One of my favorite things about Yellowstone is that its literally off the grid. No cell phone, no wifi, no Interwebs – for 3 days. Its probably a liberal leftist government agenda to get us all in tune with nature, and while that may have been a minor inconvenience to you (the readers of my blog) it saved me immeasurable time in having to tell the kids to “Get your freakin’ nose out of your device and look out the g-damn window!”. So, to the park rangers and stewards of Yellowstone, I thank you.
We slept in a little on Saturday because we knew we’d have to pack up the campsite and move from Bay Bridge to Fishing Bridge RV campground. While Fishing Bridge is only about 5 miles up the road, its a hard sided RV only park because of the frequent visitations by bears – no tents allowed. Usually you can’t check in until after 1pm so we hit the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center to kill a little time. The kids had been working on their National Park Passports and wanted to get cancellation stamps and stickers in the gift shop while Tawny and I got advice on the best way to spend our last day in Yellowstone. Then we headed to Fishing Bridge at 10:30 am, and as luck would have it our space was available. We unhooked the trailer and headed out on the days adventure by 11am.
We first headed up to Canyon, the Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon. On the way we passed through a heard of buffalo and almost had a buffalo pass through us. It was an encounter by inches.
We drove on to Mammoth were we were told we’d see elk and to see the thermal terraces. We easily saw elk in downtown Mammoth but before the terraces we wanted to head out of the park to visit Gardiner so the kids could say they made it to Montana and add another state to their trip log. We had lunch there at the K-BAR (decent pizza), did some souvenir shopping, visited the Roosevelt Arch before heading back into the park to explore the terraces.
Next we drove the long way back to Fishing Bridge so we could see Prismatic Spring which both Clara and Cody had bought a postcard of. Unfortunately because the day was somewhat cold the steam off the spring obscured see the true colors of it. Even so, it was a sight to behold as are the other pools nearby with colors that challenge the palette of the imagination.
We got back to Fishing Bridge about 6:30pm. I had promised the kids I’d take them fishing (and had bought a fishing license for Yellowstone earlier in the day). You can only fish between sun-up and sun-down and on the rivers its restricted to fly fishing only. That meant we had to fish Yellowstone Lake for lake trout (invasive species) or cutthroat (native and must be released). We drove to Gull Point Drive and tried to find a good spot for fishing. We saw a guy landing a fish as we drove by. It was a beauty, a prized Yellowstone Cutthroat that looked to be just south of 20 inches. We felt the excitement of fishing a pristine lake. We asked what lures he was using, and luckily I had a few of the same. We dipped our lines for 90 minutes, but came up without a bite, although fish were jumping all around our casts. Hopefully we’d have better luck in the morning.