Just got back from a tour of American West National Parks. Fantastic! Here's Mark and Dylan in front of Old Faithful just before the blizzard starts and quite a while before the geyser blows. Yes, a snow blizzard just days before June.
We welcomed our 19 year old Aussie cousin Jackson at Sea-Tac airport on Saturday, May 21st and set off on our adventure as dawn broke Monday morning. I'll have to break this post up into 3 or 4 sections - manipulating more than a handful of photos through one entry proves very frustrating.
But, first things first. We covered something like 3,000 miles in our 12 days. I was tracking it on the odometer, but Mark kept resetting the odometer in Yellowstone, so we're estimating here, using the power of the internets. A lot, a lot, of miles in a pretty darn short time, but we still managed to dawdle for a couple days in Yellowstone, a couple more in Jackson and the Grand Tetons, and another couple in the wine country - but that meant making sure the rest of the west really flew by our car windows...
We made Livingston, MT at 8PM the first day, just ahead of a bruising storm, the latest of many that were causing flooding in southwestern Montana and the straw that broke the back of I-90, forcing authorities to close our ribbon to freedom just hours behind us.
We thanked the weather gods for sparing us and passed under the northern gate to Yellowstone the next morning.
The first thing that greets you just inside the Mammoth entrance and near the visitor center is Mammoth Springs.
The whole Mammoth area is ethereal and amazing. Feels like you're on a different planet.
We camped Day 2 by Tower Fall. Late May is a dicey time to head to Yellowstone, weatherwise, but the risk paid off with lots of great wildlife spotting and minimal crowds.
Bison were just everywhere, trotting along with their babies and generally creating traffic jams wherever they could.
I'm including this last photo to document that we actually did camp in one of the 18 slots available in the only open campground in all of Yellowstone's 2.2 million acres. Even if this was the only time we camped the whole trip...
Part II - Grand Teton and fabulous Jackson!