Day 11 – Did You Know? The Scientific Name for Buffalo is “Bison Bison.”

We must have been excited to get to Yellowstone because we actually got up at the first alarm, and were on the road by 4:45 AM! About an hour in, we stopped for coffee; we then enjoyed a breakfast of GoGurt and bananas a bit later.  (Those tubes of yogurt are extremely convenient!)

The early mornings were catching up to us, but today we did good switching the drivers. Each of us was able to catch a snooze while the other made great progress to Wyoming and the first National Park in the world!

After Patrick’s nap, he called Yellowstone’s same-day reservation hotline and scored a site. Despite a twenty–minute wait on the phone (and countless repetitions of their “on-hold” recording), we could now take our time and relax knowing there was a campsite waiting for us for all three nights.

We stopped in Bozeman for groceries and then decided to grab lunch, too. After a delicious meal at Clark’s Fork, we were back on the road and entered Yellowstone around 2:30 PM via the North Entrance.

Immediately we went to Mammoth Hot Springs. Although most of them were “dry” right now, the features were still incredible to see. (Even though they were some bizzare sights, the hot springs, geysers, and steam vents we would see all smelled terribly. One of the main ingredients/byproducts of all the geothermal features in Yellowstone is some nasty sulfuric gas—the smell of rotten eggs.)

While checking out the area, we got caught in a rain storm. This was the result of a double-fail by Patrick, who read both the trail map wrong (taking us the wrong way) and the weather map wrong (inducing us to leave our rain jackets in the truck). Fortunately, we made it back to Bullseye right before it really started to pour.

Consulting the park map, and seeing where our camp was in relation to everything, we decided to drive the east portion of the park today. We saw a waterfall, along with incredible rolling hills.

We passed the Canyon area, knowing we’d head that way tomorrow, and continued south to our campground at Grant’s Village. This portion of the park is renowned for its wildlife sitings, and nearly immediately we saw some bison!

These guys create a lot of traffic jams because of their incredible size and tendency to roam.

Also, everyone and their mother stops to take photos (us included). These guys are HUGE—and a bit silly looking.

Shortly down the road, we got to diversify our wildlife exposure and saw an elk having some dinner, too!

Once at the campground, Patrick checked us in while Ally started some long overdue laundry. After the laundry was washed, folded, and put away, we set up camp and made a late night dinner of Ramen noodles.

Tomorrow is a full day of exploration and adventure!

– Ally and Patrick

Glacier National Park to Yellowstone National Park – 530 miles

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