Originally written: October 3rd, 2010
We woke up before seven o’clock this morning to the coldest morning so far this trip. We went to a family restaurant that had a breakfast buffet. It was awful, mediocre at best. The buffet had cold food and bad French toast (I’m beginning to realize French toast is becoming a theme), but the tea and coffee were hot. We looked out across the parking lot to the electronic bank sign, which showed both the temperature and time of day. Our entertainment was watching the temperature’s meteoric rise from 37 to 38 degrees by nine am. We finished our hot beverages, slipped on our rain gear pants to cut down the wind chill factor and began our day.
The cold temperature stayed with us for a while, so we made frequent stops, both to move around a little and because the views of the Grand Teton range were spectacular. The green pines, golden aspens with white bark in the foreground, with streams and lakes with the mountains as a backdrop was just what you needed to take your mind off the fact that your fingers could barely take the lens cap off the camera to get a picture.
After the Tetons it was on to Yellowstone National Park. This was my reason for the entire adventure, so I was very glad we had finally made it. I couldn’t wait to get into the park and see what it had to offer.
The park had to offer some amazing views along a beautiful network of roads. Sulfur was the smell of the day, and we could smell the geysers before we reached them. We stopped at Lower Falls to take some pictures, and; I was amazed by the volume of water cutting through that canyon. We have plenty of waterfalls here on Maui, but the power and noise produced by the amount of falling water was impressive, to say the least.
We made our way to the North Entrance of Yellowstone, just south of Gardiner, Montana to gaze upon the Roosevelt Arch. Built in 1903, the arch has inscribed above it: For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People. Being a proud supporter and volunteer with our national parks system, I strongly believe in the message those words carry. We, as a nation, have set aside some of the most spectacular vistas, forests, deserts, mountains, wetlands and grasslands in order to educate ourselves and possibly even protect nature.
We stopped for a few pictures at the Mammoth Hot Springs area, and I snapped a few pictures of some bison by the side of the road as well. It was a dream come true to have spent the time in Yellowstone, but the sun was going down as we were leaving the park, which meant it was time to get back to Jackson.
As we were leaving Yellowstone there was an elk on the side of the road about forty feet from us as we rode by. This thing was enormous! I would hate to have one of them step out in front of any vehicle I was driving/riding. The rest of the ride home was done in covered in shades of purple and pink as the sun dropped behind the mountains. My visor was the place where bugs went to die, and by the time we made it back to Jackson it was almost covered completely with corpses.
What a great day.