Da Mystery Road Trip Revealed, Part Twenty!

I’m so excited! Sometimes Nolemana gives me a hard time for wanting to take so many photos, but because I do, I’m now an official honorary Japanese. I was one before because of my hānai sistah Kikue, but never had the official title. Now I do, thanks to her and AFK! Chee hoo!

You might have already guessed this, probably did, all you akamai readers, that we wanted to see Old Faithful Geyser as long as we were so close. My good friend Linda had suggested that we take the time to zip over there from Bozeman, and that’s exactly what we decided to do. She’d told me that it wasn’t to be missed, because who knew when we’d be able to be in the area again? As I said before, I was so grateful for her suggestion, because we wouldn’t have missed this trip for anything!

This is the sign for the Norris Canyon area:


Norris Geysers and Canyon Village – Turnoff for for Norris Canyon Road – Elevation 7917′

This is the route that Cousins suggested we take: go in the North entrance through the beautiful Gallatin Valley. Check. Then, from Mammoth, head a little bit west, then south, and then we could see Old Faithful, then go north and west, and get to our motel after a comfortable day’s drive.


But guess wat? Get one manini kine problem! Try look! The road was closed for construction!

Detour! Add note about going the long way around

Detour! Add note about going the long way around

On the surface it wouldn’t be such a big deal. However, it meant that rather than going the shortest way (see Cousins’ map) we now would have to go this way (see below), which was going to add hours to our trip. Which we hadn’t planned on. You know, like we’d kinda planned an Old Faithful drive-by visit. And remember, we’d already driven all the way from Bozeman this morning!

So hmm.. what to do? Do we just backtrack and take the West Yellowstone exit so we can get to our motel early enough? And miss Old Faithful? Are you kidding me? Heck no! Absolutely no way! We wanted the advencha! And boy, were we glad we did. We had no idea what a fantastic day it’d turn out to be. Zoom out to see the long way around.

We’re at about 8000′ feet here, and it was pretty darn cold. Okay fine. 7917′ to be exact. How do I know? Cuz get one sign, dat’s how! Heh heh. There was a lot of snow along the road, but the pavement itself was very clear. We’re heading east on Norris Canyon Road.

Heading East along Norris Canyon Road - 2:23 p.m. Elevation 7417'.

Heading East along Norris Canyon Road – 2:23 p.m. Elevation 7417′.

Here we are at the turn-off for Canyon Village. It’s named for the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, which is something else we didn’t get to see on this trip, mostly because we had absolutely no idea how long it’d take us to get to our motel from here. We’re going back. Someday.

Hmmm... which way should we go? 2: 31 p.m.  Canyon Village

Hmmm… which way should we go? 2: 31 p.m. Canyon Village

We’re now driving next to the Yellowstone River again. We’re now heading south on Grand Loop Road.

Yellowstone River - Heading south on Grand Loop Road

Yellowstone River – Heading south on Grand Loop Road

Musubi loved it!

Yellowstone River

Yellowstone River

The water was incredibly beautiful.

Yellowstone River

Yellowstone River

Lovely shot of the river and Mokihana’s arm.

Yellowstone River

The sign ahead says that the river is closed to fishing. Bears exempt. Well, the sign doesn’t say that; I figured it out all by myself.

Yellowstone River on left; closed to fishing.

We’re now coming into some of the most beautiful scenery on this day’s trip. If I figured it out right, that is Mary Mountain in the background. The Yellowstone River curved beautifully, stretching as far as we could see.

Mary Mountain and the beginning of Hayden Valley

Can a river look sinuous? If so, this one sure does. The beauty was breathtaking.

Mary Mountain

I would love to see this vista in the spring when everything’s green. I can only imagine how beautiful it is then.

Yellowstone River

I mean, just look at it! Absolutely incredible.

U stay ready for excitement? Try look!!! This is near Elk Antler Creek.

Near Elk Antler Creek

Eh! Wea u stay going? Come back!!

Near Elk Antler Creek

Oh! I see where you’re going. Won’t it be cold?

Near Elk Antler Creek

Good thing you’ve got a heavy coat on!

Near Elk Antler Creek

In he goes! Try look his reflection in da watah!

Near Elk Antler Creek

Eh! Wea stay yoa water wings?

Near Elk Antler Creek

And out the other side of the Yellowstone River; he’s not even shivering!

Near Elk Antler Creek

He walks up onto the other bank.

Near Elk Antler Creek

And off to what? Does he have a hot date?

Near Elk Antler Creek

Aloha ‘oe, Mister Buffalo…

Near Elk Antler Creek

Wow! That was so exciting! I’ve seen buffalo in captivity before, but never, ever, in the wild.

Further on down, we saw some Canada Geese. Looks like one of them is taking a little nappie.

Near Trout Creek

I really love Canada Geese! I love to hear them honking as they fly overhead across the sky. I love how they talk to each other while they’re grazing.

Near Trout Creek

Near Trout Creek, guess what we saw? Yep, another one!

Near Trout Creek

We knew there were buffalo in the park, not to mention, moose, elk, deer, etc., yet somehow coming across them in person was so much fun!

Near Trout Creek

Still near Trout Creek; the Yellowstone River is behind him.

Near Trout Creek

Oh my gosh! A whole bunch of them!!

Near Trout Creek

And more geese on the Yellowstone River.

Canada Geese on Yellowstone River near Trout Creek

On the other side of the Yellowstone River. Get moa!

Near Elk Antler Creek

The whole sight was so incredible. We were so glad we had to come this way after all. We could’ve driven to West Yellowstone and not even known this was here!

Near Elk Antler Creek

We’re now in the middle of Hayden Valley, with its stunning vistas and yes, more buffalo. If you’re gonna get bored with photos of them, you can stop here. Cuz I kept clicking away with the camera. (Yes, I stopped the car to do so!)

Hayden Valley - Yellowstone River

Hayden Valley is so vast, so beautiful, and was even more so with the scattering of buffalo across it. Then when you add in the blue sky, the river, and the magnificent mountains, it’s just breathtaking. (I know. Redundant.)

Hayden Valley

If you look close, you can see baby buffalo.

Hayden Valley

See? They’re called “red dogs” by locals.

Hayden Valley

The valley is huge, and the buffalo were scattered in groups throughout its expanse.

Hayden Valley

It was really cold here; you can see the snow along the river’s edge.

Hayden Valley

There’s just something about seeing these buffalo close up that made my heart beat faster. And look at all the snow on the river!

Hayden Valley

Here’s the south side of Hayden Valley. I could’ve just sat there watching everything for a lot longer, but sadly, we felt really pressed for time. We had no idea of how exciting it would be just a few hundred yards down the road!

Hayden Valley - end part 20

Here’s a GoogleEarth map of the drive from Nymph Lake to Hayden Valley.

This is the route from Nymph Lake to Hayden Valley.

And here’s the big map of our advenchas so far.

Stay tuned as the honorary Japanese wahine finds even more photos to take!

This entry was posted in Da Kine: Sometimes Full-on Pidgin, Holoholo Pacific Northwest. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Da Mystery Road Trip Revealed, Part Twenty!

  1. Clare says:

    I love watching buffalo!

  2. Kikue Mugen says:

    OMG!!! That whole trip on the detour road is a WINNER, to say the least. I BET YOU that you and Nolemana was so glad that the little blessing in disguise (detour) happened!

    That winding river, or creek, or stream is breathtaking against the flatland, only to be topped off by the mountains! Talk about a photographer’s heaven! It is like you went to another country on safari the way the wilderness appeared in this set of photos. What a fantastic opportunity!

    I am so enjoying these pics. I keep going over and over to see them. When I do, I spawk something new in them. So Awesome your trip. How did you keep quiet about all that you saw in the beginning? Weren’t you dieing to tell? LOL

  3. Kalena says:

    wonderful photos Mokihana!!…….you should really go back and see Yellowstone sometime in the summer………green and warm and even more beautiful!……..thanks for the journey…..

  4. Lea says:

    Loved your photos Mokihana! WE LOVE YELLOWSTONE and always stay at the FISHING BRIDGE CAMPGROUND. Makes me want to go back. We like to drive around with our binoculars and pull over and focus on far away meadows. We were amazed at all the grizzlies we found. Also watching the wolves in Lamar valley.

    So nice to see you again….
    Godspeed on all your travels.

  5. AFK says:

    Wow, just spectacular. And you ste keepin’ dis babooze in suspense again!

  6. Wow wow WOW!!! I love the photos, especially the one of the sinuous river!!!
    I think I want to use it for my desk top background. I grew up way out in the country, but live in the city now, I miss wide open spaces, and that photo will make me feel good whenever I see it :-}

  7. Wow. Oh, wow. Amazing and beautiful, and amazingly beautiful.

    I’ve always wanted to see Montana. Thank you for sharing your trip!

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