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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Scratching YNP's surface.....

(CLICK ON PICTURES TO ENLARGE)

6:55 am - Wednesday - 50º F, 77 % humidity, wind - CALM....partly cloudy skies with a forecast high of 80º F.

So Tuesday was our first real day of exploring YNP.......now this park is comprised of 2.2 million acres, almost 3,500 square miles, so we are not going to see 'it' in one day.  The 'Grand Loop' highway is over 140 miles long all by itself.....

Covered over 115 miles and barely scratched the surface of YNP!

......our modest 'Jello plan' for Tuesday was to drive out to Cooke City and back.....around 115 miles round trip (see map above) taking US-89 to US-212 (aka: NE Entrance Road) which would take us near Tower Falls, through the Lamar Valley through 'Silver Gate' and then Cooke city.  At times US-212 gets over 7,000' elevation......


.......other than one short construction zone, and a few inconsiderate folks who just decided to stop dead in the middle of the road to take pictures, the drive was uneventful.  The speed limit on most the highways inside YNP is 45 mph, but when you get near popular sites it can decrease down to 25 mph at the lowest.  Our first stop was at the Roosevelt Lodge, which is about 2.5 miles from Tower Falls.....we stopped in to buy a map at the local Yellowstone General Store......



Roosevelt Lodge General Store

......this lodge was built in 1906 in commemoration of a camping trip then PresidentTeddy Roosevelt made to this area in April of 1903.  Next we were off to see Tower Falls where another Yellowstone General Store is situated.....

 
The iconic Tower Falls

 Our only 'usie' of the day....Tower Creek in the background

.....the geology of this area is very interesting, and it is called the 'Grand Canyon' of Yellowstone......







.....next up was the Lamar Valley where there are numerous large herds of buffalo roaming freely.......and, of course, 'the skies are not cloudy all day'......



 The mighty Yellowstone River

......eventually we passed the Northeast Entrance to YNP, then Silver Gate.......




.....arriving in Cooke City around lunchtime........we quickly found a very cool cafe to have lunch at called the Beartooth Cafe (Yelp gives them 4 stars on 34 reviews, but there was no cell service in Cooke City so we just winged it)......




.....we both ordered their Beartooth BLT......the service was above average, and the BLT's were exceptional.  I ordered a Pigs Ass Porter to chase the BLT and was not disappointed.....I had one of these previously a few years ago in West Glacier, MT.

We began the drive back a little after 1 pm planning to make several stops along the way.....our first was at the turnout for Barronette Peak (right in the middle of the Lamar Valley).....I'm taking the picture, and TLE is already a hundred yards ahead of me......in her defense it was beginning to sprinkle.....



.......we saw so much beauty on our round trip drive, but this little turnout provided some of my best shots of the day......



.....we arrived back at YRVP (Yellowstone RV Park) around 2:30 pm after another uneventful drive.  By the time we returned the temperature was nearing 86º F so we turned on the AC for the first time this summer.  Within an hour it began to rain, and we even got a little hail for a few minutes.....that cooled the air down considerably, and we turned the AC off.......around 9:15 pm we caught this amazing sunset.....


.....a perfect end to a wonderful day....to think we have barely scratched the surface here at YNP.....there are so many iconic places left to visit we are beginning to wonder if 3.5 months is enough time????

Thanks for stopping by!

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