Northwest Trip/Road to 500 Pt 2 - Yellowstone!

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Northwest Trip/Road to 500: Part 2 - Yellowstone National Park (7/31/03)

SUPER SIDE NOTE: I don't know why the pics aren't working, but that totally sucks as that's the reason I delayed the damn TR's! Maybe Keith can figure it out. :( Sorry!

SOOPER DOOPER SIDE NOTE: It seems as though the pics are working now! Halleluja! :)

SIDE NOTE: Sorry for taking so long with this (like you thought this wasn't going to happen! :) I just got a new computer and was waiting so I could capture some pics first so it would make the TRs more enjoyable. Now that I have my new PC, here's the TR's!

We left you last when I pulled over to "sleep" for a bit before continuing the drive onto Yellowstone Nat'l Park (from here on out it will be referred to as YNP). Too many deer, too many miles (over 1,100 in ONE day I believe!), just too tired. When we awoke (a mere 2hr45min later), we got back on the interstate and were greeted to one of the best views I have ever seen! It was simply breathtaking -- due to it being pitch black during the night, I hadn't realized how rough the terrain was in this part of Montana. There were bluffs and vast expanses of fields, and small streams and everything... it was incredible! Keith and I just ooohed and ahhhh over the whole thing. I just remember driving while Keith fell asleep in the passenger seat and I gazed out into the countryside and just thought how truly amazing it was just to be there. I had never seen anything quite like it in person -- it almost seemed like I was in a movie.

We stopped for a few minutes at a rest area to change and to get something to eat. The view from there, of course, was surreal. There were signs that said rattlesnakes have been spotted. Those are some you don’t see too often! I even found a sock while on my brief tour down the hill! :-)

The original plan of attack was for us to get to YNP by noon or so, and since we were wired up on Code Red and since I was going this fast, we didn’t sleep as long as originally planned so we actually got to the entrance of the park (and forked over the *outrageous* $20 parking fee! ;)) at around 11:15am, a bit ahead of schedule, which should be a surprise to those of you who know me, because my trips RARELY run according to schedule!

The entrance was old and rustic looking; I thought it added a nice touch. There was one interesting sign that I got a kick out of...Keith was quite disappointed! :)

From the spot where you pay your entrance fee to where you actually get to do anything is about five miles on a lovely two lane smallish winding road. When we got there we took some bathroom breaks and some photos of the wildlife roaming around the site. At one point, a mother had let her daughter too close to this animal and the ranger screamed out, "MA'AM MOVE YOUR CHILD BACK FROM THE ANIMAL -- IT COULD *DIE*!" For some reason, this struck me as hilarious. Safety first!

When we finished up there, we headed out on our journey of arguably the most recognized national park in the country. Thanks to help from Mamoosh and some maps we found online, getting around the gigantic park was fairly easy. We knew we weren't going to see everything in just one day, so we chose to head down the western side of the "figure-8" road system in place at YNP. This was where we would find most of the bubbling mud pots and geysers, which is what we really wanted to see!

For some reason I decided to put in my Islands of Adventure soundtrack CD for this drive in the park, and it fit *so* well! I got a kick out of listening to Popeye and Jurassic Park themes in here, but I think the lack of lyrics made a very relaxing atmosphere. So that's my tip, if you want to have nice relaxing background music when you find yourself in YNP, bring your IOA soundtrack, lol.

Keith drove the entire time we in YNP since it was pretty tricky with the turns and all. So my job was to spot out cool stuff on the side of the road and yell to stop. Our first stop came when I saw some steam and a sign saying there was a Thermal area ahead. So we stopped as this was the first time ever seeing anything like this.

I got in close and took some video of this area. It was so warm and humid down there! Keith decided he would stay up by the car. :) (Note: I really didn't know how dangerous even standing there was until later in the trip when I saw another sign...stay tuned)

We got back in the car and a few minutes later I saw more steam coming from the earth so again we stopped. This one was WAY bigger than the last one! It made such a great noise coming out, too. Again, it was just oppressive almost how hot the air coming out of it was (and it was well on its way to upper 90's that day anyway).

We soon left and were on our way towards Old Faithful, which would be our southernmost spot before returning out the way we came in (we used the North entrance). It was really funny when you'd see a HUGE crowd of people standing around the side of the road, and you'd get up there to see what all the hub-bub was about and it was a few random animals (I call them animals because I don't know what they were! Maybe elk?).

Anyway, back on the road again, we came to our first "major" touristy spot where there was actually stuff set up for you to walk around on. This area had many geysers and mud pots. They were called many things like mud pots, fountain paint pots, and bubbling mud pots. All sound very good, maybe we should have a vote on which one will be the official name, and then I won't tell you which one won for a month! ;-)

This spot was also the first of the rather large geysers. I thought these things were really cool! Some of them around Old Faithful got up to like forty feet, pretty insane!

We walked around there some more and took it all in for a few minutes, and then headed back on the road south in search of the area around Old Faithful. We finally got there about 2.5hrs after entering YNP and knew it was definitely the spot where people head when here! It has its own hotel, a two lane exit off the main road and everything. So we were prepared to see some good geyser action!

We walked around since it wasn't supposed to go off for another 45 minutes and videotaped some scenery. Here's the sign I was talking about earlier...quite disturbing!

After getting some good sun tan going, it was finally time for Old Faithful to erupt. There had been another geyser to the south of OF which went off earlier that shot a good fifty feet in the air, it was pretty sick! And it lasted a good ten minutes at least. So now with everyone gathering around Old Faithful, I was expecting on helluva show, but was let down. I guess you could say I had geyser anticipointment. :) It was cool and all, but only went high (wasn't even all that high!) for a few moments, and nothing lasted long. Bummer, I thought this was going to be the geyser to end all geysers. LOL, oh well, back on the road we went, heading northward now to get back to the hotel for some MUCH needed sleep.

On the way back we didn't stop much because we were so tired from all the walking we had done and not to mention we were working on three hours sleep in the past two days! So Keith drove straight through to the spot we originally stopped in to take some more bathroom breaks and for him to buy his postcards to send to people. Quite convenient as they had their own little post office right on site. It was also cheaper to send a postcard than a letter, which was news to me!

So we left after getting some shots of the state signs (hey, these were all new-to-me states that I was adding to my State Track Record! lol) and other shenanigans, we said our goodbye to Yellowstone and headed out toward Butte, Montana, where our Motel 6 awaited us with open arms. It was about an hour drive through more beautiful Montana, this time the drive took us through real mountains though, no more of that hilly nonsense. Some of the mountains I thought were quite tall, at about 12,000 ft. Of course that was nothing compared to the ones we'd see later in the trip!

We were definitely happy with our excursion to this beautiful park. It was a very nice change of pace from the amusement parks, and one day I will have to return to actually spend some time there! Not to mention see other national parks in the area.

Speaking of later in the trip, stay tuned for part 3 - Silverwood, coming to a home computer soon near you! And you can thank chris and Flabby Lips for getting me to post more TRs since I was too preoccupied with editing my Lagoon segment! :)

Thanks for reading!

You suck big time.
*** This post was edited by Legendary 8/26/2003 3:48:53 PM ***
*** This post was edited by Legendary 8/26/2003 3:50:37 PM ***
*** This post was edited by Legendary 8/26/2003 4:41:30 PM ***

What's this got to do with coasters?

Just kidding... It's really cool that you guys were able to incorporate some other stuff into your trip.

Thanks for continuing the TRs.
*** This post was edited by chris 8/26/2003 3:55:29 PM ***

nasai's avatar
Very enjoyable TR, Joe. When you gonna get those pics working? ;)
Rob - Jerk/Loser - Standing up for the unfunny and unattractive. - Click here for details
Photos are working again!

-Keith "Badnitrus" McVeen
*** This post was edited by Badnitrus 8/27/2003 2:05:14 AM ***
*** This post was edited by Badnitrus 8/27/2003 5:06:35 AM ***

TRIPs, Trip Reports in Pictures (tm), are always the best. Jellystone really needs to put in a hyper coaster to go along with the water attractions, animal exhibits, high quality bathrooms, and informative signage. ;)

Great TR and keep 'em coming!

Coaster Insomniacs- Coastin' the Night Away



Tha whistles go woooooooooo!

Do you just make your videos for yourself or do you put them on a site or something? Is Old Faithful supposed to be the biggest geyser in Yellowstone?

-Sean Newman

KK - I *love* saying Jellystone, too! We need to hang out at PPP if you go. :)

SFgadvMAN - this is the first video I have ever attempted to edit and I'm not even done, so at this point, nothing is going anywhere. However, when I finish, I honestly don't know what I'll do. I'll send it to a few friends for critique and then if it's good enough to put on the web somewhere, I'll think about doing that.

And I don't know if Old Faithful was supposed to be the biggest, but with all the hoo hah around it, I was expecting it to be bigger. :) I guess it's just cool because you know when it's going to erupt next?

Thanks for the comments, part 3 (silverwood) is comin up next!

You suck big time.

This was a nice change from reading amusement parks. How long ago did you write part one? I didn't get to read that.
Not too long ago, here it is!

It is the beginning of the trip and Valleyfair! Amusement Park...enjoy. :) (no pics included in that one)

You suck big time.

Mamoosh's avatar
Joe - glad you got to see some cool stuff at Yellowstone and that some of my hints and suggestions paid off.


2004 Coaster Calendar now available. 13 Coasters in 12 months! Order in advance and save. Quantities are limited! See S&D Greetings for details.

I think Old Faithful's popularity stems from the fact that it erupts regularly and predictably. Hence the name "Old Faithful." :)


Legendary said:

Speaking of later in the trip, stay tuned for part 3 - Silverwood, coming to a home computer soon near you! And you can thank chris and Flabby Lips for getting me to post more TRs since I was too preoccupied with editing my Lagoon segment! :)

So, where is it??? :)

Sue Barry

Yeah, c'mon Joe, get with it man. People are waiting!!!!!!


Tha whistles go woooooooooo!

rollergator's avatar
hehehe, Joe said "Butte"....:)
"Ju-ju-just like the bad guy, from Lethal Weapon 2, I've got diplomatic immunity, so Hammer you can't sue, can't touch me...." The Peter Griffin Rap
Crap! I knew this day would come. People would remember my empty promises and call me out.

Just kidding, it's actually in its finishing stages (the Silverwood TR)'s really long though, damn me and my details!

I'll try to get it to Keith to upload the photos tomorrow.

Joe C, dirty rotten liar

You suck big time.

This Silverwood TR rules! Beautiful pictures, too.

Who *exactly* is it that sucks big time, again?

At first I was under the impression that *Joe* sucked big time but, while true, he corrected me and said that it's a reference to "you". :)

-Danny, I think
Coaster Insomniacs- Coastin' the Night Away
*** This post was edited by Koaster King 9/11/2003 6:20:27 PM ***

rollergator's avatar
Gotta wonder why Danny was inquiring in the first place....;)
"Ju-ju-just like the bad guy, from Lethal Weapon 2, I've got diplomatic immunity, so Hammer you can't sue, can't touch me...." The Peter Griffin Rap
hahaha. bILL said "uirin",,, ;)


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