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Day #5: Yellowstone NP

We survived well our first night in the tent, despite overnight lows in the 40s. I couldn’t really figure out how to control the temperature of the tent stove, but I managed to get a fire going before bed and again in the morning before the girls got up. Plus, the sleeping gear for us (comfy beds w/ lots of warm and cozy linens) was surprisingly pleasant over night. I didn’t sleep especially well even by my standards, but I still woke up refreshed.

In the morning, we got coffee in the reception tent and cinnamon rolls (excellent!) in town at a place called Woodside Bakery. We then headed into Yellowstone to visit the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. On the way, we encountered a number of buffalo including many that were strolling in the road (a scene that was repeated numerous times for us):

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone had a spectacular waterfall, but I was otherwise less excited by it when compared to Waimea Canyon in Kauai (because it’s majestic and on an island!) or the Grand Canyon in Arizona (because it’s the “Grand” canyon by which all others must be judged). 

Emerson was excited to spot an Osprey nest in the canyon near this spot: 

From the canyon, we drove up toward the park’s entrance at Mammoth Hot Springs. The drive was greatly slowed due to road construction, and we once again found visitor parking and facilities to be very crowded in this area. 

 Nonetheless, it was worth it. 

The climb up and down (or down and up, depending on where you park) looks more daunting than it is. Here’s a view from the top of Minerva terrace:

Here’s a view up from the bottom of Palatte Spring: 

And a view of Minerva Terrace:

We opted to drive home via Tower / Roosevelt country, which was longer in terms of distance but was a different route through another part of the park, seemingly less popular with the tourists, and overall just more enjoyable. Here’s a view in the area of the fossil forest as we climbed Mt. Washburn:

We ate dinner at Beartooth Barbacue (good) in West Yellowstone and then grabbed some excellent homemade ice cream at City Creamery (excellent) before heading back to Yellowstone Under Canvas to go to sleep. 

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