It appears that I completely forgot to recap the rest of our Great Western Adventure! I am determined to sum up the back half of our trip so you can see the amazing things that we did and saw!
what we did before we kayaked on Lake Yellowstone?
Chicago, The Corn Palace, The Badlands, and Wall Drug
Day 5: Mount
Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Devils Tower
Day 6: First
Day in Yellowstone
Day 7: First
Camping/Kayaking Day in the Grand Tetons
Day 8: Second
Camping/Kayaking Day in the Grand Tetons
Day 9: Back
to Yellowstone and Visiting Old Faithful
Day 10: The Grand
Canyon of Yellowstone and Lamar Valley
Day 11: Kayaking on Lake Yellowstone
After another quick breakfast of biscuits, bacon, and
oatmeal, Nick and I drove to the boat ramp for Lake Yellowstone, which was
about 40 minutes from our cabin. We had booked a guided kayak with the same
company that we used for our kayaking and camping trip and, to our delight, our
guide was Julia from our previous trip! We ended up having a personalized tour
because no one else had booked for that morning.
We paddled along the edge of the lake so we could see the
active thermal elements and those that are now dormant.
We passed over a lava tube
which was kinda eerie and also went past the old Fishing Cone, also called the
“cook it on the hook” spot. Back in the late 1800s, the Fishing Cone was one of
the main attractions at Yellowstone, where tourists could catch a fish and then
on the hook” by holding it in the Fishing Cone geyser. Over time, the
geyser stopped erupting. Today, it is covered by water. I snapped this pic later on when we were out of the lake.
We passed by a ledge where hot spring water was pouring into
the freezing cold lake.
Julia had us put our hand in the water to feel how the
top layer of water was hot and then a few inches below the surface it was
freezing. It was pretty cool!
After a quick lunch at Grant Village, we headed back to the
car where I was startled by a text message informing me that we had had an earthquake back at home.
What?! Sure enough, there had been an earthquake in Virginia and our friends
and families felt it up in Pennsylvania. That was the first of the strange
things to happen at home while we were vacationing over a super volcano. During our vacation, there was an earthquake, a hurricane, a tornado, flooding, and a murderer on the loose back at our usually calm home. The only thing we experienced was a bad lightning storm. Go figure.
After we made sure everyone at home was OK, we went to the
West Thumb Geyser Basin, where another boardwalk was set up to wind between the
hot springs. We saw some really pretty hot springs, many of which we had seen
from the lake during the kayak.
That evening we went on a walking tour of the historic Lake
Yellowstone hotel, the oldest hotel in a national park.
Our guide told us a bunch of fun stories about the early
visitors and how the hotel was built and then added on to over the years. During the outside portion of the tour, I couldn't stop watching all of these birds flying in and out of their nests. You can also see how buggy the walls of the hotel gets. They have to repaint it pretty often because of the mosquitoes.
were a lot of political struggles over the years within Yellowstone and the men
involved did a lot of crazy things, such as the guy who ran ferry trips
across the lake sank his own steamboat in the lake when he was forced to stop
running the trips! The interior was also pretty cool, including this huge fireplace with decorative tiles.
After the tour we took what was supposed to be a quick drive
up to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone to take a better look at the upper and lower falls, but
the bison had something else in mind: a huge traffic jam. Neither direction of
the road was moving at all because the bison just kept walking back and forth
across the road.
At one point a ranger came and played a sound from his jeep
that sounded like hoofs trotting on pavement and the bison seemed to disperse. We also passed this dude who was taking a nap about 2 feet from the road.
Unfortunately on the way back to the hotel the bison were back at it, causing
us to be late for our dinner reservations in the fancy hotel restaurant.
not pleased, to say the very least!
We ended up only being a few minutes late for dinner. The
dining room was PACKED. This is one of the only “fancy” restaurants in the
park, so if you are planning a trip and want to eat there, make sure to make
your reservation way in advance. I had bison tenderloins and Nick had sea bass. They were both delicious. Plus they have $6 mini
bottles of champagne. Amazing! For dessert, I got the Yellowstone Caldera (a
chocolate cake with molten chocolate center) and Nick got the French apple
galetta, and they were both great.
Happy and full, we retired for the evening in our hotel
room, the only non-cabin that we stayed in while in the park. After sleeping in
a bare bones cabin for a few nights, the hotel room felt kinda weird.
Up next: We visit the Roosevelt Arch and the Old Faithful Inn!