Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 40 YNP, FB CG, WY Natural Bridge Hike, Picnic on Yellowstone Lake, Black Sand Basin, Biscuit Basin, Rain/Wind Storm, Tree on Car (Not us)

Captain’s Blog


Yellowstone National Park

Fishing Bridge, Wyoming

Fishing Bridge RV Park

July 12, 2009

We have lucked out on the weather again and woke to another sunny day. We started the day with a three-mile round trip hike to the Natural Bridge. IMG_0669 Getting to the bridge was an easy hike but climbing the 300 foot incline up to the bridge was a bit challenging. Once at the top the scenery was quite pretty. By Natural Bridge standards this one was small but still interesting and the hike was worth taking both for exercise and the serenity of the forest.IMG_0658

We were able to complete the hike and trek up to the bridge with a stop to take pictures in one-hour and forty minutes. I think that’s pretty good for old folks and at 8000 feet. We’ve become accustomed to the elevation so don’t get winded anymore.

We stopped at a roadside picnic roadside picnic area  and had lunch overlooking the Absaroka Mountains and Lake Yellowstone. It was a very quiet picturesque place and we enjoyed the stop.IMG_0682

Everywhere we have gone we have been amazed at the wild flowers.IMG_0661 There are pink, purple, yellow, blue and white flowers blossoming in the fields, along the roadside and even from the rocks on the mountainsides.

We stopped back at The Old Faithful Inn to attend a tour.IMG_0685 IMG_0688 The tour guide was excellent and informed us that the rustic Inn was the first ever built in a National Park and set the stage for other rustic Inn’s and Lodges within the National Park Service. IMG_0692The Inn has been open since 1904 and it took construction workers one year to build. In the 1959 Hebgen Lake earthquake the Inn was shaken from its foundation and sustained some serious damage. There has been ongoing restoration of the Inn including putting in steel beams under the structure to prevent further damage from future earthquakes.


The designer of the Inn made all the metal components for the door hinges and there is a huge metal clock in the lobby metal clock in the lobby that was designed and made by him (I forgot his name).  The clock stopped working two years ago when a series of electrical outages damaged the components of the clock. The place is enormous and modern day architects studied the structure and cannot figure out how the building is still standing. The Inn is open only five months a year because there is no insulation anywhere in the original building. It takes 4-5 weeks to prepare the building for winter and the same to open it up. Sticking with the rustic theme there is a tree house inside the lobby to make you feel one with the outdoors. There is a stairway to the roof viewing area that is closed due to fire codes. Prices at the Inn are not cheap with a rustic, no bath room going for $115.00 per night, to $250.00 for a room with a private bath and over $500.00 per night for a suite.





Next we stopped at Black Sand Basin, IMG_0716 named from the black volcanic glass in the area. This basin has some of the most beautiful hot springs in Yellowstone. We stopped at the Emerald Pool, which was magnificent and Rainbow Pool and Cliff Geyser IMG_0726 that gave us a spectacular show. Then it was on to Biscuit Basin, named for the unusual biscuit-like deposits that used to surround Sapphire Pool. Again, that pesky 1957 Hebgen Lake earthquake caused Sapphire Pool to erupt and the “biscuits” were blown away – so we didn’t get to see the biscuits.IMG_0719 Crazy Guy sitting in front of vent (NO NOT RON) This is a very hot thermal pool that erupts frequently. He is sitting behind the warning sign - thin crust area - DUH!!!! To make it even worse his entire family joined him.

After viewing, admiring and wowing ourselves tired we were going to try to get the rest of the area completed. It was 5:30 PM and we were watching a storm front move in over the mountains. The sky was black and the thunder and lightening frequent. As we were heading to the car the wind picked up and was so ferocious it was pushing us sideways so we cancelled our next stop.

The drive back to the campground was trying to say the least. The wind was whipping around us and the rain was torrential. We had to stop three times because of trees that had fallen in the road. I must say the Park Rangers and clean up crews were amazing. It seemed like they dropped out of the sky and got the roads cleared quickly. We did have to dodge a large branch in the road and then the traffic stopped again. This time an ambulance passed and we suspected a tree had fallen on a car. We were right- a tree had fallen on a small sedan wiping out the hood and windshield. Hopefully the people were OK but their vacation was sure ruined. While we were waiting for the road to clear we heard another tree fall nearby in the woods around us. The rain and wind stopped as quickly as it started and sun came out and brightened the sky. Back at the MH we reviewed the day and were thankful we got through the storm without any problems.


r0n NOTE: look carefully how this rental's sewer hose is propped up!


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