The next stop was a farm. Our neighbors were very interesting but quiet. Shawna helped get hay to them.
Our campsite near Ririe, Idaho was great. This was our camping spot when we visited the Tetons. Beautiful sunset this evening.
Today, we drove over the mountains to see the Grand Tetons. It was over an hour drive but worth it. As we got higher in elevation, we could see a lot of fall color change.
Well, this would be a much more interesting drive later in the year.
We are getting close. Only one more mountain range to cross.
Jackson is known for the Elk arches.. Of course, we had to get a picture of them. We took pictures from the truck. We did not want to walk with all the people in town.
We did see a very disturbing accident in Jackson, WY. The driver did not move over far enough to avoid the traffic barrier. The RV is a complete loss but everyone looks to be OK.
At the national park, we stopped at the visitor center. They have a really good 3D relief of the park.
More pretty views.
No, the white flakes are not dandruff. Yes, it was snowing. No, the camera did not pick up how hard it was snowing but the video did a better job.
The views across the lake were great.
The wind must have been much worse earlier. This was snapped off clean. Yes, it is still cold.
The mountain range is rugged.
When you see “fog” on the mountains that is snow. Several times we had it falling on us.
These mountains are so stunning,
We drove up to top of signal mountain. Pretty valley.
Lots of pull offs with beautiful views.
More pretty views from pullouts.
We had thought about boondocking at an area that was said to have pretty views. They were right about the views but we decided not to move the RV up here. It was going to be below freezing every night the rest of this week.
This area is a fantastic display of nature.
Do you see the illusion?
Look close at the mountain to the right. Does is look like it is an arch?
Even zoomed in the illusion holds. This is incredibly rare. The clouds have to be just the right color and the snow can not have sun directly shining on it or the illusion breaks.
More pretty landscapes.
On our return to the RV, we stopped at a Brewery. They served really good pizza.
Even the “back side” of the Tetons is pretty.
Preparing to leave the park.
Today, we prepare to move from the Mammoth Campground. We have been here for 12 days. It is time to move to down to the Tetons.
This makes 16 days in a row of no hookups. For those of you who do not know what that means, we have no connection to water, power, or a way to dump our tanks (yes even sewer). The way we have been able to do that is that we use the campground bathrooms and limit showers to the “navy” method so little water is used.
We have reservations for SIX days of full hookups. WhooHoo! No public toilets! Long hot showers! Yea!
Today, we will be taking a hike up from Mammoth, across the state line into Montana, and back to Wyoming and the town of Mammoth. The Beaver Ponds Loop trail should be about 6 miles. The elevation gain is 800 feet.
We parked behind the hotel and started up. That gave us a great view of Mammoth.
The trail passes through open fields and forest.
More evidence that Fall is on its way.
More pretty views.
We reached the lake where we will have lunch.
We did not see any beavers in the lake only a few ducks.
We had a great view for lunch.
Time to continue the hike.
Later in the hike we came up on this young female Mule Deer.
On with the hike.
We are almost finished and can see Mammoth Hot Springs Formations.
Oh, Hi little guy.
This is a different view of Mammoth.
You can not get around Mammoth without having to watch for Elk.
Today, we visit more geysers, springs and other thermal features. We got up early to make the drive drive down to Prismatic Spring. We plan to stop at as many other things we find interesting on the way back to the RV until we decide to call it a day.
The water from the spring flows into the river. It is hot and it is a lot of water.
It was a very cool morning. When we arrived at the spring, which is a gigantic thermal feature, the air was 40 degrees. With the air that cool the steam rising off the spring was thick and spread out and up a hundred yards. Many times it completely obscured seeing the feature.
Excelsior Geyser was known as a spectacular geyser in the past but is now not much more than a huge hot spring. Now it only occasionally shows any eruption and even then it is only a few feet tall. Our problem was because the morning was so cool, the steam was thick over the pool.
Prismatic was difficult to see.
As we walked back toward the parking lot, there was one spring that steam was not completely obscuring.
After walking around on the boardwalk, we decided to hike the Fairy Falls trail. This area is very active. There are hot springs all around.
From the trail, there is an overlook of the Prismatic.
On the return trip, we took several side roads. The first was Firehole Lade drive. It is only 2 miles but passes several geysers and springs.
Firehole Spring was the first spring on the drive.
I did not get why it got the name but the names of some of the geysers don't seem to make sense. Maybe the surprise was what would happen if you smoke near it.
Great Fountain Geyser goes off about every 12 hours and sprays water up to 200 feet in the air. We missed it this morning. If we had turned in instead of driving to Prismatic, we would have seen the eruption. Timing is everything. It will be dark before the next eruption.
White Dome Geyser
The last stop is Firehole lake which includes Young Hopeful Geyser, Artesia Geyser, Steady Geyser
The next stop was Fountain Paint Pot Trail.
Fountain Paint Pot
This geyser was impressive. The sound was very similar to a jet engine.
Fountain Geyser/Clepsydra Geyser/Spasm Geyser
Our last side road was the Firehole Canyon drive. This took us close to the canyon wall and the river.
We are starting to see some Fall color on the mountains.
Time to head back to the RV.
When we passed through Mammoth, the Elk were everywhere again.
We relaxed at the RV. The air quality was not good. The park was very busy so we avoided the crowds.
Last night, we heard the Elk calling right outside the RV. At 3am, the wolves woke us up yipping and howling from across the highway.
Time to get supplies in town.
We decided to get lunch and as we walked back to the truck, we noticed that a big male Elk was walking through town.
They have a small herd that lives in Gardiner, Montana.
I can’t imagine the problems of walking out your front door and finding a half dozen Elk standing or laying in your yard.
“Hey boss. I can’t come into work because Elk have blocked me getting to the car.”
People have strange problems to deal with here.
Today, we are sheltering in place. The smoke from the west coast is horrible and the air quality index is 164. It was even worse in the surrounding areas. It is a cool day so we had the generator running all day. The air filter ran on high all day to clean out what it could inside the RV.
Time to “Tourist”. We are going to drive straight through to Old Faithful with no stops. That is 53 miles from the campground.
Of course, we paused to take a few pictures of Elk up in the town of Mammoth.
The use of the word “Mammoth” is excessive here.
Here is a Mammoth gas station.
Then they top that with the Mammoth Restroom?! Really!
I have to bite my tongue after the first time we passed it to avoid be annoying repeating “Dad Jokes”. (It doesn’t usually work.)
Across from the Mammoth Springs, a small herd of Elk were grazing, a mom feeding her baby, and a very frisky Spike which the ladies were having nothing to do with no matter how persistent he got which I did not include in the video.
After our long drive (average speed is 35mph) down to Old Faithful, we walked out to the famous Geyser.
Geysers are formed when water works its way into a fisher (crack) in the earth. If below the surface there is lava/magma close enough to heat the water as it is in Yellowstone the water will change to steam. Steam will increase pressure and force itself to the surface. If the opening is large it will be a hot bubbling spring but if they are smaller a geyser will form. In some areas, the water flow and heating creates a very predictable event. Other areas seem almost random and the time between events may be completely unpredictable.
It was a while before the next eruption so we walked up to the overlook to have a different perspective. It is only 1 mile round trip and a climb of 200 feet to overlook the old faithful geyser basin.
Our next geyser, Solitary, was somewhat disappointing.
The geyser was only about a foot tall.
Time to go back down to the main geyser field.
Some of the thermals are directly below the walkway.
Most of the springs and other “features” have names but some are so new they have yet to be named.
It’s almost time for Old Faithful to erupt so back to the benches.
We could see another geyser going off in the distance but did not know which one.
Another one started up,
and then Old Faithful went off again.
Time to take a walk around the geyser basin. There are deep blue pools, bubbling springs, spitting holes, small geysers, big geysers. All of which are hot and most are over 190 degrees.
Some Buffalo were walking right through the middle of the geyser area.
More geysers… I don’t know about you but seeing them never gets old.
We have seen buffalo, elk, deer, and wolf prints in the mud along the walkways.
Firehole River passed right through the center.
Our last stop was to see the Old Faithful Inn. It is the world's largest log cabin Inn. The main building was constructed during the winter of 1903–1904. Yes, built in less than 6 months. Almost all the materials were from local lodge pole pine and stones. When the Inn opened in the spring of 1904, it had electric lights and steam heat. Something almost unheard of in a building so remote.
Now for the bad news! It is closed for Covid. Really?! Other hotels in the park are open but the most iconic one is closed. REALLY!!!! Yes, it made me angry. Next door the souvenir shop is open! The café is open! BUT NO... THEY HAD TO CLOSE THIS BUILDING!!!! Stupid!
Time to head home. We will stop by the cafe (which IS open) for something to drink for the 2 hour or longer drive back to the RV.
We are a couple who have started on a new adventure...