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Saturday, May 11, 2013


We made it to West Yellowstone (the city just west of the park entrance) just in time for lunch... So, we checked on Yelp to see what people recommended in the area and this place came up!  If you've jumped on the food truck craze, you'd love this place because it takes it to a whole other level!

Not only was the food INCREDIBLE and completely 100% authentically Mexican...

...but they cook your meal in the back and you actually eat it on the bus!  GENIUS!

We made it to Yellowstone, which happens to be the very first National Park in the world by the way, and checked into our campsite in Madison Campground.  Did I mention we're here in off season - cuz we're here in off season and this is the ONLY campground open in Yellowstone this time of year!  Thank goodness we loved it and it was right near the river and close to some of the best geysers in the park - including Old Faithful!

Speaking of Old Faithful... It was the first Geyser we drove to check out!  Old Faithful is truly old and faithful... Its eruptions can shoot 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of boiling water up to 185 feet in the air for 1 1/2 to 5 minutes and it's called the MOST predictable geographic feature on Earth because it erupts almost every 91 minutes!  The rangers actually have a sign nearby with the next eruption time so you're sure not to miss it! 

 On our way back north, we stopped in at Biscuit Basin, an area with a ton of "thermals" or in plain English, hot springs, or holes in the earth where hotter than boiling water randomly bubbles up and sometimes even shoots up into the air like a geyser! I wish I could explain why the hot springs make the earth glow in oranges and greens, but I just have no idea!  Science has never been my forte! 

 There's a little boardwalk of sorts that you can walk along to see all of the "thermals" and there are signs all along the way reminding you not to step off because the crust is unstable.  Could you imagine falling into one of these things!  Ugghhhh!  We were walking by this one and as you can see, the water was just hanging out at the top and then it started gushing boiling water up in the air!

We took our sweet time checking out all of the "thermals" here, but decided it was time to get back in the car with a storm like that heading our way!

Luckily, our route back to the campground side swiped the storm and we missed it completely, so we were able to pull off the road to gather some dry firewood for camp!

We spent the rest of the night cooking dinner and staying cuddled up next to the fire!  The next day, we stopped in at the Artist's Paint Pots for a mile long walk/hike to see the colorful hot springs!  I never knew so many hot springs existed in Yellowstone!  Apparently there are over 10,000 "thermal features" in Yellowstone!  You could probably spend a month here and never see all of them!

Sadly, everything in Yellowstone is completely spread out.  I just read that the park is larger than the state of Delaware and it shows!  We spent the majority of today driving from site to site, with 15-30 miles in between sometimes!  Forgive me, I have no idea what the name of this waterfall is, but we spotted it from the road somewhere on our drive from Madison Junction and Mammoth Hot Springs.

After about 50 miles, we made it to Mammoth Hot Springs and it was definitely worth the time spent cooped up in the car!  It was like crystal blue boiling waterfalls on a marshmallow mountain!

We had definitely never seen anything like this!  And what's crazy is, it's only 25 years old!  The thermals (hot springs / geysers) are always changing throughout the park!  Some go dormant while others pop up randomly and make stuff like this! 

As we were pulling out of the parking lot, we stopped the ranger and asked where all the best places to see wild animal are.  She pointed us north and we jumped right back on the road and saw all kinds of animals - like this Bull Elk!  

... and this momma Black bear and her two cubs!  

... and another Bull Elk!
 Driving through Yellowstone is like taking a North American style safari!  In the last week, we've seen:
1 Moose
3 Bull Elk
2 Coyotes
4 Black Bear and 2 cubs
1 Yellow Bellied Marmot
300+ Bison or Buffalo... I can't really tell the difference!
500+ Deer
and over 1,000 sheep!

We made it back to camp right as the sun was setting around 8:30pm and cooked up some stuffed bell peppers for dinner! :)

This is our little camping kitchen set up. :)

We spent the rest of the night by the fire roasting marshmallows and trying to stay warm!  This fire was ESPECIALLY awesome because I happened to look down at the wood and there was a distinctive HEART SHAPE right in the middle!  See it?

It's a sign, that love is in the air - and in the fire apparently! :)