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Monday August 15- Yellowstone, northern section

We both woke up at 1 AM as the motor home was rocking back and forth due to severe wind. Eventually the wind died out and the rain started. It must have been a pretty strong front that went through, as the motor home was really moving! When we woke up, it was raining, but cleared pretty quickly.

We paid bills and updated our budget, then took off for Yellowstone. We stopped in West Yellowstone for a copy of USA Today. We have been in withdrawal, as this is the first one that we have been able to find in over a week!

We were able to use the express entrance to the park since we have our Interagency Pass. It was fun to drive on this road, as the last time we traveled this route, was on a snowmobile! Sure looked different! About 8 miles into the park, traffic stopped. So we pulled over and hopped out of the car to see what was going on. People said that there had been a young bear up on the side of the mountain, but it had disappeared before we were able to see it. We drove about another 1.5 miles and saw these elks.








At Madison, we turned left and headed north. This was my third time to Yellowstone, and my first time going this direction in the park. We stopped at Gibbon Falls and took this picture.

We stopped at Beryl Spring. This spring is called Beryl due to its color, which in the right light is a blueish-green color. The water temperature is usually just a little below boiling.

We continued on to the Norris Geyser Basin.  Norris Geyser Basin is the hottest and most changeable thermal area in Yellowstone.  This is Porcelain Basin, with various ‘hot’ areas. You can walk on a boardwalk around the basin. 
We visited Steamboat Geyser. This geyser has smaller bursts, but the last time it really performed was in 1995. Steamboat is the world’s tallest active geyser, Steamboat can erupt to more than 300 feet,  showering viewers with its mineral-rich waters.  We were able to get close to this geyser, and I was not excited about it going full blast while we were there.This was the Norris Visitor Center , which was built in 1929-1930 using wood and rocks from the park. 

We stopped for our picnic lunch at one of the small picnic areas. It was starting to become warmer, and we shed our jackets. After lunch we continued north, stopping at Golden Gate Falls. 

We passed through Golden Gate and continued on to Mammoth Hot Springs. We stopped to view Liberty Cap Rock formation,

made from mineral deposits from a hot springs. We could also see Mammoth Hot Springs.

and Fort Yellowstone. Fort Yellowstone is a historic site. Most of the buildings were constructed while the US Army managed the park from 1886-1918, when the park was turned over to the National Park Service.  The area is now the Park Headquarters.  We went in and toured the Visitor Center and stamped our passport.

Now we started east through the northern part of the park. Our next stop was at Undine Falls. We hiked out to the falls and took this picture.

At Tower Junction, the road turned south, and we stopped at Tower Falls. We walked out to the falls, and I spotted this ground squirrel.

He was not afraid of people, he was a little beggar!






We drove over Dunraven Pass, where the wind was howling and the temperature dropped  into the 50’s.  After the pass, we stopped at the Petrified Tree. What is left of this tree is 50 million years old!

We continued south until we turned west at Canyon Village, completing the top portion of a figure 8, the design of the park roads. We continued back to Norris, then drove south, stopping at the Artist Paint Pot. We had tried to stop here on our way north, but the parking lot was full, and after cruising the lot a couple of times we gave up. Now we were able to pull into a parking space on the first trip around, and we hiked out to view the area.






We continued south then turned west in Madison, driving the 14 miles out of the park to West Yellowstone and back over the pass to Henry Lake State Park. When we arrived back at the motor home, the sun was shining, but the wind was really blowing! The poor tent was being pushed sideways by the wind, so we attempted to take it down. We finally got the poles out and staked the tent to the ground, so that we can wait for the wind to die down before we pack up the tent. Across from us there is a family in 4 tents. One of theirs had fallen down, but it looked like everything was still there, in their site.

It was too windy to eat or sit outside, so we grilled our pork chop on our portable electric grill in the motor home.  Around 7: 30 pm, we noticed that the wind had died down, so we ran outside and rolled up the tent. About 15 minutes after we finished the wind picked up again!

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