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Mon May 23, 2016, 08:45 AM

 

The Best Deal in America

After visiting Spearfish Canyon and Devils Tower, as recounted here, Crystal Dancer and I headed farther west, passed through the Bighorn National Forest and spent the night in Cody, Wyoming. We had dinner at the Irma Hotel, originally owned by William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody himself. Lots of cool old pics of Cody, Annie Oakley and others adorn the walls, along with a bunch of stuffed animals. In the morning we headed west again, passing through the stunning Shoshone National Forest.

The best deal in America is the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Lifetime Senior Pass. This $10.00 lifetime pass provides access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by five Federal agencies. The Forest Service, the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, USACE, and Bureau of Reclamation all honor the Senior Pass. All citizens age 62 and over are eligible for this pass. Ten bucks. Lifetime. Get one.

One of the places this pass gets you in is Yellowstone National Park, which was our destination for the next four days. It was my first-ever trip to Yellowstone, and I was not disappointed. We scheduled our trip for early May as a means to avoid the crowds. That worked, as we had many of the major sites all to ourselves; even the campground was less than full. Some park venues were not yet accessible, and cold, snowy weather was a threat, but all-in-all I would absolutely visit at that time of year again.

After entering the park and having a brief walk down memory lane with the Ranger at the gate (Cheeseheads are everywhere!) we vowed to get to the campground and set up our campsite before stopping. We kept this vow for all of a quarter mile when this little gem appeared.


Crystal Dancer’s cries of “stop, stop, stop” delayed us time and again as one picture-worthy scene after another popped up before us. Finally we got to the Madison Campground and set up our site.

Camp Scuba, Elevation 6,800 feet, all buttoned up for foul weather …


My son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter shared the near tent, Crystal Dancer and I the far one.

All food must be secured. There’s Grizzlies around!


The backyard at the Madison Campground, where the Firehole River and Gibbons River come together to create the Madison River …


Then it was on to four days of spectacular scenes. The vastness, beauty, diversity, colors and uniqueness of this national treasure cannot be overstated. It’s home to incredible rivers, steep canyons, pristine lakes and the largest collection of geothermal geysers in the world. A truly amazing place.

How the Firehole River got its name …


Some geysers are bubbling mudholes …


While others appear to be entrances to the center of the earth …


The number of geysers is astonishing …


No Yellowstone trip report would be complete without a pic of Old Faithful …


When Crystal Dancer sent a pic of the two of us in front of Old Faithful, her daughter replied with an apt title: “Two Old Geezers and an Old Geyser.” She cracks me up.

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, where we watched a pair of bald eagles riding the thermals far below us …


Home of Lower Yellowstone Falls …


And amazing colors …


Some of the roads are a bit narrow …


A terrace of mineral deposits below a geothermal geyser …


My pic of two elk fighting on a mineral terrace deposted by a geothermal geyser, or as I call it, just another day at Yellowstone …



Stay tuned for Part 3: The Grand Tetons.

23 replies, 2276 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Best Deal in America (Original post)
Scuba May 2016 OP
yourpaljoey May 2016 #1
tazkcmo May 2016 #3
yourpaljoey May 2016 #4
Scuba May 2016 #7
yourpaljoey May 2016 #9
Scuba May 2016 #10
yourpaljoey May 2016 #11
Samantha May 2016 #21
tazkcmo May 2016 #2
tk2kewl May 2016 #5
Scuba May 2016 #8
polly7 May 2016 #6
Ichingcarpenter May 2016 #12
Scuba May 2016 #14
Ichingcarpenter May 2016 #16
Scuba May 2016 #17
Mbrow May 2016 #13
Scuba May 2016 #15
maxsolomon May 2016 #18
Wilms May 2016 #19
Name removed May 2016 #20
MerryBlooms May 2016 #22
annabanana May 2016 #23

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 08:57 AM

1. Are you fly fishing?

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Response to yourpaljoey (Reply #1)

Mon May 23, 2016, 08:58 AM

3. Fly fishing?

You'd need a gazillion just to make a meal and how small would those hooks be?

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Response to tazkcmo (Reply #3)

Mon May 23, 2016, 09:00 AM

4. True, all true

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Response to yourpaljoey (Reply #1)

Mon May 23, 2016, 09:24 AM

7. Not this trip, but yes I do wet a line now and then and felt a strong urge to come back ...

 

... with my flyrod and waders. The Madison River is world-renowned for fly fishing.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #7)

Mon May 23, 2016, 09:28 AM

9. Open canopy... wonderful... please share with the bears... they like fish too

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Response to yourpaljoey (Reply #9)

Mon May 23, 2016, 09:29 AM

10. I'll happily give the bears all the space they want.

 

I did not see a Griz', but my son did and got a great pic. I'm checking to see if he's willing to share it.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #10)

Mon May 23, 2016, 09:43 AM

11. The mighty griz'! Please share the photo if you can.

I have seen black bears while fly-fish wading the Smokies.
They watched for a while and moved along.
Venomous snakes sunning on riverside rocks pay me no mind at all.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #10)

Tue May 24, 2016, 02:41 AM

21. Beautiful, beautiful pictures, Scuba

Thank you so much for sharing. I felt like I was there. Totally sucked in....

Sam

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 08:57 AM

2. So jealous!!!

But also happy for you! Enjoy your trip and thanks for allowing us to live it through your pictures.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 09:19 AM

5. Did you stop in here?

 

I haven't been to Yellowstone in a while, but I used to go frequently in the 90s. One of my favorite spots.

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Response to tk2kewl (Reply #5)

Mon May 23, 2016, 09:25 AM

8. Nope. Another reason to go back.

 

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 09:20 AM

6. Absolutely stunning. nt.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 09:54 AM

12. How do you deal with your internet habits with this adventure?

Including costs and usage, bandwidth etc.
Can you give me some details on this.







What a wonderful trip, you got me thinking
I don't do camping anymore but maybe I'd do a small RV or 23' used airstream. Can you park those there? What would that cost be for a week or two?

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Reply #12)

Mon May 23, 2016, 10:44 AM

14. No internet or cell service at the campground, but there is cell service ...

 

... at Old Faithful and some of the other main attractions.

I went without being online for most of the trip. That was a nice break.

Yes, there are places you can camp with a hard-shell shelter. Check with the National Park Service for locations and rates.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #14)

Mon May 23, 2016, 10:47 AM

16. Thanks

Wonderful photos too!

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Reply #16)

Mon May 23, 2016, 10:49 AM

17. Thanks. For the record, there's no way photos can do justice to Yellowstone, I don't care if ...

 

... you're Ansel Adams.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 10:31 AM

13. You know, you are in my neck of the woods

I have a little piece of land with a trailer on it in Island Park, Idaho about 15 miles from the West entrance of the park. I've fished most of the rivers in the park as well as the Henry's fork of the Snake in Island park. It's coming up on morel season in Island Park, I hoping to get up there on Wednesday to see if they've come up yet. I hope you enjoy your stay, Jackson's Hole is interesting to visit after the Teton's and if you come by Idaho Falls and want to say Hi just PM me.

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Response to Mbrow (Reply #13)

Mon May 23, 2016, 10:47 AM

15. We passed through Island Park when we left Yellowstone. The south road was still closed ...

 

... so we used the West Exit, then went south through your beautiful state, then east back into Wyoming.

Maybe next time!

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:08 AM

18. AKA the Golden Eagle Pass

My dad has about 5 of them because he forgets to bring them along when he visits me in WA or my brother in MT.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 07:19 PM

19. Very happy for you!

 

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 07:31 AM

22. Rec & Kick.

Awesome.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 07:53 AM

23. Yellowstone is one of my favorite places on the planet. . . n/t

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