THEODORE ROOSEVELT, YELLOWSTONE, & GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARKS TOUR 2008
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Saturday, August 23, 2008 ~ Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Sunday, August 24, 2008 ~ Bear Tooth Highway and Yellowstone National Park (North)
Monday, August 25, 2008 ~ Whitewater Rafting the Yellowstone River
~ Yellowstone NP (West)
~ Idaho and the Mesa Falls
Tuesday, August 26, 2008 ~ Yellowstone NP (West and South) & Grand Teton NP
Wednesday, August 27, 2008 ~ Grand Teton National Park
~ Yellowstone National Park (South and East)
August 28, 2008 ~
Yellowstone NP (East),
Big Horn Canyon, Devils Tower NM
8/28/08 - Oh my gosh it was cold. When we got everything packed up, the car said it was 31 degrees. We made our way out of the park today. We left the East Entrance and drove to Cody, WY. It was a nice drive, we got to see some of the wild fires outside of Cody and we got to see the helicopters with the water buckets at Buffalo Bill state Park. Out of Cody we took Hwy 14-Alt. What a road. The views were amazing and it seemed like all we did was climb up. We made a quick stop at Devils Tower Monument in Sundance, WY. We rolled into Eric's parents house in Rapid City at 6:30. I went to Judy's garden and got some final peas of the season and some sweet corn. Yum!
8/27/08 - What a busy day. We started in the Grand Teton and worked our way north to Canyon Village Area of Yellowstone. At Grand Teton we took a shuttle boat across Jenny Lake to the trail head for Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. Once on the other side of the lake it was a mile hike to Inspiration Point uphill on very rocky terrain. But it was well worth it. The view was amazing. I would love to hike on further, but we didn't have much time and I didn't have the proper shoes. Silly Kim! We continued up the Teton Rd. to Jackson Lake Area. We saw VP Dick Cheney's Secret Service Detail. Apparently he was in town. After a quick lunch at Signal Mountain Lodge and we made our way up the south entrance of Yellowstone. We went past the Lake Area. Not that exciting...Yellowstone lake is pretty and huge, but its a lake. We saw some more stinky caldrons of hot springs and then a herd of bison trying to cross the Yellowstone River and the road. Of course it caused a major traffic jam but eventually we got through and went to one thing I was waiting the most for...the Lower Falls of Yellowstone River. It was great! We hiked down the 330 steps to the bottom of the Lower Falls...then climbed back up them. This was the only night that we are camping...hopefully it won't be too cold...it only got up 55 degrees today.
8/26/08 - We left our Idaho cabin heading east back to Yellowstone. Today we ventured down to Old Faithful and then on to Grand Teton. There are many Geyser Basins on the way to Old Faithful and beyond. You could spend a whole day walking around them. We did quite a few, but we were pressed for time so we kept our hikes to under 2 miles. We got to Old Faithful in time to see it blow, it really is an anti-climatic experience but at least I can say I saw it. It goes off about every 90 minutes. After Old Faithful we drive down to West Thumb Geyser Basin. Some of these geysers are actually in Yellowstone Lake so that was cool. Tonight we are staying in Teton Village. It is so cool. I could get used to this comfort. I bet this place is hoping in the winter. Our balcony has views of the mountain and the ski runs.
8/25/08 - Today was the day for whitewater rafting the Yellowstone River. Wow it was so much fun. I want to do more challenging rapids next. We did mostly Class III. I even jumped in and swam down a feel of the rapids (yes on purpose, I wasn't throwing in like the one girl). The water wasn't that bad. Eric and I, along with the girl that was thrown in earlier, went swimming...the others were to wimpy! After that we ventured back into Yellowstone's North Entrance. We stopped and had a quick lunch at Mammoth and they drove on down to Norris. Along the way stopped at Rustic Falls and Sheepeater cliff. At Norris, we walked the Porcelain Trail around various geysers in the basin. Very cool but also very smelly...rotten eggs. The colors of the pools are amazing. You just want to jump right in. After that we went down to Madison Junction and out the West Entrance of Yellowstone. We ventured 20 miles into Idaho to Henry's Lake State Park. I figured we are so close to Idaho, we had to explore it. And I'm SO HAPPY we did. Our camp host at Henry's Lake gave us info on the area and there was a scenic drive (about 75 miles round trip) called the Mesa Falls Byway. We got to see two water falls, Upper and Lower Mesa Falls, 114 and 65 feet, respectively and we also got to view the Grand Tetons on the west side. I'm so excited because we will be on the east side of the Grand Tetons tomorrow! The sunset was amazing and we got to see a Momma Moose and her babies (Mini Moose?) feeding about 100 yards from our cabin. So cool!
8/24/08 - Eric's head ache is cured...YEA! The resort is really nice but the Rock Creek outside of room is LOUD! Today we took the Beartooth Hwy (US 212) into Yellowstone. We walked out to one of the glaciers along the way, not to far from the summit at 10,947 feet. After that we had a nice down hill ride into the Northeast Entrance of Yellowstone. Along the way to our first stop, Tower Falls, we saw a bison walking down the center of the road and then of course the whole herd. I'm sick of Bison. I want to see other animals. I know they were almost extinct at one point, but there are plenty of them now! After Tower Falls, which was way cool, we drove down the Dunraven Pass to Canyon Village for lunch. We didn't explore too much around Canyon as we are staying here the last night of our days in Yellowstone. After lunch we venture back up Dunraven Pass and on to the Mammoth Hot Springs area. Tonight we are staying in Gardiner, MT. Not really much here except for some hotels and very expensive gas stations. $4.15 here, $4.40 in the park itself. I'm afraid to admit this but I was really craving pizza for dinner. Gardiner had a pizza place outside our hotel but I checked online reviews and nobody liked it. I looked online for pizza places that were close to Gardiner and the closest one was in Livingstone...a Pizza Hut. Ok, not what I was expecting but none the less it was pizza. So we ventured up to Livingstone about a 50 mile drive for Pizza Hut. When we get there it is only a carryout/deliver place. So we order our pizza and ate it in the car on the drive back to Gardiner...how lame. But on a positive note, we only paid $3.85 for gas. Much better than $4.15 50 miles down the road. Do we actually make out better on the deal, I don't know.
8/23/08 Happy Anniversary! We have been married 5 years! Amazing isn't it. Well today we drove from Jamestown, ND to Red Lodge, MT. It was a long drive, but we made a stop at Teddy Roosevelt's national park. Now we are relaxing at the Rock Creek Resort. Eric has a major head ache so my anniversary dinner consisted of a turkey sandwich and chips we picked up at the local grocery store while he got his Tylenol...how romantic, eh?
8/22/08, 10:30 pm ~ What a day. We left Eric's work place and after a nice 10 mile traffic jam outside of the Twin Cities area we were on our way to Yellowstone! I'm so excited. We finally got Jamestown about 10pm. WOW is it windy in North Dakota! My car was going all over the place and the semis were weaving all over the place. And my gosh do the North Dakotans drive slow! I was passing like they were standing still and I was actually going the speed limit (I know hard to believe)! Looking forward to tomorrow and our drive to Montana.
MILES DRIVEN: 3125
PICTURES TAKEN: 555
STATES: 6 (MINNESOTA, NORTH DAKOTA, MONTANA, WYOMING, IDAHO, & SOUTH DAKOTA)
NATIONAL PARKS, ETC...: 5 (TEDDY ROOSEVELT, YELLOWSTONE, GRAND TETONS, DEVILS TOWER, BIGHORN CANYON)