Thursday, August 2, 2018

Yellowstone National Park Upper Loop

Despite the upper loop having less stops planned than the lower loop -, we drove just as much due to the greater distance between each.  Because of this, the scenery is ever changing 

and quite diverse with elevation changes great enough to still see snow even though we were in shorts. 

Although Lamar Valley was our destination of the day, we did make one stop at an overlook of the Yellowstone caldera 

that rewarded us a faraway glimpse of the Grand Teton in the distance, something we had to sacrifice in order to maximize our time at Yellowstone

As we continued, I believe I had a glimpse of a grizzly bear in the bushes not too far from the road.  Being respectful of that distance, I stayed in the car and only caught some fuzzy pictures.  Feel free to confirm if my sighting is correct. 

By the time we got to the junction leading to Lamar Valley, it was already time for lunch so we stopped at Roosevelt Lodge. 

Roosevelt Lodge

Although the dining room was not full yet, we still had to wait for a table as they staggered the seating as to not overwhelm the staff.  Luckily they had a beautiful lobby 

and rocking chairs outside that my dad took advantage of with a wonderful view to pass the time.

With all my travels, when it comes to food, I tend to choose options that are more local and therefore something I rarely would find at home, if at all.  

Bison and huckleberry are two examples so the huckleberry BBQ chicken sandwich and bison tamales it is. 

Lamar Valley

After lunch, we started heading out to Lamar Valley and passed a bison just a few inches away from my window on the way out, 

almost making me feel guilty about that tamale. 

The sightings almost immediately after of what looked like mountain goats but someone else said were sheep, cleared my mind as we just watched these amazing animals in the wild. 

Then it was miles and miles of bison roaming in the valley, 

along the road, and even crossing the road

that it took so much restraint for me not to belt out right then and there, Home on the Range.  “O give me a home where the buffaloes roam…”

The only thing that could have topped it was the black bear sighting in the far distance up a hill.  

After last year’s camera fail on my whale watching tour, I am so grateful I now have a camera with a long range zoom. 

Although Mammoth Hot Springs is completely doable afterwards completing the loop, we already felt like we were ending on a high note and made a collective decision to skip it to cut out a few miles drive by returning the way we came but giving us a great excuse to return in the future. 

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