Yellowstone National Park: Part 6

Friday, June 28th, we decided to drive from the West Entrance of the park to the South Entrance. We had not traveled the road from Old Faithful to the South Entrance. We knew there wasn’t a lot of things to stop and see from studying the park map, but we wanted to say we had been over all the park on all roads accessible by visitors’ vehicles.

A few miles passed the south entrance to Yellowstone is the most northern part of Grand Teton National Park. We will be visiting Grand Teton in the next couple of weeks, but we decided to drive a little ways into the north part of the park. We didn’t have a lot of time because we had to drive back home. However, we did enjoy the beautiful views. We look forward to exploring more of this park soon.

As people who grew up in Missouri (the Midwest), my husband and I have always paid attention to TV news reports regarding wildfires out west. We were always saddened by the reports of thousands of acres of forests being burned. As we’ve traveled through various parks (Custer State Park in South Dakota, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and other national forests), we have seen the devastation of these fires; some the fire destroyed forests date as far back as 1988! I just wanted to share a few pictures of some of the burned areas we saw this day as a reminder to all people, all over the country, when outdoors camping or picnicking, PLEASE be sure your campfire is completely out!

Look at ALL the burned trees along both sides of the road! It was sad to drive through that area.

On our drive home through Yellowstone, we decided to stop at Midway Geyser Basin. We had driven by it a couple of times before. It was always packed with people, so we didn’t stop. It was fairly busy this day, also, and we almost didn’t stop. At the last second, I told Jack to pull in and stop. I AM SOOOO GLAD WE DID! I would have regretted missing the hot Springs and geysers in this location. It was gorgeous! Again, the photos can never do the true beauty justice.

It was SO windy that day and we saw A LOT of hats that people “lost.” People are not allowed to walk off the boardwalks in a thermal area because it is too dangerous.

On the last section of road in Yellowstone, there is a short, side road called Riverside Drive (Yep! It goes right along the Madison River for a couple of miles). We took that little side road, stopped a couple of times and enjoyed the quiet of the wilderness, and even saw some wildlife.

There is a male elk on the island.

There were several female elk with babies in this meadow.

Zoom in to the left of the two adult elk (to the left side of the island). If you look closely, you can see the ears of a baby.

Another male elk enjoying the grass along the side of the road.

Can you see the velvet on his antlers?

All in all, today’s trip was a huge success.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”


Mesa Falls & Big Springs

This past Wednesday and Thursday we took a couple of short day trips. Someone in the RV park had suggested we take a drive to see Mesa Falls and Big Springs, both in Idaho, just a few miles away. So, away we went!

Wednesday we went to Mesa Falls. You have to pay to get in, however, since it is a National Forest, the lady at the gate looked at our Senior Citizens National Park Pass and said that worked there, also.

The falls were beautiful, but the mosquitoes were vicious. If you go, BE SURE to take some repellant!

Located at Mesa Falls is Big Falls Inn which has an interesting history and has been declared a National Historic Place.

The falls were fabulous! It’s really too bad that you, the reader, cannot hear the thundering water or smell the mist in the air. We visited the Upper Falls first.

Next we went to the Lower Falls. They were lovely also, however, the view was from quite a distance.

On Thursday we went to Big Springs. It was a beautiful area, but it wasn’t what we expected.

My husband grew up in and we lived many years in Thayer, MO, which is on the Missouri/Arkansas state line basically in the center of Missouri. Just across the state line is Mammoth Springs State Park. If you Google it, you will see some beautiful pictures of the water bubbling up out of the spring. You can also read about it on Wikipedia (you will NOT the amount of water that gushes out of the spring hourly!). This was the torrent springs we were used to, so we were a little let down when we saw this spring.

However, this spring has its own unique beauty wrapped up in the surrounding serenity that causes the visitor to take pause, relax, and enjoy.

Around the spring were these small white birds with tiny webbed feet. Zoom in and you’ll see the webbed feet. They swam in the spring just like ducks. I wish I knew what kind of birds they are.

Beside the spring was a log cabin and small water wheel built by German immigrant, Johnny Sack, in the early 1930s. It was very interesting to learn about this man’s life and the cabin he built with his own hands.

Up these stairs were the two bedrooms (see next pictures).

I’m going to assume this was Johnny’s bedroom since it was the bigger of the two rooms (see next picture for the other side of the bedroom).

Johnny Sack never married. It was just him and his faithful dog.

If you zoom in and look closely at the floors on the main level of the cabin, you will see they all had intricate patterns like this one.

We will be on the west side of Yellowstone Park for several more days. I hope to see some more wildlife before we leave here.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”


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