Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Yellowstone National Park

On our way down to Yellowstone from Missoula, we stopped by this ranch. 
From Wiki:  The Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, created in 1972, commemorates the Western cattle industry from its 1850s inception through recent times. The original ranch was established in 1862 by a Canadian fur trader, Johnny Grant, at Cottonwood Creek, Montana (future site of Deer Lodge, Montana), along the banks of the Clark Fork river. The ranch was later expanded by a cattle baron, Conrad Kohrs (1866–1920). The 1,618 acres (6.55 km2) historic site (originally designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960) is maintained today as a working ranch by the National Park Service.
Here are a couple of pics of the ranch house...pretty posh for a prairie cattle ranch...
Pics of the bunk house...
Nancy reading about the ranch along side the bunk house and a pic of the Clydesdale's...
The chuck wagon cook offers us a cup of cowboy (strong) coffee, but we decline...and below some of the many tack areas in several different sheds/barns...
OK, enough of the ranch stuff...on with the Yellowstone stuff...The iconic pic of Yellowstone, Old Faithful, and she still is, as just about every hour, give or take a few minutes, she does her thing.
We were here a couple of years ago, but events (me not feeling well) forced an early departure.  So, here we are, once again back in THE PARK, the oldest (1872) and the most dramatic, arguably of course, of them all.
This has just about every geological & flora & fauna the eye & mind can imagine.  And we just never tire of driving from point to point in this vast (2.2 million acres) wilderness.  Now, after just returning from Alaska, I can tell you that Alaska does in fact have the largest National Park (Wrangell St Elias) and, I am happy to report, that Alaska has the THE most vast land one can ever hope to see.  But for the money, Yellowstone is hard to beat!  Period!
Just look at these photos!  Unless you've been here, you just can't imagine that this diversity in scenery is from one NP.
The Yellowstone River & upper falls...& the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone...
Mud pots & the Madison River early in the morning...
This place was awesome!  It roars, true, and stinks too, as a lot of the park is belching the sulfuric acid gas from the bowels of the Yellowstone Volcano.  But the storyboard in front of this place states that a hundred years ago one could hear this from four miles away.  This park is a geo-thermal science wonder, and scientists come from all over the world to discover & study this geo-thermal wonder, Yellowstone National Park.
Even the drives from point to point is rewarding.  We crossed the continental Divide several times, within the Park.
These pics are from the Mammoth Hot Springs area in the northern part of the park, just west of the town of Gardiner.  Above is the little borough of the Hot Springs area that was the HQ of the Army that patrolled and maintained the security of the national treasure in the early part of the 20th century.
Some parts look so mesmerizing & pleasant, while other parts look like another planet.
The dogie below wanted to go on the hike too, but will have to stay and protect the car.
Yummy! those Soap berries...

We were somewhat disappointed that we saw no bears this trip, but we did see a lot of Buffalo.  A lot!  We were told that the bears, both brown & black were deep in the woods and prairie, bulking up for the winter sleep.
This was our first experience at the Grand Canyon part of the park, and we visited the area twice during our four-day stay at the Grizzly RV Park in West Yellowstone.
Our cameras cannot begin to show how beautiful this area is.  One will have to visit to grasp the true magnitude of the panorama of the colors and sculpting Mother Nature has painted here in this park.
We could have spent another week here.
The weather was good for one day, and rainy the other times, mostly.  But we made the most of our time while there.
These spires seem to be suspended above the canyon.
And did I mention that this park is a trout fishing paradise.  We saw at least a hundred people fishing.  And with inviting streams like this, it's no wonder.  There are many streams & rivers in the park.
And we had lunch one day at the Old Fathful Inn.
We were lucky to catch this big boy "encouraging" his harem to move along...
So we leave this place sadly, and head for home, we will make several more stops along the way.  So, tune and see where our travels take us next.  So, from Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota, RVing Beach Bums.