a cow standing in a field


Jun 16th - Jun 26th (10 days)

To get to Yellowstone, we opted to skip the Teton Pass, so we went the long way through the valley. We had about two weeks in the Yellowstone area, and our first campsite was Henrys Lake, State Park.

It was a peaceful campground about 15 minutes from the west Yellowstone entrance.

a grassy field with mountains in the backgrounda landscape with mountains in the background
a dog running through a field of flowersa field of plants with trees in the background

At this time, Yellowstone was still 100% closed, so we were looking for things to do outside of Yellowstone. The first thing we did was to check out the town, of course. It was quiet and empty, but all the stores and shops were still open, so we could take our time browsing, and it was an enjoyable experience.

That’s how we learned the value of going into the local camera stores and asking the people there the best place to find animals. These guys were all enthusiasts that spent the whole summer in the area taking pictures, so they knew all the hiding spots and best places to see wildlife.

Another thing that we ended up doing was a little Yellowstone rodeo show. It was a local family putting it on, unlike the Houston rodeo.

a road going through a valleya white car on a road with mountains in the backgrounda river with rocks and trees
a group of animals walking on a rocky surfacea dog walking on a rocky patha squirrel on a tree brancha bird walking in a fielda couple of birds walking in a grassy fielda bird sitting on a treea small animal sitting on a rocka goose with her ducklings
a person riding a horse in a rodeo
Melissa is not fond of the cold!a dog with a stick in its moutha dog with a stick in its mouth

Next, we were supposed to go to North Yellowstone at a campground we had reserved. But during all the rains, our booked campsite literally washed away into the river. So we needed a backup plan.

We checked out a lot of the Boondocking and dispersed camping sites to see if there was one we could fit our 35-foot RV into. We ended up finding a first come, first serve place we liked called Baker’s Hole.

Yellowstone was still closed, so there was plenty of availability, and it was nice and quiet. We were parked 10 feet away from a river. Very relaxing.

a lake with trees and a housea bench in a park

At the end of our stay, the last three days, Yellowstone did a partial opening based on your license plate number. Unfortunately, that meant we had only two opportunities to enter the park, the first day, Wednesday, and again on Friday.

Justin adjusted his PTO schedule to line up, and we got up super early on Wednesday to make the most of it.

Everybody else on the planet decided to get there on Wednesday too. The national park isn’t used to these kinds of lines, so they had no traffic control at all, and it was bumper-to-bumper for miles down the road. We ended up waiting in line for 2 to 3 hours, including taking a back road we found and cutting in line.

a road with cars parked along it
Getting into Yellowstone on day one.
a bear walking across a parking lota bear standing on a rock by the water
a person standing on a bridgea man standing on a bridge
a body of water with trees and grass around ita large geyser in a lakea sign in front of a rivera bridge over a rivera small pool of watera river with a small waterfalla landscape with trees and grassa river with rocks and treesa pond with a log in ita group of trees in a foresta large geyser in a rocky areaa river with a waterfall
Lots of hot springs!
a large body of water with a bridge over it

Yellowstone itself was as cool as ever. Melissa had never been, so all the geysers and hot springs were a new experience.

We sat and watched old faithful, which you can't miss, of course. We saw another was going to go off that afternoon, so we took our bikes, including my rusty old piece of crap, and did our best to bike ride down the trail and get to Lone Star Geyser before it erupted.

We got there just as it started and only missed the first couple of seconds! Some of these lesser-known geysers are hard to predict when they go off, but they put on a more impressive display than Old Faithful.

a large geyser in a field with Old Faithful in the backgrounda large waterfall with a large waterfalla large geyser in a forest with Old Faithful in the backgrounda man holding a stick looking at a large geyserYou can see steam coming out of the ground all around in the distance.Inbetween eruptions
Olde Faithful and Lone Star Geysers
a fox running on a dirt road
This fox watched Olde Faithful with us
a sandy beach with trees in the background
a geyser spewing water into a small pool of watera body of water with grass and trees around it

While we got to enjoy most of Yellowstone after the historic flooding the north part of Yellowstone never opened while we were there. Hopefully at some part of this journey we get to swing around again and see the Mammoth Hot Springs and Gardiner area.

a river running through a canyona waterfall in a foresttwo people riding bikesa beach with a pier and water
a bear walking on a hill
a buffalo in a field
a cow standing in a fielda group of buffalo in a fielda group of animals in a field


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