Grand Tetons/Yellowstone National Parks (August 22nd & 23rd)

Due to spending a day watching the total solar eclipse, we lost a day that we had planned to go see Jackson Hole and Grand Tetons. As a result, we just drove through the Grand Tetons into Yellowstone.

August 22nd

We woke up from our parking lot campsite pretty early, packed up, and headed out towards the Grand Tetons.

It was an incredible morning drive. We stopped by a river, saw a large swan-like bird going down the river, saw a momma and baby moose laying in a grassy/brush area about 100 feet from the road, and stopped in an amazing picnic area for breakfast. We had a view of the lake and Grand Teton mountains. It was sunny… it was warming up (it had been in the mid-30s); it was going to be a good day.

The views from Tetons (see, I told you)… was incredible!!

We encountered some traffic coming into Yellowstone since we had spent a good portion of the morning enjoying the Teton scenes.

This afternoon, we went to see Old Faithful and other geysers. The traffic into and out of Old Faithful was crazy. We had to search for parking. But we were able to see Old Faithful blow, walked around to see other geysers, shopped in the giftshop, etc.

We left Old Faithful area since it was about time to look for a place to stay. We drove out towards West Yellowstone thinking we’d be able to find a site at Madison Campground. Nope. So we drove out of the park into the little town of West Yellowstone; called a few hotels…all rooms booked; tried a campground a bit up the road…they were full; so on our way to that last-ditch-effort campground, we passed a truck-n-trailer parking area… That was going to be our campsite for the night. So we ran into town to a shower and laundry place (since I hadn’t showered in about 2.5 days), used the restroom for the night, went to a gas station to get my little sister some food, then went back to the parking area, moved our clothes and other gear from the camper to the car, made space for Dad to sleep in the car (since we determined that 4 people couldn’t fit). Mom, Abby, and I would sleep in the camper. We actually slept pretty well.

August 23rd

We woke up early again, moved our gear clothes and gear back to the camper, then drove back into Yellowstone to see other stuff. It was another beautiful day, another beautiful drive….

As we drove, we saw some bison, some elk (near Mammoth Hotsprings)…

As we were heading back to our car, we saw this small heard of elk walking up towards the road we had taken. They showed who really owns the land here…stopping traffic for a few minutes while they decided whether to saunter across the road or not. :-p

After Yellowstone, we drove north on Route 89 up to I90W. We were going to spend the night at a hotel we were fortunate to reserve (it was the last room out of three or four hotels we called) in Bozeman, Montana. We got to the hotel, checked in, then mom and I went through the car in an effort to organize and gather all the dirty laundry. We went to a nearby laundromat and washed all our clothes. It’s so nice to have clean clothes!

We subsequently had dinner, checked out the REI store that happened to be across the plaza street. I got a pretty nice shirt on clearence!! 🙂

Back to the hotel; bedtime….. zzzzzzzzzz. Good night.

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