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Yellowstone National Park, WY

This past Saturday I left the hotel I was staying at in Gallatin Gateway and made the short trek down to Yellowstone National Park.  I first checked into the campsite that I had reserved which was called Rainbow Point Campground.  This was probably the worst campground of the three I had stayed at up until last week.  There were tons of mosquitoes - which was really annoying.  It was also a fairly long drive from the entrance to Yellowstone.  I only stayed there one night and ended up camping within Yellowstone on Sunday night.

To be honest, I kind of hit a road trip wall of sorts last Saturday and although I did see some wildlife (mostly Elk) the geothermal flats and geysers just didn't excite me enough to carry enough energy past a few hours of driving through the park.  After a night's rest however, day two at Yellowstone was a much better experience and I accomplished so much.  I got off to a really early start and immediately came across Elk and then the first wild Bison that I've seen (other than in Golden Gate Park).  I checked into the Grant campground which was a really well run campground with a general store, hot showers, laundry and more.  I highly recommend this campground. 

I headed north through the park, around Yellowstone Lake and through Hayden Meadow towards Canyon.  I wasn't expecting to see what I saw when I got out of the car to the lookout area over the Canyon falls.   The Canyon area at Yellowstone is as advertised - the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  It was an amazing site and the lookout points are not for those that are scared of heights - you really feel how high you are when you peer into the Canyon.

After hitting several lookout points for the Canyon, I ventured north again and headed towards Mount Washburn.  My goal was to hike the mountain but after finding out it was about a 4 mile hike each way,  I knew I didn't have enough time to do the hike and get back in time to make dinner, etc before dark.  I hiked up about half way and took a ton of photos. 

From Mount Washburn, which offered great views of Yellowstone, I headed back south to find a biking trail where I could turn the mountain bike loose off-road.  I found a trail with a 'bicycles allowed' marker and decided to give it a shot.  I was on the trail for maybe a mile and a half and was greeted by a 'road closed' sign that warned of an active bear area.  Deciding not to risk it - and because I was alone, I headed back towards the car and went across the street to cruise around Yellowstone Lake for a few miles.

Headed back to camp, opened a bottle of Cline Zinfandel and made a Top Chef worthy dinner of angel hair pasta with sausage and bell pepper tomato sauce (Classico).  I later called Rachel to brag of my camping cuisine prowess and also bragged about the killer campfire I built.

Yellowstone pictures can be found here.

The next morning I woke up to rain, packed up and headed out towards Grand Teton National Park.


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