Da Mystery Road Trip Revealed, Part Eighteen

We were just about to enter Yellowstone! This shot of Gardiner is around the corner from the main street we’d come in on. In the middle of the left-hand side, you can see the corner of something spectacular.

IMG_0935

Gardiner, Montana, right near the Roosevelt Arch talk about getting out of Bozeman in just enough time

Roosevelt Arch

Roosevelt Arch

What is it? It’s the famous Roosevelt Arch, named for President Theodore Roosevelt. It looks pretty impressive against the snow-capped mountains, doesn’t it?

Here’s an aerial view of Gardiner and Roosevelt Arch.

The arch is massive! And very majestic as well. I wish I could better explain how I felt as we got closer to it. Let me think for a bit. (Jeopardy song playing…..) Okay, here goes. Yellowstone was established as the first National Park in the whole world in 1872. Previously, the area had been occupied for more than 11,000 years by several groups of Native Americans. And here I was, travelling where those people before me had travelled for thousands of years! And I felt kind of small. Not in size, but like I was playing some kind of small part in our country’s history just by being there. Maybe not even that. I was in awe, thinking about the people who used to live here, about all the people who have driven through this arch, about the history of this incredible area. And now here I was, kind of nondescript Mokihana, following in their footsteps/tire tracks.

Roosevelt Arch into Yellowstone

Roosevelt Arch into Yellowstone

We stopped by the side of the road to take these photos. This is over the top of the arch.

Roosevelt Arch

Roosevelt Arch

This is on one side:

Roosevelt Arch

Roosevelt Arch

Roosevelt ArchAnd this on the other:

Okay, here we go! Right through the arch…

Roosevelt Arch

…and into Yellowstone!

We're in Yellowstone!

We looked back at Gardiner before heading on into the park…

Looking back at Gardiner, Montana

…where almost immediately we saw Pronghorn Antelope!

Pronghorn Antelope

It was really exciting! This was the first time we’d ever seen Pronghorns.

Pronghorn Antelope just inside the Roosevelt Arch

We got in line for the toll booth. We were very glad that it wasn’t the middle of summer when ukutrillion cars were there.

Yellowstone Entrance

Cousins had told us what the fee would be, and we were glad to pay it. Our whole carload got it for the same price!

Yellowstone Entrance.  Musubi gets in free and so does Kukui

Don’t worry. We’re not even going to get close!

Just inside the entrance to Yellowstone on North Entrance Road

Not like this stupidhead lolo man. There’s always someone who thinks the rules don’t apply to him.

I can’t tell you how glad I was that we were able to make this trip! I was so grateful to Linda for suggesting it, and so happy the snow had stopped so that we were able to do it. Here we are, just heading up the hill from the entrance on North Entrance Road.

On North Entrance Road

Unfortunately, we were still too early for a lot of fall color, so I was happy to see this stand of lovely aspen trees.

Beautiful aspen

North Entrance Road just after the road curves south.

North Entrance Road just after the road curves south

The Yellowstone River.

Yellowstone River on North Entrance Road

I loved how we kept driving alongside the river; it was beginning to feel like an old friend by this time.

Yellowstone River

When we drive south down Interstate 5 we always see a sign like this, but to see a similar one here was really exciting. I grew up ‘way, ‘way south of this line!

45th Parallel - in Montana - near Slide Lake

The river makes a kind of split here, then comes back together again. This is lovely country. It wasn’t too hard to picture Native Americans living here years and years ago.

Along the Yellowstone River in Montana about where the river splits

Oh my gosh. We’re in Wyoming!!! Up till now, the furthest east I ever got to be was Pocatello, Idaho. And now look! I’ve added two more states to my map!

IMG_0962a

We’re in Wyoming!

Guess what?  We're in Wyoming!

We’re still on North Entrance Road and climbing. We’re not near the river now.

Heading South on N Entrance Road in Wyoming

The curves were pretty sharp here. The cold air kept the snow on the hills, too.

Sharp curves on N Entrance Road, Wyoming

Try look da elevation! I’d only heard about Mammoth Hot Springs, and now we’re almost there!

Mammoth Hot Springs!

We’re just coming into Mammoth; so far the spinner is hanging on well! It was very, very cold outside, but no signs of snow. The skies stayed clear and very blue.

Coming into Mammoth Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs is huge! There’s a hotel, post office, and park-like areas. There are also these!

Elk at Mammoth Hot Springs

Elk! We see a fair amount of them in Oregon at times, but it was still exciting. They are just magnificent, and roam the entire Mammoth area just as calm as can be.

These guys are right in the middle of the town of Mammoth. Wyoming!

Elk at Mammoth Hot Springs

I wonder if the males are this calm in the Fall! I highly doubt it.

More elk

This is my favorite photo of them. This guy stood stock still for a long period of time, as if surveying his kingdom.

Elk at Mammoth Hot Springs

Leaving Mammoth, we now turned onto Grand Loop Road. This is Beaver Pond Hot Springs.

Beaver Pond Hot Springs - Grand Loop Road

These ponds have a rather gloomy name, yeah?

Sepulcher Beaver Ponds

For a really wonderful tour of the beaver pond loop trail, try go here. Molly has some wonderful photos of the area in summer.

And this is Mammoth Hot Springs.

Mammoth Hot Springs

It’s fascinating to read about the area. Try go here if you want to. It’s well worth your time, and you can get far more information about the area than I can give you here.

It was hard to know that we just didn’t have time to stop and explore the area more. But it helped to know that someday we’d go back, probably when it’s warmer!

Mammoth Hot Springs

There are boardwalks everywhere!

Mammoth Hot Springs

This area is just across from the hot springs. Keep in mind that all this time we’re driving, and the springs go on and on.

Across from Mammoth Hot Springs

It’s almost too much to take in! What an incredible place this is! Mammoth Hot Springs still yet here!

Mammoth Hot Springs

When they called it Mammoth Hot Springs, they weren’t kidding!

Mammoth Hot Springs

Here’s another shot of the hot springs. Geothermal activity here is very, very apparent!

Mammoth Hot Springs - end part 18 add youtube vids

Here’s an excellent video of the area, showing hot springs, terraces, and a wonderful panorama of what the area looks like.

And here’s an aerial shot of Mammoth and the hot springs as well. You can get a good idea of how big the hot springs are, and can also see the green, grassy area where we saw the elk.

And here’s how far we’ve come on this leg of the trip. I do hope you’re enjoying this as much as we did. Even going back through these photos I am in awe of the majesty that greeted us everywhere we went!

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7 Responses to Da Mystery Road Trip Revealed, Part Eighteen

  1. Kalena says:

    what a grand adventure!……….love the photos of the elk!

  2. Clare says:

    Been a long time since I’ve been to Yellowstone. Still looks as beautiful as ever. Mahalo for the tour.

  3. Kikue Mugen says:

    National Geographic put out a magazine about the volcano that sleeps under Yellowstone. A HUGE thing below the surface of the planet which takes up a grand part of the U.S.A. I don’t even want to imagine what will happen to the country if that ever decides to blow. Massive destruction!

    On the lighter and brighter side I enjoyed your journey like crazy. The area is huge and mammoth indeed! The wild animals are amazing to say the least. Oh how I want to go now and explore all those trails you had mentioned.

    I love to think about the Indians living FREE without the oppression of the people who pushed them from their lands. It is sad to think of that because they, of all Americans, truly belonged to the land, mainly because they never believed that the land ‘belonged’ to them.

    Thank you for the ride. What a grand excursion this has turned out to be!!!

  4. AFK says:

    I especially love the animal and river pitchas. I couldn’t help thinking, when looking at the big white spots on the sides of the pronghorn antelopes, that they could have a sign saying “This space for rent!”

  5. Babooze says:

    OK, i neva went hea but now i have thanks to Moki. I especially like the one of the Babooze wit da Buffalo. He got wun free ride. Mahalo for sharin’ Moki.

  6. Thank you thank you for teh tour! I have always wanted to visit there. maybe some day!!

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