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Jackson Hole, Wyoming Our plane landed in Jackson Hole and this is the first place we went to. The population is just over eight thousand people, it is a real tourist town. The elevaton is just over six thousand feet. There are many shops and restaurants. We are sitting at one of the antler built archways that leads into the park in the center of town. June 11, 2012
Stagecoach in Jackson Hole Tour downtown Jackson Hole in the carriage of a horse drawn stagecoach. Stagecoach rides are available around town square from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For a winter alternative, head to the National Elk Refuge for winter sleigh rides through Jackson's resident elk herd.
The Rustic Inn We stayed our first night here, the inn is nestled four blocks from the town square at Jackson Hole. Rustic Inn Creekside Resort and Spa at Jackson Hole can be a home away from home, as guests can find comfort in its 145 non-smoking rooms that are furnished with televisions and complimentary fast internet access. The hotel is after the development of the well-being of its guests. Aside from the fitness center where anyone can keep fit, there is an outdoor swimming pool that can be used for leisure all year round. Guests can also be relaxed while having a massage on its spa and health club. Due to its proximity to Jackson Hole Airport, the property offers free shuttle ride so guests will not miss their flights. It is also near to Grand Teton National Park and National Elk Refuge. The Rustic Inn
Grand Teton National Park In 1929, Grand Teton National Park was created and dedicated. The park at that time included the mountains in the Teton Range and a narrow strip of land that contained the major lakes at the base of the peaks. But that was enough to develop the tourism industry, which has now replaced cattle ranching as the primary economic base of Jackson Hole . In 1950, the park was enlarged to include the Jackson Hole National Monument , established in 1943. The rededicated park contains 52 square miles, acquired by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., during the 1930's and 40's. Grand Teton National Park now totals 485 square miles or 310,000 acres.
Grand Teton Mountains This picture does not do the mountains justice. We took this picture from miles away, as we drove closer to the Tetons the mountains are so close it is impossible to get a good picture. The Tetons are one of the extra special places we saw on our way to Yellowstone. Grand Teton National Park was established in 1929, more than half a century after Yellowstone. In 1950 congress combined all the elements of teton which made it 485 square miles of mountain crag, tumbling water, and open valley with the Snake River running through the valley on to Idaho and eventually the Pacific Ocean. The highest mountain is named Grand Teton 13,770 feet tall. June 12, 2012
Randy on a Grand Teton Hiking Trail We took the boat across Jenny Lake to hike up to inspiration point. As you can see here some of the hiking trail was made of solid rock.
Hidden Falls in the Grand Tetons The Jenney Lake boat brought us to this trail head. It was now a mile hike UP the mountain to this water fall. Now a mile hike back down to the beginning of the trail head, now the two and a half mile hike around the lake to get back to our car. It was worth it, this would be the first of many beautiful water falls we would see on our vacation.
Yellowstone National Park south entrance Randy is showing his "lifetime" national senior park pass, it is good for any U.S. national park. Randy and Betty have finally made it to Yellowstone.
Old Faithful Geyser and Old Faithful Inn. There is a half mile hiking trail that over looks the Old Faithful Geyser Basin. Just as we arrived at the overlook Old Faithful is active. June 13, 2012
Old Faithful Geyser Basin There are many type, shape and size geysers in the basin. We walked the boardwalk and took a look at all of them.
Betty and the Bison (Buffalo) All the animals in Yellowstone go anywhere they want to go. This walking path is right next to the Old Faithful Inn. Each morning we were at the inn a herd of 60 to 70 buffalo would gather and sleep in the parking lot of the inn. If the buffalo walk in front of your vehicle you simply stopped until they decide to move on. The average buffalo weighs a thousand pounds; you do not want to hit one.
All wood all the time Betty is standing next to one of the Old Faithful Inn's stairs. The entire inn is made from logs taken from Yellowstone in 1904.
Official Tour Bus of Yellowstone This is a 1939 White tour bus.
Ferry Falls This was our first water fall to see inside Yellowstone. We had to hike a mile and a half to see it.
Biscuit Basin Geyser Field The geysers here are so large their is so much super heated water it runs off into the Firehole River as seen in this picture. The geyser water is still steaming when it reaches the river.
A Geyser in the Midway Geyser Basin This geyser lake is 35 miles north of Old Faithful. It looks like a lake with a water fountain in one end, the fountain is really a geyser pushing water into it. It also does not look hot like the geysers with steam but do not be fooled it could be 150 degrees or hotter.
Artist Paintpots Geysers These geysers are at the north end of the geyser basins. Everywhere you see a raised sidewalk is where the geysers are, the sidewalks keep people safe from falling through the ground into the super heated water.
Upper Terrace Drive This is where the Mammoth Hot Springs are. You can see the town of Mammoth Hot Springs in the background. This is at the far north end of Yellowstone. June 14, 2012
Heard of Elk The heard is right in front of our hotel, the Mammoth Hot Springs hotel. There were five females and four calves. No male Elks with the heard but we heard a male elk bugal from a unseen location. There are about 30,000 elk that summer in the park, while 2,500 bison, 2,500 mule deer, 200 moose, 250 grizzly bears, and 500 black bears are year-round residents of the park.
The North Entrance Arch It is sometimes called the Roosevelt Arch; it is just inside the boundary of Yellowstone. Stagecoaches loaded passengers from the railroad station in Gardiner and passed through the arch to enter the park. President Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone and dedicated the arch in April 1903. The arch is inscribed near the top with, "for the benefit and enjoyment of the people".
Mud Volcano Walkway and the Buffalo. We were walking the raised walkways looking at the different geysers when all of a sudden as you can see a buffalo jumped onto the walkway. Since buffalos weight a thousand pounds and are dangerously unpredictable no one dare approached the animal. The buffalo walked along on the walkway until it started to break under its weight. It then jumped off the walkway.
The Buffalo up close Here is a picture of the walkway buffalo. I am about twenty feet way and it still looks larger than life. You can't see but there are about fifteen people taking pictures and video with me on the walkway. We were all amazed at how big and agile the buffalo was. You can see the buffalo is losing its winter coat as it sheds for the summer months in Yellowstone.
1988 Wildfire Recovery You can see in this picture that trees are growing back where they had been burned away. You can see many of the old tree trunks still standing while the shorter green trees are slowly taking their place. In twenty-four years the trees are about twelve to fifteen feet tall. During the summer of 1988, eight wildfires swept Yellowstone, burning 793,880 acres or 36% of the total area of the park. They made up the biggest group of fires in the northern Rockies in fifty years. About 25,000 firefighters worked the area, while dozens of helicopters, and more than 100 fire trucks were deployed to protect developed areas at a cost of about $120 million -- the most expensive fire fight to that date.
Hiking Trail to Upper Falls This trail was named Uncle Tom's Trail it was a short walk to see the Upper Falls. As shown here many trails in the park had to be hand chiseled out of solid rock. Many were done at the turn of the last century.
Upper Falls This is a beautiful water fall, it is not hard to get to and it is surrounded by a pristine forest. This water fall can be seen from two viewing points; one is from the Upper Falls Brink which is right next to where the water goes over the edge. The water thunders 109 feet to the bottom of the river then flows on to the Lower Falls. June 15, 2012
Getting to Lower Falls Lower Falls is a 309 feet high water fall. To view this magnificent water fall you will find it a bit harder to get to, there are five different viewing points to this water fall. This picture shows Betty climbing the several hundred steps stair case, and then you have a half mile hike of switchback hiking trails to climb. But this viewing point is the lowest and in front of the fall. If you visit Yellowstone after seeing Old Faithful these two water falls are a must see. If you view lower falls from all five viewing points it will mean you will hike several miles and some of it will be almost straight up. All the views are worth the hiking, climbing and walking.
Lookout Point for Lower Falls Here we are at different viewing point of Lower Falls. It didn't make any difference how close or how far away we were from this water fall it is over whelming magnificent. (The white you see to the left of the falls is snow, the mist spray from the falls turns to snow and ice at night because the nights can get in the 20s at this altitude.)
Artist Point view of Lower Falls This viewing point also shows the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. At the start of this is the Lower Falls which you see in the distance. The canyon measures 1,200 at its deepest point, 4,000 feet across, and 24 miles long, this canyon is basically a river-eroded geyser basin.
Lake Lodge Fireplace We are on our last evening in Yellowstone so Betty is resting from all the trail hiking we have done for the past six days. Tomorrow morning we drive back to Jackson Hole to catch our airplane to head home. June 16, 2012
Yellowstone and Grand Teton Road Guide If you fly into Jackson Hole this indispensable guide tracks the major roads within Yellowstone National Park and its neighbor Grand Teton National Park. Detailed topographical maps point out where to look for wildlife; geological formations; historical sites; and plants. Also included are locations for camping, fishing, and boating within the Wyoming parks. Several pages of maps and accompanying text cover the popular Grand Loop Road, describing the formation of the 308-foot Lower Falls, Yellowstone Canyon's best views from Artist's Point, and how Mud Volcano lives up to its name. This road guide not only helped us find our way around but also made the trip richer, more interesting, and more enjoyable. We can't say enough about this guide, it was wonderful. You can order is on Amacon.com, don't leave home for Yellowstone without it.
Yellowstone "Vacation", June 11 to 17, 2012
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