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July 27, 2011

The next time you travel to a place you’ve never been and know nothing about, I highly recommend coincidentally having a friend who lives there, knows the place like Sacajawea knew the Louisiana Purchase, and enjoys dispensing information. That’s what I’ve done for the Montana part of my trip, and it’s worked out very well.

The Hamster and I spent the entire day Tuesday in Yellowstone National Park. Well, not the entire day, exactly. After the previous night’s dinner debacle I let Sam sleep late and we didn’t hit the road until about 10.

The road we hit was also a slow one. On the recommendation of our shirpa, Lindsey, we entered Yellowstone through the Northeast Entrance. The road that takes you there, Beartooth Highway, winds and weaves its way up the mountains that surround Yellowstone instead of cutting through a gap like the other roads into the park. Those mountains, which top out at over 10,000 feet, make Beartooth Highway the highest-elevation highway in the country and provide its users with some incredible views–especially views of the snow that stays atop these mountains year-round. The only downside was that we didn’t enter the park until about 1 pm, but that still left us more than seven hours to explore.

I don’t quite know how to describe the enormity of the place except to say that, however big you think Yellowstone is, it’s bigger than that. We saw waterfalls, cliffs, forest, lakes, rivers, creeks, prairies, mountains, bison, bears, elk, deer, ducks, chipmunks, sulfur pits, bubbling mudpots, pools of steaming hot water in freakish colors thanks to bacteria, a whole family of geysers, and much more. We crossed the Continental Divide (twice)!Sam loved it even more than I did, partly because he didn’t have the mystery of where and when we’d sleep when we were done in the back of his mind all day and partly because the Park Ranger at the entrance gave him a cute animal checklist that he thoroughly enjoyed checking off throughout the afternoon/evening.

The park was so extraordinary that instead of trying vainly to find the words I’ll just show you some of my favorite images. I hope you enjoy.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Yehuda and Esther permalink
    July 27, 2011 12:59 pm


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