August 27th, 2010

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Yellowstone Con: The Grand Canyon

When people think of Yellowstone they immediately think about Old Faithful. There is another geologic wonder of the park that always seems to get relegated to the 2nd tier; the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. It is a truly magnificent gorge complete with 2 beautiful waterfalls and every hue and shade of red, yellow, and orange found in its walls. The canyon would be our destination for Tuesday.

It's so hard to take a bad picture of the canyon. It's just so photogenic! The crowds were once again pretty horrendous, but we managed. We hit as many overlooks as possible. A few of us made the trek down to the brink of the lower falls. I ended up falling on my ass when I hit a patch of pea gravel on the way down the steep trail. Good thing I have a lot of padding on my fat butt.

There was once again a picnic lunch not too far away. There was talk of fursuiting the canyon, but the crowds and the drama from the previous day made that option not as inviting as it should have been.

We then proceeded north to Tower Falls, another of the park's spectacular waterfalls. When I was first there with my aunt back in 1981 we were told the story of a massive boulder on the lip of the falls. Early trappers bet on what time of day it would eventually go over. They were off by a couple hundred years. It finally went over in 1986.

We continued around the northern end of the "figure 8" all the way to Mammoth Hot Springs, stopping briefly at Undine Falls, yet another beautiful waterfall. The day was getting short, so we decided to put off Mammoth until tomorrow. It was just a relaxing drive back to the cabin.

I should mention that today was the day we saw our 1st bison. We were warned by a tourist in Vernal to not get too excited about seeing a single bison. There were LOTS in the valley to the north of Lake Yellowstone. It was still very cool to get close to these magnificent creatures. One was ambling alongside the road, so I pulled about 100 yards in front of him and just waited for him to come to us. My best pic is behind the cut.

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone:


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