Goth Panda

Wyoming Day 4 ~ Road Trip to Yellowstone

I had planned to spend four days in Yellowstone since there was so much to see, even though we could only get three nights (right before we flew out) lodging. So one of the days I thought we would drive up from Jackson for the day. I planned that for if there was a rainy day, since a lot of it would be spent in the car.

It was a grey and drizzly morning, and we were still feeling the impact of our hike, so we decided to make it the road trip day. First we got breakfast at the Bunnery (yay!), and then we hit the road north to Yellowstone.

Why not get more photos of the mountains?

Grand Tetons

Grand Tetons

I wanted to see as many National Park lodges as I could, so we stopped at Jackson Lake Lodge on the way up for a short break. Although I was happy we stayed in Jackson, I’d definitely consider staying there if we go back.

Lobby at Jackson Lake Lodge.

Once inside Yellowstone, guess what we saw?

Bison

Bison

We stopped at the first sightseeing area we came across: West Thumb Geyser basin, where we were blown away by the geothermal goodness.

West Thumb Geyser Basin

West Thumb Geyser Basin

West Thumb Geyser Basin

West Thumb Geyser Basin

West Thumb Geyser Basin

West Thumb Geyser Basin

West Thumb Geyser Basin

I was prepared for the colors, since I had seen photos. But I thought they were the result of minerals in the water, which is not true. The colors are due to thermaphilic organisms that live in the hot, hot water and turn it those pretty colors.

But I wasn’t prepared for the steam and heat, and the activity. The water hissed and gurgled and bubbled. At one of the other sites, it sizzled like a frying pan on the hot rocks. For the first time, I was glad my camera had a video feature and I took short videos trying to capture the sounds.

We stopped for lunch at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel dining room, and then we headed on to the Mud Volcano and Sulphur Cauldron sites. Mud volcanoes, people! How come everyone doesn’t go to Yellowstone with marketing like that?

Mud Volcano Trail

Mud Volcano Trail

Mud Volcano Trail

Mud Volcano Trail

Mud Volcano Trail

Mud Volcano Trail

It was about this time that I started to get worried that we wouldn’t see everything in Yellowstone in the time we had. We had three more days, but Yellowstone is arranged like a figure 8, and we had spent one whole day on half of one of the 8’s circles.

In an effort to pick up more states for our 50 states goal, and hoping to be able to go a little faster than the park’s 45 mph, we looped around and exited into West Yellowstone, MT, where we got to be glad first-hand that we did not choose to stay in West Yellowstone. Then we zoomed down through Idaho, surrounded by potato fields and no cars whatsoever. I don’t know if we got back to Jackson more quickly than we would have the other way, but we definitely felt like we were going faster. We also got a chance to see the Tetons from the other side.

Grand Tetons
Definitely prettier on the Wyoming side

We went to the Snake River Brewing Company for dinner, and our hostess turned out to be our waitress from the Bunnery that morning. She greeted us, saying it was nice to see us again, and we were temporarily stunned because we had never been there before. Then Mike put it together. We got a mix of appetizers and salads instead of entrees. Even though we ordered too much, I think this was one of my favorite meals in Jackson. The wood-fired flatbread was especially yummy.

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