Yellowstone: Part 1

Our trip to Yellowstone was excellent.  We saved up, planned for a year, waited for a year, didn’t take any kind of vacation for a year, specifically this summer when we usually go to a beach in Maine or Cape Cod.  And it was so great.  Not the waiting and not going on vacation….the trip to Yellowstone.

We had a very long travel day to get there (and to get home).  Two planes and a 5 hour car ride.  I prepared as best I could for the horrendous thing that is called flying in a plane.  Knitting and reading helped keep my mind off of the fact that this hugely heavy thing was in the air and not (at the moment) falling:

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And then I was brave enough to look out the window for a while:

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One of the reasons we decided to drive part of the way (other than the need to take THREE planes, which might have pushed me over the edge) was to see some of the country we haven’t seen before.  So we drove from Salt Lake City, Utah to Jackson Hole, Wyoming after our two plane rides (please excuse the increasingly bug splattered windshield in these shots):

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We finally made it to Jackson Hole at around 7pm (9pm Eastern time) after leaving the house at 5:30am.  The next morning we were up and finding the best breakfast place ever, The Bunnery, where I forgot to take a picture, but had a guacamole omelet which also had tomatoes and sprouts.  So good.  Paul had a bacon-ator-type omelet.  Then we got morning pastries to have for a snack on the rest of the drive to Yellowstone.

But before getting on the road to Yellowstone, we made a stop at the local yarn shop, Knit on Pearl.  I tell you, those yarn shops, they are EVERYWHERE!

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I got some very pretty, reminds-me-of-autumn (even though it’s called “Sunset”) locally dyed (Salt Lake City) merino roving:

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And we walked around town a little:

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One of the most amazing things to us was the constantly changing and varied landscapes.

Then we got on the road to Yellowstone.  But first, to get to Yellowstone, you have to drive through the Grand Teton National Park.

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So gorgeous.  We both agreed they were our favorite views of the trip.

It was there, at their lovely visitor’s center that the lovely park ranger told us the lovely news that part of the loop road going to our hotel in the Old Faithful section of Yellowstone, was closed.  Which meant instead of driving 39 miles from the entrance to Yellowstone, we had to drive all they way around the loop, the long way, 101 miles.  Given that the speed limit is 45 and often times 35 or 25mph, that meant it would take us at least 2 1/2 hours instead of one hour to get there.  If we didn’t stop.  Which, of course, we did.

We HAD to, because there were so many pretty things to see:

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We were completely exhausted by the time we arrived at the hotel at 5pm.  SO. TIRED.  And we felt weird.  Sort of head-achey.  It was then that we realized we were experiencing what you feel when you are adjusting to a higher altitude.  Duh.  We knew we were going to be at a high altitude, but didn’t realize it would affect us as much as it did.  We thought maybe we’d be a little short of breath on the stairs.  We were at 7,500 feet at our hotel and at one point during the following days, we were at 8,859 feet.  To put that in perspective, our house in New York is at 900 feet.  Anything above 5,000 feet is considered high altitude and when you would experience some side effects.  So, we just had to take it easy and drink tons of water, which we did.  And, of course I was compelled to get the t-shirt when I saw it:

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Our first full day at Yellowstone consisted of exploring the Old Faithful area, which has many geysers and springs:

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Avoiding bears:

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Hearing, then seeing, a pack of coyotes. We didn’t get a picture of those because we were too scared and we just kept walking very quickly while saying, “Oh my gosh there they are I can’t believe they are right there and we are looking at them!”  Although, a guy on the same path as us did not seem at all concerned and said they were harmless.  Yeah, right. We are not accomplished hikers/outdoorspeople, so we stuck to the paved paths and trails and got the heck out when we saw or heard something weird.

And, of course, watching Old Faithful:

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And then taking a nap.

More next time….

5 comments on “Yellowstone: Part 1
  1. Beatrice Legere says:

    Thanks so much for sharing, Liz. Beautiful pictures and delightful commentary of a place I’ll probably never get to see personally. Much appreciated.

  2. Cynthia Rawnsley says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and pictures of this wonderful part of the country. I too, do not enjoy flying, so I give you so much credit for not letting your fear control you, thus enabling you to take this long awaited vacation!

  3. Annette Eisenstein says:

    beautiful, just beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing

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