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Old 18th June 2012, 09:05   #16
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Default Re: Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember

akbare;

Great to see that you were finally able to get away for a fantastic trip. I remember you commenting on my Mammoth Lake diary. What better place than Yellowstone? Great travelogue. Great pics. I was getting worried about your seeming interest in wanting to meet bears. Bears are the most dangerous of all animals in the North American continent and the last animal you wanna meet. Grizzlies especially have no problems considering humans as food. Keep the travelogue going. Real nice read.

Many don't know that Yellowstone is probably the biggest active Caldera in the world, essentially the biggest active volcano in the world. It's so big that the caldera takes centuries to fill up with magma before it erupts. It's an incredible place.
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Old 18th June 2012, 17:30   #17
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Default Re: Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember

Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Yellowstone was one place I'd wished and hoped to visit at least once during my stay in the US several years ago. ...
...Yellowstone was one that has always remained a wish and a dream, hope I will be able to visit one day.
@NPV - I wish and hope that you get to do Yellowstone soon. There's is no other place like Yellowstone. Go there at least for a week.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VLOCT View Post
akbare;

Great to see that you were finally able to get away for a fantastic trip. I remember you commenting on my Mammoth Lake diary. What better place than Yellowstone? Great travelogue. Great pics. I was getting worried about your seeming interest in wanting to meet bears. Bears are the most dangerous of all animals in the North American continent and the last animal you wanna meet. Grizzlies especially have no problems considering humans as food. Keep the travelogue going. Real nice read.
Thanks VLOCT. I too remember your phenomenally color dashed fall drive last year. And the Solctice
You are absolutely right about bears. Although we were kind of prepared for the worst (a bear attack), we are glad that we didn't come face to face with bears while hiking.
I am not sure what I would have said if it would have happened.

Last edited by akbaree : 18th June 2012 at 17:33.
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Old 18th June 2012, 18:35   #18
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Default Re: Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember

You have made me see the Yellow stone through your pictures. Take a bow!! Awesome travelogue!! Keep it going.
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Old 23rd June 2012, 20:26   #19
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Default Re: Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember

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Originally Posted by Driving_Nomad View Post
You have made me see the Yellow stone through your pictures. Take a bow!! Awesome travelogue!! Keep it going.
Thanks @Driving_Nomad. Honestly, 90% of folks coming to Yellowstone, come for it's Geysers. I am writing a post on Day 4 when we visited Geysers. Stay tuned, but then Geysers are not photogenic
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Old 24th June 2012, 10:13   #20
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Default Re: Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember

Looks like I did a mistake in turning down your offer of accompanying you - what a place! Anyway, satisfying myself with the travelogue - and like all your travelogues, this also has a lot of interesting information along with those marvelous photos.
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Old 25th June 2012, 02:15   #21
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Default Day 5 (Day 4 in Yellowstone & Drive to Grand Teton) - Part 1

6/3/2012

Driving: 90 Miles
Hiking: 5 Miles
On the Road:8 Hours

West Yellowstone to Madison Junction
Madison Junction to Biscuit Basin
Biscuit Basin to West Thumb
West Thumb to Colter Bay (Grand Teton)

Click here for today's drive map

Part 1: Upper Geyser Basin

Finally we get to the core attraction for which people come from all over the world. We will be inside the Caldera of Yellowstone for most of the day today. The Yellowstone Caldera contains more than half of worlds geysers and there are hundreds of them - some most popular, some very regular, some spectacular, some of the tallest and the list goes on. There are several geyser basin that you can explore. A casual traveler will drive down to West Thumb (Old Faithful road) and enjoy the Old Faithful geyser. The discerning ones can spend days, weeks exploring the geysers.

We wanted to reach to Grand Teton by 4:00 PM to enjoy canoeing and so we carefully chose a hike that's couple of miles and cover some classic and some aloof geysers. All equally fascinating.

First view of the war zone (as I like to call it)
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00747.jpg

A short side road: Firehole Lake Drive, among other attractions, takes you to one of the most spectacular geysers in Yellowstone - Great Fountain Geyser. Next eruption for this geyser was tentative @4:00 PM. I wish we could have waited.
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00751.jpg


The Firehole Lake
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00748.jpg


At Biscuit Basin (we also start hiking from here to Old Faithful through some of the best known geysers @Yellowstone)

Emerald Pool (named after the emerald green color)
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00752.jpg

Rainbow Pool
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00756.jpg

And there was this strange (if everything here is not already strange enough ) formation. The stream was not more than 3-4 feet deep and these pines were hugging the stream bed horizontally. And they were looking perfectly living (green). I couldn't even find any loose end towards the end of trunk: essentially they just grew out of the bedrock. But how can they be horizontal? I don't want to believe what I am saying either.
(Agreed that I processed this picture a bit but I couldn't resist)
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00758.jpg

Couple of videos from the Biscuit Basin area





We crossed the road and started our hike. Unfortunately I have returned the library book otherwise I could have scanned and shared the map. In Yellowstone the map can be taken from any of the visitor centers (at least there's one each at the 8 junctions on the Grand Loop road). The visitor centers also display tentative geyser eruption schedule...

Punch Bowl Spring
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00761.jpg

I forgot the name of this one
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00762.jpg

The Grand Geyser: It is very unpredictable as per the plate there. But we got lucky, it did erupt while we were enjoying the Old Faithful. Please check Old Faithful video
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00765.jpg

Chromium and Beauty Pools
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Due to the angle of sunlight, the droplets from this geyser (Sawmill Geyser) almost looked like diamonds. And it was sputtering violently



Castle Geyser: Although it was not scheduled to erupt until next day, it was still spluttering water.
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00795.jpg

Such strange streams make you wonder if you are on some other planet
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00771.jpg

And this hole...
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00772.jpg


That's Old Faithful in the background. A room in the hotel can cost you upto 1000 USD a night and bookings are generally done at least a year in advance. It was built in early twentieth century and is as popular as the geysers
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00781.jpg

Another shot of Old Faithful
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00788.jpg


And finally we were @Old Faithful. For the entire recorded history, Old Faithful (true to its name) has been erupting between 60 and 90 minutes non stop. It happens with me all the time. I am not sure why the ranger chose to gave his demo where we sat, but what's important is he did. He was an entertaining fellow...
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00792.jpg

Before he can complete his story, Old Faithful decided it is time
The Yellowstone Nirvana: Old Faithful



And @Yellowstone nothing is ordinary. So this restaurant is special. We had our lunch here
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00783.jpg


While hiking back, we saw this fox.. I told myself - I told ya, there are advantages of hiking
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00800.jpg

Last edited by akbaree : 25th June 2012 at 02:23.
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Old 25th June 2012, 08:40   #22
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Default Day 5 (Day 4 in Yellowstone & Drive to Grand Teton) - Part 2

6/3/2012

Part 2: Drive to Colter Bay & Grand Teton

The drive from West Thumb to Colter Bay is beautiful. Keep an eye on the rear view mirror as well.

The continental divide (Yes there's an overdose of terms @Yellowstone)
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00803.jpg

Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00802.jpg

First view of Yellowstone Lake
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00805.jpg

With Yellowstone behind us, It was time to get experimental with the camera
Lewis Lake:
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00809.jpg

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First view of the Tetons
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00817.jpg

We had booked a cabin @Tetons. The check in was smooth but It was surely not our day at the Tetons. The entire premise of reaching by 4:00 was to enjoy canoeing. And they called the Marina which informed us that we can rent boats only until 3:30 PM. The cabin office could have informed earlier (I had called them a day earlier to inquire). But we are in a good mood after days of having fun @Yellowstone.

Now that we will not be able to boat in the stupendously beautiful lake (even tomorrow we leave for home @6:30 AM; so no boating tomorrow as well); we decided to make the most of the opportunity by clicking pictures. But as I said today was not our day at the Tetons. After hiking mile and a half we reached kind a nice spot to take pictures but the Sun was blaring at us from the Tetons. But we still didn't give up... Some tries

Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00820.jpg

Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00850.jpg

Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00865.jpg

I will return tomorrow morning to click again
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Old 25th June 2012, 10:23   #23
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Default Day 6 Return to Minneapolis

6/4/2012

We would have loved to spend more time, actually one can spend entire life in this place and still not get bored. But we had no more holidays left and we have to be in Minneapolis tomorrow (it is around 1200 miles from the Tetons).

The plan of the day is to enjoy Tetons for couple of hours, drive Yellowstone East section, Climb Beartooth Highway (to remind, we were unable to drive through Beartooth when coming to Cooke city from Red Lodge, as it was closed and had to take Chief Joseph Scenic route instead), and then drive as far as we can before calling it a day

Grand Teton

A few things to note about Colter Bay...
1. It has 24 hours laundry
2. The restaurant is excellent (currently chief chef is an Indian)
3. It is a paradise for boaters
4. And yes, it is stupendously beautiful


Living up to the promise we made to ourselves, we woke up @5:00 AM and hiked couple of miles to shoot pictures...

Some shots of the Marina
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00866.jpg
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00870.jpg
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From the same spot where we had hiked yesterday. By the time we reached there, the sun was tad harsher
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00877.jpg
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00880.jpg

While hiking back, this Mule deer looked quite worried by our presence
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00914.jpg
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00920.jpg


Some more shots
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00924.jpg
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We left Grand Teton @7:30AM
Yellowstone between West Thumb, Fishing Bridge and Canyon Village junctions (the south east section)
The only other shot of Yellowstone Lake. The lake is really uneventful and doesn't shout Yellowstone. But it is huge. Many boaters love Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Would also like to mention that I haven't seen so many RV's anywhere else. It felt that Yellowstone is the RV capital of US.
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00934.jpg


Just north of the lake, we stopped to see how fishes jump up to climb small elevation against the river current while returning to the lake for spawning. It was perhaps too early (June end/July beginning give better chances). We could only capture a few birds
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00941.jpg
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00945.jpg


Another attraction on the list today: Mud Volcano - check
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00948.jpg


On this hill the soil became so hot (couple of decades back) that the tree roots boiled and they just fell off.

This is Dragon Spring. The water is supposed to come out like the tongue of a dragon. It was not in mood today. And as per the placard, the intensity has come down in last 10 years
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00952.jpg


One more river Valley: Hayden River Valley is situated between Fishing Bridge and Canyon Village junctions. It is also considered a paradise for wildlife watchers (to of course Yellowstone). Washburn range (and Mt Washburn) can be seen in the backdrop.
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00956.jpg
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Finally the eventual: Leaving Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00964.jpg


Beartooth Scenic Highway
We had heard so much about this highway that expectations were high. And we abandoned our plans to go back via I-90 (and Mount Rushmore) in favor of Beartooth Highway. I will let pictures do most of the talking here

A road side waterfall: it was bigger and had more water than any of the Yellowstone waterfalls
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00968.jpg

Beartooth Lake
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00976.jpg

Another frozen lake. Almost all lakes were frozen and inaccessible even in early June. For some lakes the access road was under more than 15 feet snow. There were snowmobile marks at many landscapes indicating popularity of the activity at this place
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00988.jpg

Random shots of this wonderful place that reminds how lucky I am
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc00992.jpg
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc01008.jpg

That rood looks like a snake
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc01005.jpging
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc01009.jpg

Carefully examining this picture will reveal an SUV parked at the bottom, two snowmobiles parked near the peak and 5 hikers try to make it to the top
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc01014.jpg

At the Beartooth Pass
Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember-dsc01017.jpg

The time was 5:30 PM and we were still on Beartooth Highway. It has been already more than 12 hours after we started our day. We switched on the GPS and put home as the destination. It showed 923 miles. It was a non stop drive for next 12 hours at an average speed of 77mph concluding at Minneapolis @ 6:30 AM Central (we lost one hour after moving from Mountain Time Zone to Central Time Zone). Oh boy a 24 hour marathon after a couple of years. I am loving it...

@Billings we got a lot of pancakes packed that we ate through the night

Today
Driving: 1100+ Miles
Hiking: 3 Miles
On the Road:24 Hours

Colter Bay to West Thumb
West Thumb to Fishing Bridge
Fishing Bridge to Canyon Village
Canyon Village to Tower Junction
Tower Junction to Silver Gate (North East Entrance)
Silver Gate to Red Lodge (via Beartooth Highway)
Red Lodge to Billings to Minneapolis (900+ miles in 12 hours)

Click here for today's drive map


Till I travel (to write) again, thanks for reading, comments and appreciation...

Last edited by akbaree : 25th June 2012 at 10:32.
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Old 25th June 2012, 22:15   #24
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Default Re: Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember

Excellent thread and narrative. I have driven the Beartooth Highway and Lamar Valley, but still have to go back and finish the rest of the park. This thread will be part of the resources used to plan that return. Thank you!
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Old 28th June 2012, 17:34   #25
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Default Re: Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember

I liked your way of thinking i.e., Make lot of wishes, atleast one will be fulfilled. Great man. Yellow stone national park is a great place. Superb captures.
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Old 7th October 2013, 11:26   #26
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Default Re: Yellowstone National Park : A Drive to Remember

Great Travelogue Anant. You were lucky with both the black bears and the grizzly's. hope your luck continues when you coming visiting Satpura in Nov.
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