Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Yellowstone Trip! Day 5: Last Day in the Park.

The last day is always a sad day, but not for us! Last Wednesday was our last day to explore Yellowstone National Park, there were only a few things that we wanted to see, so it would be a short day. We wanted to make it back to Gardiner at a decent time so we could look through the shops, and walk around a bit before everything closed. The very first night we arrived in Gardiner, we were given towels for the Boiling River. The past couple days in Yellowstone, we couldn't find the Boiling River, and it was something I really wanted to go see. We looked on the map, and the Boiling River was right under our noses! We drove past it every day! We always thought it was just a hiking trail, so we skipped it and drove past it, but on Wednesday, we stopped and walked down to the Boiling River. On our way down there, we spotted a snake slithering on the rocks. 
The Boiling River was my favorite part of the day. There are these water falls that bring in hot water to the cold river. The waterfalls are really hot, and the area that the hot water comes in is cold. There are warm ponds within the river, and there are cold ponds within the river. I brought my swimsuit with me, but since it was in the morning, and we still had the day ahead of us, I thought it best to not get wet. It was fun to wade in though, and splash. I should have swam in it, I would have dried on the walk back to the car. It was a hot day, last Wednesday. 
The Boiling River is part of the Gibbon River. 
That was a fun start to the day! And what a day it was. After the Boiling River, we drove down to Sheepeater Cliff. They are these columned rocks, they look stacked straight up and down on a cliff. Kids play on them now a days, but Prong Horned sheep used to climb on them, they still can, but it's such a busy sight that they are probably scared away now. It was neat to look at!
We got out of there really fast. The rocks were all there was to look at, so we moved on to the next place we wanted to go. On our way to Fairy Falls, we were stopped by a bunch of people. We were stopped by some animal, or traffic, or something at least three times a day. Cars weren't going anywhere, so I got out to see what was going on. I saw a BEAR,  not just a black bear, but a grizzly! I ran back to the car, making ear motions on top of my head, making my hands into claws and holding them up, showing a "grrrr" motion, I made a "come here" motion with my hands to my grandparents and sister, yelling, "IT'S A BEAR! IT'S A BEAR! IT'S A BEAR!" Other got the message who wanted to know what was going on too. We all raced to the field and stood on the road. It was about 25 yards away from us, and that is way too close. I was surprised there wasn't a park ranger there, because the only times we have seen bears in Yellowstone, there is always a park ranger present, but not with this bear. The park ranger would not have liked the crowd to be THAT close to the grizzly. 
People even had their little children on the road, and the bear kept crawling up closer and closer, we decided to get back in our car because traffic started moving again, and so did the bear. The bear crawled up to at  least 15 yards away  from the road by that time. Some of the parents weren't even holding their child's hand. My grandpa told them that they needed to get back in their cars because they were getting too close, and they turned around and laughed at us, like we were telling some joke. It made me very nervous for the bear to be that close to them. 
After the bear sighting, we drove to Fairy Falls. The day before, I wanted to see Fairy Falls, but I heard that there was a little bit of a walk to get there... boy, we didn't know what we were in for. We arrive at the parking lot for Fairy Falls, and there is the prettiest blue hot spring to the left of the parking lot. 
We started walking to Fairy Falls, and we saw the Grand Prismatic Spring from behind. It was beautiful from behind, and the prettiest aqua. There were lots of little hot springs to the side of the trail. I couldn't believe how many hot springs there were in Yellowstone. There were tons!
 We had been walking for a long time, and we asked a man who was on his way back to the parking lot how far is it, "Just around the bend, and another mile and a half." We thought he was kidding, but he wasn't. We kept walking, and approached a sign that said "Fairy Falls, 1.6 miles" and an arrow pointing up, as in "straight ahead". 
We walked deep into the woods, and it was filled with loud, buzzing bugs. One of the sounds I hate the most is when a bug buzzes right in your ear. Along the trail, we noticed some glasses left on a log, with a note that said "glasses", like "glasses found". 
Not something you see every day on a back-woods trail. 
We saw another family walking back and we asked how long till the falls, and they said, "Oh, you have about another 25 minutes. It's beautiful though!" We were being built up for this glorious waterfall. When we arrived, the falls were beautiful, but honestly, we have better ones here in Oregon. 
It was beautiful, of course! 
The whole trail up to Fairy Falls was made of gritty obsidian. The ground sparkled in the sun as we walked. We found a rock with it's whole top of obsidian. 
We took some of the obsidian rocks with us for souvenirs, and I found some rocks that looked glittery.
That wasn't really worth the 2 & 1/2 mile trail. Oh well, Fairy Falls will never be forgotten. 
Our next and last destination was Old Faithful. We wanted to see Old Faithful for the last time. We ate at the lodge, and had lasagna and salad. It was an okay meal, but not the best. When your dad is a chef, he spoils you with good food. My dad isn't really a chef, but he is our family chef, and he makes amazing meals. 
After lunch, or kind of our dinner, because it was almost 5:20, we walked out onto the lodge porch, and sat down on these rustic rocking chairs. The lodge was so pretty and had a perfect view of Old Faithful. Old Faithful was supposed to go off at 5:22, we waited, and waited, at 5:26, it started going off.. for a second. It teased us! It kept teasing us for like 15 minutes, and this boy who was sitting on porch too yelled out, "Come on Old Faithful, be faithful!" It made me laugh. Usually, Old Faithful goes off on time, give or take ten minutes, but Old Faithful finally started shooting off water at 5:46. 
The Lodge porch ceiling...
Old Faithful
We were ready to leave Yellowstone National Park, and on time this time! We wanted to be able and explore the town of Gardiner. On our way out, we saw some baby elk on the Mammoth lawn. Elk love that little town in Yellowstone. They are there all the time!
I love the sun rays in this picture.
We got a better look at the "Entering Wyoming" and "Entering Montana" signs. I had a foot in each state. 
We also saw Prong Horned Sheep! Finally! We had been looking for them every day, and on our way out of  Yellowstone, we finally see some. 
We said our goodbyes to Yellowstone National Park. It is a beautiful place, and I'm definitely coming back. 
"Leaving Yellowstone National Park"
The first gift shop we went to in Gardiner was called Yellowstone Espresso, and it over looked Yellowstone National Park. We went inside, and it was a big gift shop. I noticed that they had blended lattes prepared, and that sounded delicious. The lady who was behind the counter was very nice. I ordered a blended latte, and showed me all the syrups that I could put in my latte. I chose a pump of chocolate and huckleberry flavoring, since I was in Montana, I couldn't pass up huckleberry. 
I also purchased a huckleberry cordial. It is kind of like a truffle, but it has huckleberry filling in the middle, and it is kind of liquidy. Both the latte and the cordial were delicious!
We walked around Gardiner some more, went into more gift shops, and saw more Montana Huckleberry stuff. My grandma and Brittney got ice cream, but since I already had a sweet, icy thing, I decided to get french fries or a pizza. I did not want Yellowstone Pizza Company again, so we decided to look around the town some more for more eateries. 
We drove down past our inn, and we saw this pizza place called Outlaw's Pizza, and it was open till eleven. We decided to look around first before getting the pizza because there was a little strip of shops in the same building as Outlaw's Pizza. We first went in a jewelry and gem shop where there was a shop cat sitting on the counter. 
He was a sweet kitty. We asked the shop owner if we could pet him, and she said, "Well... he's kind of sleepy." Why would that matter? The lady had a British accent and I loved hearing her talk. The cat jumped off the counter and plopped himself right by the door, blocking anybody's way in or out. 
Some other ladies wanted to come in to the store, and the shop owner said, "Just push him out of the way, just open the door." She was so funny. 
The shop was interesting, they had little geodes you could buy and crack open, I was very tempted to buy one, but what would I do with it? They were only $4, but I have no idea what I would do with it! 
As we were leaving the store, the cat started coughing up a hair ball, the poor thing is 14 years old. 
We left the shop, and went to another little gift shop. They didn't have a whole lot there, just a lot of wall hangings, and things like that. At the counter, there was this lotion candle, and I tried it. I really liked it, I loved how soft it made my hands feel. I bought a lotion candle for myself.
We went next door to another gift shop with some taxidermy in it. Right inside the door, to the side, there was HUGE bison head just sitting there. It scared me to death.
In the next room was where all the taxidermy was. There was another buffalo head, and I don't know why I was so nervous to go near it. I guess I had it in my mind that it would come alive... silly right? 
But I warmed up to it, and got real friendly. 
We found a yak too. 
The people who owned the gift shop, and taxidermy shop also owned a gallery. We walked around the gallery and it had some neat stuff in it. They made an eagle out of moose's antlers, they carved a whole nature scene out of moose antlers.
They were very well done and very detailed. They were gorgeous. 
It was then time to grab my pizza at Outlaw's Pizza. I was very impressed with the place. 
The walls inside Outlaw's were really neat. They looked like a crate, lined with chicken wire and filled with larger agate stones. I ordered a personal sized Outlaw Pizza, which is just a pizza with pepperoni, sausage, and tomatoes. It was amazing! Read my review here
It was delicious! 
The next day we would be leaving for Idaho. 
I will post the video on Thursday for Day 3 in Yellowstone National Park. This concludes Day 5 on the trip, and Day 3 in the park. 

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