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.
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.
We stopped by the side of the road to take these photos. This is over the top of the arch.
This is on one side:
And this on the other:
Okay, here we go! Right through the arch…
…and into Yellowstone!
We looked back at Gardiner before heading on into the park…
…where almost immediately we saw Pronghorn Antelope!
It was really exciting!
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.
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!
Don’t worry. We’re not even going to get close!
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.
Unfortunately, we were still too early for a lot of fall color, so I was happy to see this stand of lovely aspen trees.
North Entrance Road just after the road curves south.
The Yellowstone River.
I loved how we kept driving alongside the river; it was beginning to feel like an old friend by this time.
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!
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.
I had to kakaroach this photo because we missed it along the road and couldn’t turn around (I would’ve if I could’ve!). 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!
We’re in Wyoming!
We’re still on North Entrance Road and climbing. We’re not near the river now.
The curves were pretty sharp here. The cold air kept the snow on the hills, too.
Try look da elevation! I’d only heard about Mammoth Hot Springs, and now we’re almost there!
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.
Mammoth Hot Springs is huge! There’s a hotel, post office, and parklike areas. There are also these!
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!
I wonder if the males are this calm in the Fall!
This is my favorite photo of them. This guy stood stock still for a long period of time, as if surveying his kingdom.
Leaving Mammoth, we now turned onto Grand Loop Road. This is Beaver Pond Hot Springs.
These ponds have a rather gloomy name, yeah?
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.
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!
There are trails everywhere!
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.
It’s almost too much to take in! What an incredible place this is! Mammoth Hot Springs still yet here!
When they called it Mammoth Hot Springs, they weren’t kidding!
Here’s another shot of the hot springs. Geothermal activity here is very, very apparent!
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!