser

We then stopped at Gibbons Falls where we saw ravens playing in the air as well as the beautiful falls themselves and the Madison river running off

Gibbons Falls

Madison river at Gibbons Falls

The valley where the Madison River elk herd likes to hang out (though not today)

Madison river valley

And we crossed into Montana to spend the night in West Yellowstone

Montana sign

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