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Friday, June 25, 2010

JELLOSTONE!

Yellowstone National Park has a special place in my heart as it does, I'm sure, with so many others who have visited it. I love it for its diversity, its vastness, its animals, snaking rivers, lakes, snow-capped mountain views, and geologic marvels. It's amazing how one park can have so much to offer.

We initially were supposed to camp there, but after looking up the weather forecast and seeing the nighttime low temps, we opted to stay at a hotel in West Yellowstone instead. We're wimps when it comes to the cold.

I think the first thing most people think of when Yellowstone comes up is Old Faithful. It is quite amazing when it erupts. But the other hydrothermal features throughout the park are just as captivating.
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I always have the craving for hard-boiled eggs whenever I walk around these things...
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It was so cold out that we were tempted to jump in this inviting blue pool of hot, steaming mineral water. But we decided to keep our clothes on for fear of felony charges and forever being blacklisted from Yellowstone. Not to mention the shame we'd bring upon our families during evening news time.
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Every time we're at a park, Drew's always tempted to feed the animals. He's a park ranger's worst nightmare. You don't even know how many times I've had to yell "Are you crazy??!!! Put down that pretzel!"
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Our favorite thing about Yellowstone is the abundance of wildlife. Bison galore!!!
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I love how that one on the lower left corner stopped to give me that look. Why, hello.

We were fortunate enough to see so many bears - through other people's high-powered binoculars. We saw a grizzly mom and her two cubs feeding on a baby elk. Mama elk was looking very distressed from a distance. Also saw a male black bear trying to court a female bear. Apparently, he had been following her for days. The poor guy looked sluggish and tired, but he was still going. I actually got to see her fake charge at him through the binoculars, so cool! Unfortunately, no pictures of the above two scenes because they were SO far away. We did get to see a black bear up close though.
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He was on the side of the river away from all the gawking people, but the minute he crossed that river, everyone backed up a few feet from where they were standing. I was taken back to my Thailand elephant incident for a moment. Then a park ranger showed up and broke up the party and everyone went home.

On our way back, we saw a bighorn sheep!
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And of course, more bison roaming the streets. =)
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To be continued!

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