JoDo Chasing Rainbows

Update on 100 mile hiking club

I try to hike at least once per week. I am making progress on my 100 miles. It is hard though because it is not wise to hike alone at Yellowstone. There are only a few places where I can go alone. I have not met that many folks who want to hike as many miles as me. That being said, I am almost half way to 100 miles. By time this posts I should be closer to 90 miles.

Here is a sampling of where I have been since my last post. Slough Creek – 10.2 miles to a back country camp site.

This was a great hike. I signed up for this hike through our recreation department. It was me, Katie and three gentlemen from Lithuania. They were so funny. There humor was so dry that I got a cough by the end of that hike. Great view. Wonderful animal sightings. As with any hike in Yellowstone, it started with a long uphill climb. I am glad that I did not know how long it was uphill because I would have probably skipped the hike.

Natural Bridge – 3.19 miles on mostly flat surfaces

Natural Bridge trail is right next to our campground. We were waiting for a really nice day to due this hike. It was so nice that I think I might do this one every day. There were so many folks on the trail that I could easily do this one alone. We were never out of sight of people.

I know that I will make my 100 miles before September. More to come…

Upper Geyser Basin and Old Faithful

We have finally made it to the Old Faithful and Upper Geyser Basin. We have already adjusted out mindset that there is no way to do everything we want to do in one season at Yellowstone. This place is just that big. We hear from visitors all the time that they want to see the entire park in two days. It is not possible. It is possible to drive the upper and lower grand loops in that time but you will be in your car most of that time.

That being said, we made it to the most iconic area of the park. We got to see Old Faithful go off twice. We did not get to see any of the other big geysers go off while we were there. I think this area has some of the most beautiful springs and pools. The colors are so soothing. Don’t be fooled though. They are hot! They can kill you quickly.

We are using the boardwalks to help Donna get to her 100 miles for the 100 mile hiking club. This day we walk 5 miles around these geyser basin.

We also visited the Black Sand Basin which is across the road from the Old Faithful area. We had not been there before. It is gorgeous. We skipped this on our first visit to the park because it was small. I am glad we rectified this mistake.

Last stop on this day was the Firehole Basin. There is a hot lake in this area.

Heart Mountain Internment Camp

We visited the Heart Mountain Memorial area that is between Cody and Powell, WY. This ‘camp’ held Japanese people, most who were Americans, during World War II. There were ten such camps spread through out the United States. This camp being the most northern and the furthest east was in Arkansas.

This camp held over 10,000 people in one square mile. We were told that the density was comparable to living in Los Angeles. What I liked most about this museum is the oral history stories. People who lived in this camp telling their own stories of life before, during and after their confinement.

This place is a chilling reminder of what we can do to our own citizens. The location is about 20 minutes outside of Cody. Here is a link to the website if you want further information.

Going North toward Mammoth Hot Springs

We have been at Yellowstone National Park for over two months. We have barely scratched the surface of this park. It is so big. We finally got to go north towards Mammoth in late June. It was quite cool until the very end of June. It was a sunny day but the wind was whipping so it kept the temperature down. However, everywhere we looked we saw spring making her mark.

We had never driving from the Tower/Roosevelt area to Mammoth so that was the route we took on this day. We kept running into coyotes who were all trying to cross the road. Animals always get the right of way in Yellowstone.

Coyote on the move. A wagon train had started from Roosevelt Corral. We saw a few coyotes move to the other side of the road to get away from the folks on the wagon train.

There are wonderous meadows and mountains that we crossed on our trek north. Undine falls was a great place to stop and watch one of the many waterfalls in the park. The snow melt from the mountains made all the waterfalls look impressive.

We finally make our way to this bridge that I have seen numerous times on TV and from afar when we have traveled from Mammoth to Norris. The north side of the park is full of elk and bison. We saw this little tiny, colorful bird. It was funny because we were watching this bird while there was a crowd around us who choose to watch the elk.

Mammoth Hot Springs is right inside the north entrance to the park so it is very busy and full of people. There are a lot of folks who only see this one part of the park because they have only one day to come to Yellowstone. The visitor center is a place where you can access free wifi. It can be hard to navigate and visit this center because there are lots of folks standing around trying to use their phone. Tip: you can access the wifi from the Visitor Center porch. There are places to sit and you have a very nice view. Use your phone there instead of inside of the Visitor Center.

These hot springs look other worldly. When you get close it looks like what I imagine parts of Mars looks like. Springs can dry up or change at any time. This place looks very different from when I visited a few years ago.

There are also many hiking trails in this area. This is not a bad place to visit if you only have one day to come to the park.