Post # 3 of our Caravan Bus Tour of five western states. This post covers Day 4, 5, and 6. We spent these days in Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons at Jackson, WY. Yellowstone National Park is the first National Park in the United States and is located mostly in Wyoming, but also extends into portions of Montana and Idaho. When we woke up on the morning of day 4, we spent more time in Montana as we made our way to Yellowstone and our return to Wyoming.
More scenes driving through Montana – we followed the Yellowstone River and the Lewis & Clark Trail to Livingston, Montana and then into Wyoming through Yellowstone National Park:
This herd of sheep was being shepherded by a cowboy on a horse right on the side of the road as we drove by – see the far left side. Unfortunately, the swaying of the bus and the speed we were going caused me to miss the chance to get the cowboy in the photo!
Entering Yellowstone National Park and more scenes as we followed the Yellowstone River – locations along the Yellowstone River is where the movies “A River Runs Through It” and “Horse Whisperer” were filmed – both ones I’ve seen and love! We also saw a lot of people out standing in the river fly fishing!
Roosevelt Arch – park entrance
45th Parallel of Latitude halfway between Equator and North Pole
These dingbats were out trying to get close to the wildlife……I got much better photos from a safe distance with my zoom lens!
And more dingbats…..
A lot of burn over areas from the last big forest fire……
We saw a few of these — park sponsored tour vehicles
Mammoth Hot Springs – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming – this place was totally awesome! So beautiful! We were told to not walk off the designated areas because the ground around the hot springs is extremely fragile and to not attempt to touch the springs, water, or other surfaces due to danger of severe temperature and chemical burns!
Despite the high temps and chemicals, beauty still finds a way to survive!
Before leaving Mammoth Hot Springs, we were treated to some elk that were lounging by the Visitor’s Center:
Again – photos taken from a safe distance, but pretty close up —- rangers were there making sure no one got too close!
Another hot spring we stopped at for a photo op – there are LOTS of hot springs and geysers in Yellowstone:
Our hotel for two nights in Yellowstone was the Old Faithful Inn, just steps from – you guessed it – Old Faithful! It truly is faithful, too — it is predicted to erupt every 45 minutes, plus or minus 10 minutes, and it goes off pretty darned close to the prediction and lasts several minutes. The Old Faithful Inn is the oldest inn in the park. There is NO internet and very limited cell reception, NO air conditioning, and NO TV in the rooms! They want you to get out and enjoy the park! Also – the rooms in the main (original) part of the lodge don’t have private bathrooms…..luckily, we were in the newer wings, but it was COLD, so the heat wasn’t the best, either! But, it was cool staying there and it was a beautiful old lodge!
And, there were these adorable little bear soaps in the rooms!
I got some cool video of the eruption, but it won’t let me post it —- not the right format! 😦
On Day 5 we made stops at another hot spring – Fishing Bridge at the Norris Geyser Basin and Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon — a gorgeous gorge with an amazing waterfall, and Yellowstone Lake!
On Day 6, we made our way out of Yellowstone National Park and into Grand Teton National Park! We saw the amazing jagged Teton mountain range and scenes where the movie “Shane” was filmed. We also stopped at a little chapel that was used in the movie “Spencer’s Mountain” (which the TV series the Waltons was based on) and is still in use, today! They had no need to install a stained glass window over the alter — see the beauty outside the clear pane glass window in the photo below to see why! We also stopped at Jenny Lake, which was so breathtaking it brought tears to my eyes! The big stop of the day was a float trip down the Snake River – WOW – that was awesome…..getting in and out of the oval inner-tube like raft was a challenge, but the ride and the scenery was incredible! At the end of the day, we stopped at Jackson Hole, WY and got to wander around before checking in to our motel in Jackson.
The white in these photos of the Tetons is not snow (although, I believe there is probably snow up there) – this particular white areas are actually glaciers!!!
Chapel of the Transfiguration, built in 1925, was used in the movie “Spencer’s Mountain” and still in use, today:
Float Ride on the Snake River – a two hour ride with some of the most amazing scenery:
The raft that launched just before us…..so you can see what we floated in!
Sadly, I don’t remember our tour guide’s name, but he was a real cutie…..and muscles galore…..and a smile to melt an iceberg!!!
Friends we made during the trip!
Just before we got on the float ride, we got to see a mama bear and three cubs! There were rangers keeping people at bay and, while I did get to see them, I wasn’t able to get any photos from where I was, but a couple of my friends did and they were nice enough to share with me!
Jackson Hole, WY – really cool little town!
These antler arches were at every entrance to a center square park area
Our motel had towel animals by the bathroom sink!!! Just like on a cruise!!! I got all excited!!!
These big birds were all over the place — the tail feathers were an iridescent blue/green! So pretty — I asked our guide what kind of bird they are and he said “oh, the big black birds wearing a tuxedo? Those are Rocky Mountain Magpies!!!” So cool!!!
So, after spending the night in Jackson, WY, we headed on to Idaho and Utah……the subject of the next and final post for our trip! Stay Tuned – coming soon!