June 28-30, 2013 – Yellowstone National Park, continued

Friday we drove the Upper Loop through Mammoth Hot Springs and into Lamar Valley.  We stopped at Gibbons Falls.

This big buffalo was not concerned at all with all the people watching him.

A short way down the road traffic was stopped once again and lucky us – another bear.  This one was sitting in a tree.

Our next stop was Mammoth Hot Springs where we walked around the hot springs terraces.

After Mammoth Hot Springs we drove to Gardiner, MT where we stopped at the Wild West Corral (formerly Helen’s Drive In) for a great buffalo burger.

After lunch we headed toward Lamar Valley and took a side trip on the Blacktail Plateau Drive, a 6-mile dirt road loop.  About half way through the loop we came upon two vehicles stopped beside the road and – lucky again - another bear.  This guy was sound asleep in the tree and was totally unaware that he was being watched.  That perch does not look very comfortable – we don’t think we could sleep like that.

 We found a very large herd of buffalo in Lamar Valley – this is a small portion of the vast number of buffalo grazing here.

Another great day in Yellowstone!  Besides the two bears we saw in trees, we also drove by two other bears.  These two bears were further off the road and there was no place for us to pull off the road so we had to bypass them.

Saturday we drove to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone area.  Our first stop was at the Mud Volcano area where Dragons Mouth Spring was churning and rumbling.

 Down the path we came to Mud Volcano.



This big buffalo was lying beside one of the pools – he has lost most of his winter coat which is a good thing as it is in the 80’s today.

Churning Caldron was doing a lot of churning and bubbling.

Our next stop was Upper Yellowstone Falls along the South Rim Drive – beautiful!

We also stopped at Artist Point and then drove the North Rim Drive and stopped at the Brink of the Upper Falls.  Farther down the road we stopped at the Brink of the Lower Falls and hiked 3/8ths of a mile down to the over look.   The hike back up was hard but well worth it – what a great view!

Our last stop was at Tower Falls – another beautiful waterfall!

After stopping at the gift shop for some ice cream we headed back to our campground.  Another great day in Yellowstone!   We did not see as much wildlife today – no bears, but we did see some buffalo, elk and geese.

Sunday we drove north of West Yellowstone along the Madison River to the Quake Lake Geological Area.  During the night of August 17, 1959 there was a magnitude 7.5 earthquake near Hebgen Lake causing a huge landslide that totally blocked the Madison River.  The river backed up behind this blockage and formed Earthquake Lake.  There were 250 people camping in this area and 28 were killed – 19 of these were buried beneath the landslide.  We wanted to show Mariah the visitor’s center where they have films from the earthquake and many personal stories of what happened to many of the campers that night.  Unfortunately, the visitor’s center (shown in the center of this picture in front of the slide area) was closed for remodeling.

The earthquake also caused huge waves to roll back and forth across Hebgen Lake and changed the shoreline.  This lodge was on the shore beside the lake and now all that is left is the ruins of a couple of cabins sitting in the water.

After a picnic beside Hebgen Lake we put the kayaks in the water and paddled around for an hour or so.  Mariah enjoyed her day!

We really enjoyed showing Mariah Yellowstone National Park and were so fortunate to actually see three bears!  We are so lucky in this country to have such beautiful places to share with our grandchildren.


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