Day 10 - Driving to Yellowstone-West, Montana via Yellowstone NP
This morning we get up early and have again breakfast at the Sunset House and this time we take only 2 turkey sandwiches for lunch as they are so big! Once back at the hotel, on the parking lot, we came across the man of the couple we meet last night and we have a short talk with him. Nice man!
We check out at the hotel, get some fuel and drive through the Shoshone National Forest. A beautiful drive! We enter Yellowstone through the east entrance and for the time being the weather is nice.
We drive across the Fishing Bridge, pass Hayden Valley up to Tower and then through the Lamar Valley up to almost the northeast entrance.
We try to see some bears but no luck today... but then, near Tower, we see a ranger with a crowd around him so we decide to have a look. It's a bear with 3 cubs but you have to look very well and even with our camera it is hard to see. A bit later we see a herd of pronghorns with a little one and just behind our car a pronghorn is crossing the road. We are now at the same spot where in 2011 we saw a badger's nest but now nothing is left of it. We stop at one of the overlooks and enjoy our picnic and again, we see a pronghorn crossing the road. Then we drive back and arrive at Mammoth where we take the road to Gardiner to have a short walk in this little town and take pictures from the Roosevelt Arch, we haven't been here the previous times. For this we do have to drive out of the park. In Gardiner we see a group of Wapiti's with little ones standing on the road. Afterwards we re-enter the park and continue our road through Madison, Norris and the west entrance to our hotel in Yellowstone-West.
Again we see a group of people next to a ranger. Apparently there's a mountain goat somewhere way up on the rocks. We try to see it and a lady points where it is. It is so far away that we thought it was snow but it's a mountain goat?! With our camera we can just see it, high and dry. How did it get there?
We notice that there are lots of visitors in the park, maybe because it's Sunday (let's hope that's the reason). We respect the speed limit but we are constantly followed by cars coming very close up to just a few meters. What if we suddenly have to stop? We try, as much as possible, to let these hot-heads pass us but even that is dangerous as they drive so close we hardly have time to pull over. Let's hope after the weekend this will get better.
We check in at the hotel and drive to the Outback restaurant for dinner. This is the third trip we have dinner here but tomorrow it will be the last time (tomorrow we are meeting David and Donna here, whom we meet in 2008). After dinner when we get out of the restaurant it's already raining.
We go to the store next door and have a long and nice chat with the managers. He is from Florida and she is from Arizona. They complain that they are freezing there buts off right here! They give us some tips about restaurants which we certainly will check out.
We drive back to the hotel and go to sleep.
Daytrip approx. 352 km