Yellowstone National Park August 25-September 2, 2007
August 24th, Nancy, June and Connie left Phoenix early. Arrived at Ogden, Utah around 7PM. Spent the night with Michelle and Steve, June’s daughter’s best friend. Could not ask for a more gracious family! Wine and Pork Chop dinner!
August 25th arrived at Colter Bay Tent Cabins, Teton Park, around 4 PM. $46.00 a night for 3 of us. The amenities are very simple just 4 bunk beds with thin mattress, potbelly stove, and a shelf. Picnic table just outside with a wonderful view of the forest! Shortly after preparing for the *****tail hour we were surprised by a neighbor telling us very quietly, “there’s a bear out here!” We ran to the front of the tent to find a big bear right by our car! Great photo opp! He wasn’t interested in our cocktail snacks or us. When we returned from dinner at the Colter Bay café we learned that another bear had come! One that had been tagged before, not good for the bear.
August 26th, Spent the day acclimating and viewing the park. Old Faithful was right on time. Saw elk, deer, buffalo, and lots of squirrels. $3.50 to take a shower. Can rent towels and purchase soap. Turned in our confirmation for our permit at the Back Country Office. Watched a film on bear encounters and was blessed when they offered to lend us a can of bear spray with holder.
August 27th ate $10.95 breakfast buffet at Colter Bay Restaurant. Very Good! Lots of fruit. Arrived at the trailhead around 10:30 AM. Hiked 7.7 miles on the DeLacy Creek Trail, 80 degrees. Arrived at 8R2 campsite 3:30PM. We were met by Amanda and Jeff from the Forestry Dept. doing their job to study environmental impact at each of the area’s campsites. Our campsite was beautiful! Located on a cliff overlooking Shoshone Lake. The full moon rose over the hills located on the opposite side of the lake creating a dance on the lake. Couldn’t have been anymore perfect! As the moon rose and the forest became dark, Connie noticed a shadow go across the camp and squealed. We tried to see what it was by turning on our flashlights. Whatever it was didn’t like the 3 lights shining at it and began growling and screaming, Scary! We turned off the flashlights and it calmed somewhat but began the screaming again when we turned the lights back on. This was not going to be a very restful night.
August 28th, lazy AM as we only have 3.3 miles to 8R5 campsite. The man at the Back Country Office told us that this is the most coveted site on the trip. Rated 5* in the book. 8R5 is just a short distance to Shoshone Geyser Basin, (not counting the 12 mile hike after you leave the trail that goes back to the campsite.) As we hiked we noticed an animal in a tree that was the same size and shape as the animal Connie had seen the night before so we took a picture. Later at Shoshone Geyser Basin we ran into Amanda, the Forestry Dept. worker. Showing her the picture she said that it was a Pine Martin and that it was very unusual to see one of these in day or night. She also mentioned that she had seen cub bear tracks down by the lake that morning. The Geyser Basin was very interesting. Lots of features and saw one geyser go off. Only shot up about 15′. Spent the rest of the day on the beach by camp. Saw Canadian geese and 2 cranes. The night was very noisy! Elk, male and female were talking to each other all night. Ran by our tent too.
August 29th, up at 7 and down the trail by 9:10 AM. 40 degrees, 5.3 miles today. Shortly after hiking through the Geyser Basin we saw Moose track, bear scant and a very unusual family. One of the girls pack was 36 pounds not counting the guitar she was carrying. Found out through conversation that the 3 kids are home schooled and they hike all over the country. This 17 year old could also play the flute recorder and played an Irish jig for us. TheGarland5.com. Check them out! Very interesting family. Had a little trouble finding the trail by the creek crossing. Trail gets very steep after leaving the lake. Gained 300′ in very short distance. ”Real heart pounder”. Got to camp around 2 PM. Beautiful! 8M2. We all agreed that this one should be a 5* location. Celebrated Nancy’s birthday with a bath, washed clothes, a campfire, balloons, candle, punching bags, Oreo & fig Newton cookies and Nancy’s favorite, Cheetos! Had a contest with the punching bags, June won. Judy, who couldn’t come, supplied us with Straight Poop trivia for more entertainment. Coldest night! 30 degrees! Ice water bottles
August 30th, 5.5 miles today to 8S1 campsite. Nice hike. Crossed Lewis River Channel with light rain but without incident. Camp is super! Right by the Lake complete with an actual out-house. We all agreed that the out-boxes were better as they didn’t stink. Located next to camp was the Forestry Dept. cabin. Jeff was there but we only saw him when he went into the lake for a fast bath. Super cold water. Evening brought us several deer. They let you get real close to them. The sunset was the best ever. Heard elk all night.
August 31st, woke to light rain, 6 AM. 7.6 miles today. Cold breakfast & coffee. Left camp at 8 AM. Stayed cloudy all day which gave the hike more ambience. Saw an owl and a male & female sage grouse. Cute! Arrived at car about 12:30 PM. We had placed all our food snack items in the trunk of the car because we were told not to leave anything in sight as the bear can recognize them. Maybe so, but the mice seem to be able to smell food in the trunk and had ate holes in every bag! Nothing is safe. Returned to the Back Country Office to return the Bear Spray. Stopped back at Colter Bay for a shower. As we left Grand Teton Park we saw a Moose in the creek and a Red Fox.
Got to Jackson Hole around 5PM. Had drinks and dinner with Monte, June’s friends. He was with his wife Kay and 3 friends. Had drinks at Cutty’s and dinner at Sidewinders. Recommend both places. Checked in at Antler Inn. Had sauna and hot tub but we didn’t know it till the next morning. Walked all over town, ice cream and fudge!
September 1st, up at 6AM. Breakfast at Teton Steakhouse, good fruit again. Walked through Farmer’s Market. Most beautiful fruits and veggies I’ve ever seen. Bought some berries and snow peas for later. Left for Richfield, Utah around 10:30 AM. Shortly after leaving we had a detour that took us through some back country and what a surprise to find a rancher trying to round up his cattle right on the road. Fall colors were beginning to turn. Osprey nest right outside of Jackson! Lots of beautiful scenery. Arrived at Hampton Hotel in Richfield around 7 Great room! Walked to KFC for chicken to go with fruits and veggies from Farmer’s Mkt. Along with wine, yummy! Took advantage of hot whirlpool for 20 minutes to help the sore muscles. Lights out 11 PM.
September 2nd, up at 6AM to a hot breakfast supplied with hotel room. $89.00 for room, whirlpool and breakfast through AAA. Great deal! On the road by 7:30AM. Only strange thing on the way home, Manikins sitting in Police cars at both ends of town in Mt. Carmel. Did slow us down.