5:56 am - Thursday - September 28th - 30º F (Brrrrrr!), humidity 95%, wind 2 mph out of the south by southwest....when the sun comes up it should be clear blue skies.....pitch black right now. Why am I up so early you ask? Well, today begins our new 9 am to 6 pm hours. Our shift begins at 8:45 am, which means we must depart Gardiner by 8:15 am, or thereabouts.
Wednesday would really be our last opportunity to do some more site seeing here in Yellowstone National Park. The one iconic view we had not been able to get even close to was Canyon Falls. Every time we would drive by the entrances to the several vista points the traffic into them was at a standstill. Some of the entrances to the parking lots can be anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 mile in length, and the thought of sitting in stop (mostly stopped) and go traffic for an hour just never appealed to us. We were hoping that this trip over Dunraven Pass to Canyon Village would be different.......and it was.
We left home around 11 am to make the 1+ hour drive over to Canyon Village to first have lunch with our good friend Art Young who is a manager at the Adventure Center store there. We first me Art at Amazon in Fernley, NV when we worked Peak Season there a few years ago. We became friends and stayed in contact. He is the one who helped us secure our job here at Mammoth Hot Springs, and we will be forever grateful. At any rate, we met him around 12:15 pm at his store and walked the short distance over to the General Store and their Grill for lunch. We were quickly seated, and placed our orders for food, and then commenced a non-stop conversation for the next 40 minutes before Art had to return to his job. He is also going to the Grand Canyon this winter, so we are excited that he will be able to join us on some hiking adventures this winter!
From there we drove a short distance south to the 'Artist's Point' vista point for Canyon Falls....as we drove past the first two entrances we saw there was NO traffic......how exciting! There was no traffic at the 'Artist's Point' entrance and we just whizzed right into the parking lot finding a parking spot within seconds......a few minutes later we got our first view of the iconic Canyon Falls.......