Tales From The Camping House

Tales From The Camping House

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Final Days in Yellowstone

We thought spending two weeks in Yellowstone would allow us time to see everything.  We saw a lot, but definitely not everything.  We can't believe how quickly the time went by.

 We drove over to Harriman State Park on Wednesday to look around.  This was originally a ranch purchased by the Harriman (railroad fame) family for summer outings.  It was also a working ranch.  It was later given to the state of Idaho for a state park and wildlife refuge.

 The first thing we saw was a family of sandhill cranes.  We watched them for awhile and then continued on in the park.

 A lot of the original buildings are left in the park, unfortunately, they are only open on the weekends.  We walked around the beautiful setting.

We also visited the Yellowstone Museum in West Yellowstone.  We didn't realize how extensive it was, we really learned a lot about the area.  There were videos about the 1957 earthquake and the 1988 Yellowstone fire.

We made more trips back to Yellowstone, seeing another buffalo up close and personal.

Another highlight for us was seeing this wolf by a pond.

We visited the Midway Geyser Basin

and the West Thumb Geyser Basin  on Lake Yellowstone.

This is the Fishing Hole that early visitors said they could catch a fish in Lake Yellowstone and then cook it at the same time in the Fishing Hole.

We also saw more waterfalls, Lewis Falls

and Moose Falls.

Saturday was one of the most beautiful days we have had since we arrived.  The skies were crystal blue and the mountains were clearly visible.

We had made reservations to take a scenic cruise on Lake Yellowstone.

The views were absolutely breathtaking.

After our cruise on the lake, we had lunch at Lake Yellowstone Hotel, another gorgeous spot.

Our last day in Yellowstone we spent the morning at the Old Faithful Geyser Basin and also took a tour of the Old Faithful Inn.

We left the park about noon so we could drive over to Hebgen Lake, the site of the 1959 earthquake.  This is where the campground that was buried in the avalanche was located.  For some reason, we thought the earthquake occurred in Yellowstone, but after visiting the Yellowstone Museum, we learned it was actually about 30 miles west of Yellowstone in Idaho.

There is a Visitor's Center there, but it was closed for remodeling.  There was a parking lot across the street from where the avalanche took place.  We both remembered seeing pictures of this when we were kids and things did not seem to have changed much.  

This is the Memorial Boulder with a sign indicating it was a 3,000 ton boulder that rode the crest of the slide across the canyon.  Undisturbed lichens on its sides indicated it did not roll or tumble while crossing.

The avalanche dammed the Madison River flooding the campsites that had not been buried.  Earthquake Lake formed as a result of the earthquake.  You can see the dead trees on the left protruding from the water.  This was part of the campground that was submerged under water.

It is beautiful and eerily quiet there now, but you can get a sense of the magnitude of the destruction while looking at it.

We returned home to begin our departure preparations.  We leave tomorrow for Thayne, Wyoming where we will be exploring Grand Teton National Park.