Up Close and Personal with a Bison
Can you take a wild guess where we visited from the topic???? Post in the comments where you guessed.
FRIDAY EVENING: After hubby got home from work, we did our final preparations and got ready to depart for the airport. After a connection in Salt Lake City, we boarded our flight to Bozeman, Montana in route to tour Yellowstone National Park. Our initial plan was to stay at an airport hotel where we would take a cab or Uber for the 1st night. We would then rise early the following morning and head back to the airport to pick up our rental for a full day of touring. Unfortunately, all hotels by the airport were now booked, so we decided to stay at a hotel in a town closer to the park for our two nights in Montana. We stayed in LIVINGSTON, Montana which is only an hour away from the park. Thankfully, despite the recent high demand, the car rental agency was able to accommodate our last minute request to extend our rental duration by an additional day. You won't believe what happened next..........we got a complimentary upgrade.
SATURDAY MORNING: We rose at 8am.......thankfully we are 2 hours behind as that time is outside my comfort zone. LOL. I'm not an early riser if you couldn't tell. We showered, packed our bags for the day and headed out. We found a cute cafe for breakfast, PINKY'S CAFE, which is right in the town. The young man who served us was very pleasant. They have modified their service and operation very efficiently to ensure proper social distancing. No one is able to sit inside to dine, only outside, additionally a mask is required inside the building. OOOHH, I must note the prices are extremely reasonable. A meal for 2 plus a beverage, my husband also added like 3 sides as he loves meat.........the bill was less than $30.
After breakfast, approximately 930am, we began our journey to Yellowstone National Park's North entrance. Once we entered the park grounds, we had to stop to take pictures at the magnificent sight of the Roosevelt Arch and the entrance sign prior to officially entering the park. Be sure to pre-pay for your ticket online as the line to pay was stagnant and long.
PASS Site: The direct site to purchase your pass is as follows https://www.recreation.gov/sitepass/72451.
We purchased a private vehicle pass, while waiting in the unprepared individuals line LOL. It is valid for 7 days from the day of purchase and includes all occupants in the vehicle.
Make sure you take a park map from the ranger upon entry. It is the perfect guide to get around and not miss the main sights. It's also a good way not to get lost as the park is literally bigger than some islands.
Below, I'll go into more detail about our main stops, but rest assured, we made several other stops in between while we passed scenic stops and of course a few animal encounters with our new friends.....the BISON.
1st STOP Mammoth Hot Springs Historical District. This area had a high traffic of vehicles and pedestrians, however the majority was respectful of others personal space and socially distant. We were amazed by the natural formations of the TRAVERTINE TERRACES at CANARY SPRINGS. The Chalk-white travertine is formed as a result of the interactions between the water flowing on the limestone. These terraces are known to be '...among the fastest changing features in the park...' (National Park Service, Yellowstone Map). In this area, you will also find Fort Yellowstone, a military post established in 1891 to protect the park. Details at https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/historyculture/fort-yellowstone.htm. We of course encountered some deer in the area.
2nd STOP Norris Geyser Basin. This basin is considered one of the parks hottest and dynamic geysers.
3rd STOP Midway Geyser Basin. A little further south, right before we hit another main area called OLD FAITHFUL, we hit the world's largest geyser, excelsior, and largest hot spring, Grand Prismatic. The colors around the water was electric.
4th STOP Old Faithful area which comprises the most famous geysers in the park. That's what the brochures say, I beg to differ, Midway Geyser was my favorite of them all. You all vote on it so we can see what the majority thinks. We stopped at several to the point I got tired of seeing geysers. LOL
This is the stop where the camera decided to tip over on the tripod and break. Now we had to resort to using our cellphones. Can't let a broken camera break our mood or hold back the picture taking.
5th STOP At this point, it was about 4pm, mother nature decided to send the rain, and we only made it to the southern most point of the loop. We didn't want night fall before we got back to the North, so we bypassed 2 main stops listed on the map as we didn't want to miss the next major stop for us. Sooooo, we did actually make a couple stops prior to the next major stop. LOL. We couldn't help it and neither would you.
6th STOP CANYON AREA. Did you know there is a grand canyon inside Yellowstone Park? If you didn't, now you do. This was a breathtaking view of the water from the falls rushing down into the canyon and heavy rapids flow thru below. On the short trail to the falls overlook, thank God, we met a Hispanic couple with their beautiful daughter. As we got acquainted, we exchanged kind words and took pictures for each other. This view makes me want to go back to the actual Grand Canyon to find the falls to see if it will top this.
Unfortunately, the Northeastern part of the park's road was closed, so we were forced back west to take the Northwestern part of the road where we began.
7th STOP Unplanned, our encounter with a Bison, up close and personal. My husband was insistent each time we saw one that we need to get closer. This time, while on this quite road, one was in the middle of the street........so we decided this was our last opportunity before exiting the park to meet our new friend. We parked the car in the middle of the street, jumped out and proceeded with caution towards it. My husband got his photo shoot first. When it was my turn, he started walking away and I didn't want all my pics with his backside. LOL. So we started calling at it, and he turned while growling. OMG, at this point I was weary that he may charge at us. Hubby wasn't one bit concerned, guess his inner child came out and he thought he was invincible. LOL. Either way, it gave us just the right angle of him for my photo up. LOL.
Just shy of sunset, we made it out the park and found a restaurant to have dinner. Who said we only saw Bison? We also had a piece of one for dinner at Iron Horse Bar and Grill. We didn't have much of a choice, they only sold meat we aren't use to in Atlanta. Ok, they had one chicken dish, but it seemed boring compared to the rest. Besides, it taste just like beef. LOL.
After dinner and a glass of wine, it was time to head back to the hotel. We arrived sometime after 1030pm.
SUNDAY MORNING It was time to get ready to start our journey home. I had my left over Bison for breakfast, however hubby wanted to go back to PINKY's for breakfast. So after taking our shower and packing up, we checked out and went to the cafe. With about 2.5 hours prior to our departing flight, we decided to leave Pinky's and head into the old town of Bozeman for a quick drink before heading to the airport. I'm honored we took the time to do this as the town is so clean and historic looking. Like a scene in a true western movie, however fully restored. We then headed to the airport, dropped off the car and began our journey home.
Oh, did I mention this is one of the most expensive tourist cities so far since we began this blog????? A car is as expensive as a 3 star hotel and motel is as expensive as a 4 star hotel. It was well worth it though.
Stay tuned for the next adventure........coming to you soon!!!!