Saturday (9/3) morning, after a breakfast of dairy-free instant oatmeal and chai, I dressed and set off to discover the next time for Old Faithful's show. Mary Ann promised to help find me a room for Saturday night - through bad timing, I was at a National Park on Labor Day Weekend and it was pretty booked up. And crowded. There were easily 400 people standing around Old Faithful waiting for the geyser to go off that morning - and I did get some pictures!
Concierge Mary Ann came through with a Saturday night reservation for me at Mammoth Site - way north in the park. I wish I had a better map of Yellowstone and had made the first night's reservation at Mammoth - I could have gone through the Beartooth Highway, then back down to Old Faithful! I packed up, got gas & added oil to the DR - then headed off through the park, stopping at geological features but getting a bit tired of hot boiling water and no hot springs for bathing. There was so much traffic - and the low speed limit made it a less than fun experience, honestly.
Cliff Geyser - it's hard to get good pictures of these things - they are active, bubbling, steaming and exploding - and they all sort of look the same after you've seen 5 or 10 of them.
Some of the pools were just deep and clear, but full of deadly hot water:
If you fall in - you're cooked, like this guy (a raccoon?):
More hot water that you can't soak in:
All very pretty scenery -
When I arrived at Mammothsite, everything was dry as a bone - I did get to see some elk very close up.
Dry travertine springs:
Elks, hanging out:
Magpie, doing what magpies do:
I still felt pretty sapped from the chilly windy drive the night before - heck, 3 days of wind adds up - and sacked out for a 4 hour nap before wandering around the hotel a bit, and returning to make noodles for dinner and tuck into more Sookie Stackhouse books. I was woken by MOOSE call below my window at 3 am!
Day 10: 55 miles
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Sunday (9/4), after another breakfast of tea & instant oatmeal, I scraped the frost off my motorcycle seat, packed up and headed out. I visited a few more geothermal features and had a nice walk down into Canyon - which was overrun with visitors, including one guy who cut off trail and when several other people confronted him about it - he insisted he was on "a trail" even if it wasn't paved and was a real jerk about denying responsibility to contributing to erosion by his actions. Some people should stay in cities.
Finally, I had enough and headed down to Jackson, enjoying the view of Tetons but confused about what the big deal is about the Tetons. I guess it's great if you just ski or hike around in them but it wasn't obvious how to get really close to them.
I made some calls at a visitor center and found a relatively cheap hotel, Alpine Inn, then headed to dinner at Lotus Cafe (http://tetonlotuscafe.com), a highly recommended vegetarian cafe. I ended up sharing a table and conversation with another woman traveler, Barri from Florida, before returning to watch True Blood and catch up on some more sleep.
Day 11: 175 miles
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