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9/12/05- Cody Wyoming
Monday we drove to Cody Wyoming (Map). On the way we discovered a very old building with a mud roof photo and a great collection of old wagons in Powell. The owner of the property stopped to say hi and answer the many questions we had about this house that is over 100 years old.

We pulled into the Ponderosa Campground which was surprisingly full. The next day we moved to a better spot in the same park and did our laundry at a brand new laundromat.

Buffalo Bill Cody Dam
Buffalo Bill Cody Dam

9/14/05- Buffalo Bill Cody Dam

Today we drove up to the Buffalo Bill Cody Dam and visited the museum there. When completed in 1910, it was the highest dam in the world at 325 feet. Apparently Col. Cody was very instrumental in getting this dam built which provides much of the irrigation water in northwest Wyoming. Here are two photos of the Buffalo Bill Reservoir.

Next we went back into Cody and watched a Gunfight re-enactment. It was a mildly entertaining play in the middle of the street, with the good guys drinking and dancing and the bad guys intent on robbing the bank. The sheriff, with a couple of deputies, prevailed of course in a flurry of noise and smoke. You can view some photos of this gunfight here.

9/15/05- Yellowstone National Park Day 1
Thursday we drove into Yellowstone National Park which is about an hour west of Cody. We passed the Bill Cody Dam and Reservoir photo and traveled throughout the Buffalo Bill State Park photo with its beautiful rock formations. Along the way we stopped at the Pahaska Tepee restaurant and lodge which was Bill Cody's Original Hunting Lodge and where we would return for dinner later that night.

Buffalo Bull in Yellowstone
Buffalo Bull in Yellowstone

Almost immediately after entering the park we saw a black bear which was just above our car on the hillside. You can view a photo of this bear and many more pictures of Yellowstone here.

Then we encountered our first buffalo parade. We would witness many of these in the several days we were in Yellowstone. They were definitely a highlight of our trip. These huge animals were not threatening in any way. This is their territory and crossing the road in a leisurely fashion is just something they do every day.

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

One of our first stops in the park was the Mud Volcano Area where we saw many bubbling pools of hot liquid mud and steam vents like the one called Dragon's Mouth Spring photo. The name was very appropriate due to the breath-like quality of the steam and the rumbling sound made by waves crashing within the hidden cave.

Our next stop was the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone photo which was fabulous. You can see several photos taken from Artist's Point, of the valley and the impressive Lower Falls here.

Our next stop was Old Faithful photo which unfortunately had erupted about 20 minutes ago. Because we had to get back to the East gate by 8PM we decided we had better not wait, so we headed home with the goal of seeing Old Faithful do its thing on another day.

Chief Joseph Scenic Byway
Chief Joseph Scenic Byway

9/16/05- Yellowstone National Park Day 2
Friday we went back to Yellowstone via the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway photo and the Beartooth Highway. It was a beautiful drive through some high mountain passes and forests. Again we encountered a construction delay but it was a great drive through magnificent mountains and along beautiful rivers. We did not see much wildlife in the Northern part of the park though. We did stop a time or two along the way, but basically we headed straight for Mammoth Hot Springs.

When we got to the Park Headquarters at Mammoth Hot Springs photo we were greeted by a large herd of Elk hanging out on the lawn. It was quite a wonderful sight to see them up close. They are quite free to roam if they wish, and I'm not sure what they like about being around humans, because they did not seem to be getting fed.

Palette Spring
Palette Spring

I think perhaps Mammoth Hot Springs is my favorite part of Yellowstone. I just love all the different colors and other-wordly views. Here is a photo of the Palette Spring which I thought was particularly beautiful. Here are many other photos taken in Mammoth Hot Springs and Yellowstone National Park.

Rather than trying to get to Old Faithful again, we decided to head home. Of course we saw many Buffalo on the way, as well as some fisherman in the Yellowstone River photo. As we approached the East gate we stopped to watch a Deer buck, who was cautiously watching both the several people that had stopped to watch him, and this Coyote who was cruising up the other side of the road.

9/18/05- Buffalo Bill Historical Center
On Sunday I went to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center while Dayadevi did some artwork. It is a great museum that has five different sections. The first one I visited had many things related to William Cody, including these old maps, which help describe this great man and the time in which he lived. Here are many other photos taken at Buffalo Bill Historical Center.

Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway
Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway

9/19/05- Yellowstone National Park Day 3
On Monday we returned to Yellowstone via the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway along the Shoshone River photo which is a very beautiful drive. I enjoyed both the river and the very interesting rock formations. On our trip back along this road I was treated to the full moon reflecting off the waters of both the river and the Buffalo Bill Reservoir.

Buffalo Bull scratching his head
Buffalo Bull scratching his head

Again we were greeted by a buffalo parade. Here a bull prepares to roll over on its side and back, presumably to take a dust bath or scratch otherwise inaccessible places. Seeing large herds of buffalo both up close and far away was a very common site on all our visits. Our big dog Tara was especially excited photo whenever we got an up close look at these magnificent animals.

West Thumb Geyser Basin
West Thumb Geyser Basin

This time we drove south from the Fishing Bridge to the West Thumb Geyser Basin photo. About 150,000 years ago a volcanic explosion formed the small caldera known as the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake. Underwater hot springs and geysers keep some areas of the West Thumb free of ice in the winter. I love these beautiful blue pools of water which are contrasted against other bright colors but usually white. Visitors are required by law to stay on the boardwalks they have built over the very fragile terrain. The colorful mats contain millions of microorganisms that thrive on the temperature and chemicals in these hot springs.

Old Faithful
Old Faithful

Next we went to the Upper Geyser Basin photo and saw Old Faithful in all its glory. The next event is predicted only after each eruption, based on the height and duration. The average interval is now about 92 minutes and the prediction is plus or minus ten minutes. The height of the geyser varies between 106 and 184 ft. and lasts for about four minutes.

While we were waiting for the big event I went on a hike around the area while Dayadevi researched the gift shop and watched a film about the geysers. There are several other large geysers in the area which they make predictions for including the Castle geyser which erupts about every 13 hrs for 50 mins, the Grand geyser which is the tallest predicted geyser, the Daisy geyser which erupts every 2.6 hrs to a height of 70 ft, the Riverside Geyser which goes off about every 6 1/4 hrs for 21 minutes.

Heart Spring
Heart Spring

This Heart Spring was very beautiful and appropriately named, and the Beehive Geyser photo while not very impressive when I saw it, can erupt to a height of up to 200 feet. Unfortunately this is a very unpredictable geyser. Here are many other photos taken on this beautiful day at Yellowstone.

On the way home we witnessed a doe fending off several coyotes photo. She seemed to be protecting something laying on the ground, perhaps one of her offspring. She was doing a pretty god job of keeping them at bay, but we knew it was only a mater of time before they tired her out. We did not wait around to see the final act.

Cloud over Yellowstone Lake
Cloud over Yellowstone Lake

Seeing this beautiful cloud was a great finish to another wonderful day in Yellowstone.

9/20/05- Yellowstone National Park Day 4
On Tuesday we left Cody and drove the coach through Yellowstone. Again we were greeted by many buffalo photo. A buffalo parade held up several school busses, but I'm sure it was a thrill for the kids on board.

Bull Elk
Bull Elk

On the way out of the park we saw a couple of Elk including a beautiful bull and an otter playing in the river. After leaving Yellowstone we drove to Ashton Idaho where we dry camped for the night along the side of the road.

 

 

9/19/05- Idaho and Back to Oregon
Wednesday we traveled through Idaho and spent the night at the Walmart in Ontario OR on the Snake River.

Clouds over the Columbia Gorge
Clouds over the Columbia Gorge

Thursday the 22nd of Sept. we drove up I 84 through the Columbia Gorge back to Portland to end our trip. A week later we would be back on the Oregon Coast for another Russian Decorative Painting class.

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