Orlando Bingles’ Rocky Mountain High: Day 3

by Bingle on May.21, 2009, under Richard Bingle Family

First deer sighting

Day three saw us leaving Teton Village around 9:00 a.m. on our way to Gardiner, MT via Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. We took a “shortcut” into the park leaving the hotel and saw our first deer of the trip. The deer was followed by more buffalo and elk sightings, and even some pronghorn antelope.

Hiking near Colbert Bay

We stopped at the Colter Bay visitors center and in a moment of weakness we decided to take a 2 mile hike along the lake. Although the temperature outside was quite pleasant, there was actually still quite a bit of snow in the woods along the path. However, with no downed trees and no real elevation changes, it was actually quite nice to be able to enjoy being in the woods and enjoy the scenery instead of having to be constantly watching where you were putting your feet.

After our hike we set our sights on Yellowstone. Right near the West Thumb area we encountered our first “bear jam”. Cars were pulled over on both sides of the street and several park rangers were directing traffic. We pulled off the road and piled out to find out what everyone was looking at. Turned out it was a grizzly bear sleeping peacefully behind a fallen tree a couple hundred feet off the road. It must have been spotted earlier when it was active as it was almost impossible to see. But, it was a bear, so we were excited anyway!

Old Faithful

We arrived at Old Faithful just in time to see Beehive Geyser erupt in the distance. Beehive erupts at irregular intervals, but when it does it shoots a column of water about 200 feet into the air. It was pretty impressive, but it would have been nice if we had been closer. We waited about 30 minutes for the next predicted eruption of Old Faithful (which is always cool) and then continued on towards Gardiner. Along the way we saw lots more elk and buffalo, including three buffalo that decided they needed to cross a bridge thus causing a couple of people to scramble, and our first baby buffalo of the trip (Alyssa loves the baby buffalo).

It was almost 9:00 p.m. by the time we made it to Gardiner and got checked in to our hotel/motel. Gardiner rolls up the sidewalks about that time so we opted for dinner at the Yellowstone Mining Company adjacent to the hotel and then rolled into bed exhausted.

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