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Wednesday August 17- Island Park, Mesa Falls, Yellowstone Hayden Valley

 After breakfast, we headed into Island Park to pick up our mail.  The city’s population was 215 at the 2000 census. The city was incorporated by owners of the many lodges and resorts along US 20 in 1947, primarily to circumvent Idaho’s liquor laws, that prohibited the sale of liquor outside of city limits. It is only 500 feet wide in most locations and at 33 miles long, claims to have the longest “Main Street” in the world( on the internet, USA on the sign).

We drove south at 65 mph on “Main Street”, slowing down at some of the resorts to 45 mph. The Post Office was right on the Rt. 20, so that made it easy to find!

We continued south to the ‘historic’ town of Ashton. Not much there except some grain silo’s and a library. We turned left at SH 47 onto the Mesa Falls Scenic By-way. We were immediately stopped for road construction which continued quite a few miles. Eventually, we entered the Caribou Targhee National Forest. We stopped at a scenic overlook and took a picture of the Grand Tetons from a long distance.

From the left they are: Mt. Owen 12,928 ft; Grand Teton 13,770 ft.; Table Mt. 11,206 ft. ; Middle Teton 12,804 ft; South Teton 12,541 ft.

We continued to Lower Mesa Falls, a short walk from the parking lot.  Next to the viewpoint were these lava rocks. Look at the symmetry, they look like they were put there by the park service, not a volcano! 
Our fourth stop was at Upper Mesa Falls, part of the National Forest park system, and a paid stop. We used our Interagency Pass, which has long ago paid for itself! The building is the  visitor center 

which was built by the electric company and was used to house employees, then as a company retreat. Many local events and dances were held there. We took the dogs and hiked down to the falls. Love the rainbow effect! This was very pretty! upper Mesa Falls is on the Henry Fork of the Snake River. The height is 114 ft,, width 200 ft, volume varies from 600-1500 cubic feet/second which is 387 million to 967 million gallons/day! 

We traded picture-taking again, so here we are:

We continued on RS 47 which took us back to SR 20, the main highway, and back to Henry Lake State Park.

At 4:30 we left for Yellowstone. We traveled over to the east side of the park, to the Hayden Valley,  as we have been told that the animals come out as the temperature goes down. We arrived to find lots of people standing out on a hill. The river was between us and the animals. By the time we had gotten there, at that spot, the first show was over. There had been a pack of wolves following a carcass down the river. They had disappeared into a groups of trees. So we moved about 300 yards north to an actual stopping area and we were able to see a grizzly bear and her cub, two black bears and their cubs, another black bear, a lone wolf and an eagle. We were pleased. They were too far away for me to be able to take a decent picture of them, but we were able to see them clearly through the binoculars. Now if I can just find Bullwinkle I will be a happy camper!

One Response

  1. It was really nice sharing Yellowstone NP with you guys. Hope you are enjoying the Grand Tetons.

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