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We were back in Yellowstone Monday to do more exploring. Having never been to this part of the country we were more than happy to play tourist. So after a nice breakfast at the Trouthunter Lodge we were back on the road to the Park.

We started the day with a stroll around the Norris Geyser Basin (though we did stop at Gibbon Falls on the way).

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We didn’t hang around too long as we were a little “geysered” out from the day before (probably not good when in Yellowstone). We were really looking forward to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone so we made our way eastward toward Canyon.

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The view of the Canyon and Lower Falls from Artist’s Point was spectacular. It truly was one of the most amazing sights on the trip – maybe even my favorite spot in the Park. I’m a sucker for canyons and waterfalls. So many colors on the walls of the canyon that don’t really stand out in iPhone photos. This was probably the first trip that I really wished I had a DSLR.

We left Canyon and headed north to Tower, our plan was to loop around back to Mammoth. There was so much construction around the Tower area that we just stayed in the car and passed through. We got up close and personal with a buffalo who was ambling down the road. Later in the day we saw one that wasn’t providing any passing room in the opposite lane, which made for the perfect buffalo road block.

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If Yellowstone had a capital, Mammoth would be it. It wasn’t as busy as Old Faithful, but it definitely had the most buildings. I liked the small town feel of it. Minerva Terrace was pretty cool, I couldn’t help but think of the back splash in my kitchen though as I gazed upon all that travertine.

Pizza and a pitcher of Moose Drool at the Wild West Pizzeria was just what the doctor ordered as we left the Park for the day. We did about as much as we could with 2.5 days in Yellowstone and it was a lot of fun. A lot of driving too(that Park is huge!), but fun none the less.

On Sunday we checked out of our cottage in Jackson and made our way to our cabin in Last Chance, ID. Our drive would take us up through Grand Teton and into the heart of Yellowstone National Park┬áthen out to West Yellowstone and down to Island Park, ID. I decided to go a different route through Teton taking us along Mormon Row – it paid off with our first glimpse of a wild bison herd.

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It was really cool to see buffalo in the wild, but I’ll be honest, they are not very exciting creatures. It was kind of like watching cattle in a field. It was still a cool experience because like trout, they live in beautiful places. We continued up following the Snake River through the Tetons on up into Yellowstone, where we were now following the Lewis. We had a short stop at Lewis Falls as we made our way to West Thumb Geyser Basin. There we got our first taste of the geothermal activity that Yellowstone is known for.

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As you can probably tell in the pic of my wife(which was my favorite of the whole trip BTW), we are expecting our first child in November. We are very excited! Just trying to fit in as many trips as we can before that day arrives.

After West Thumb, we made our way toward the busiest part of the Park, Old Faithful. We had a little time to kill before the next eruption so we walked around the Upper Geyser Basin a bit. It didn’t take long to see why the Firehole River was named so.

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Catching Old Faithful in person was definitely cool to experience, but I think I only need to do it once. In a different way, the inside of the Old Faithful Inn was just as impressive to see. We hopped back in the car and headed toward Grand Prismatic Spring. It was a bummer to find out that the boardwalk alongside the spring had collapsed that previous week and was being rebuilt so the site was closed to pedestrian traffic. We found more geysers, springs, and the Fountain Paint Pots just up the road at the Lower Geyser Basin.

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We made one more detour as we approached Madison to go check out the Firehole Falls. As soon as we got in the canyon I had to pull over to cast my line against a giant rock wall. It just seemed like a cool place to fish that had to be holding something. Sure enough I caught a little rainbow and missed another a little bigger right at the foot of the wall.

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On our way out of the Park, following the Madison River now, we stopped to check out the elk that were grazing in the meadows. It was kind of funny to see a “wild” animal with a giant antenna protruding from his head.

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It was a long day touring Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, finished off perfectly at the Madison Crossing Lounge. The beer was cold, the food was good, and the bartender was top notch. I’d recommend it to anyone headed to West Yellowstone.

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