Monday, September 17, 2012


We drove all the way to Yellowstone, only to find out that the campsites were all full (we thought it would be pretty empty so late in the season).  So, we turned around and found the closest campsite in the National Forest near the east entrance.  They have a bad case of the grizzles and most camp sites weren't allowing tents or soft sided campers (luckily we got the hard-sided A-liner!).  I was still a little shaken with my close encounter with a bear earlier in the trip, so we were extra pre-cautious, leaving pretty much everything with a smell in our cars.  We ate dinner at a lodge that was nearby and it was delicious.  We also tried the local (and touristy) beers.

In the morning we realized we needed to get to the camp site early to actually get a site, so we drove from the east entrance to the north west.  We got a site, and then started to explore.  The figure 8 in the park took the WHOLE day.  It was crazy to think that during our "off" day we were still stuck in the car driving all day.  At least all the people were in the same car.  We stopped at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone Lake (where Andy taught Anne to skip rocks), Old Faithful, Norris, and Mammoth.  It was a full day.  A large portion of the day was rainy, and right after we saw Old Faithful, it really started to pour.

I asked Anne what we were watching during the Old Faithful eruption, and she said smoke and there was a fire.  Clearly, I needed to explain better.  During the day, we let Anne run around on the boardwalk paths and she picked up three splinters in her hand.  We went to the clinic, but they said as long as they don't look infected, then you can leave them in.  Later that night we did take one of the splinters out, thinking that it looked a little too red.

While trying to fall asleep in the camper Anne asked "Are there any monsters outside"?  "No, there are no real monsters".  Anne thought for a bit, then asks "Are there any buffalo outside"?  She must think buffalo look a lot like monsters.

Andy got up before sunrise to try and beat all the crowds at the Mammoth Terraces.  He did, but not by much.  The amount of people and cars at Yellowstone really surprised us.  Tons of people and cars.  Parking was bad, and even finding tables to eat was hard.  I can't imagine how busy it is during the summer!

We decided to forgo Glacier National Park.  We are really disappointed, but we are short on time and I am bit tired of driving.  Another time, I'm sure!

Most of our time camping, we haven't been allowed to have fires because of fire ratings.  My favorite warning/order was at the lodge where we ate dinner.  "If you must smoke, smoke in your car.  Extreme Fire Danger."  We've been more than happy to abide by the order, the less our clothes smell of camp fires, the better!

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