Wow! I just have to keep saying this to myself. Early rise, grab a muffin, yoghurt & banana for breakfast and I’m set to head back to the park as the sun comes up.
I enjoy the amazing sight of Firehole River in the early morning light. I’m in shorts and a fleece and the temperature is just above 0C. I head back along the road to Gibbon Falls, as I pull into the car park a coach load of Japanese tourists are disembarking for a quick wander and to view the falls, they are all wrapped up in cold weather gear and I get some smiles and funny looks for my attire.
From there I head up to the Washburn Hot Springs Overlook, as I’m climbing in altitude the temperature sensor in the car drops to -2C. Then it’s up past Dunraven Pass and the smoke haze from wildfires, started by lightning strikes, is very clear in the sky.
The weather’s warmed up now and I head to Inspiration Point and walk the North Rim of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone (and back!). The canyon varies from 800-1,200ft in depth, from 1,500 to 4,000ft in width and its length is about 24miles.
To put a little perspective on the size of this park, the figure 8 Grand Loop Road at the centre of the park runs for 140 miles!
Heading through Hayden Valley I see where the rest of the bison have been hiding as they are grazing along the valley floor, and some need to find out if the grass is tastier on the other side of the road! From there I head on to Yellowstone Lake, with it’s 110 mile shoreline, and follow a trail in the area.
In the early evening, on the drive back to West Yellowstone I catch sight of (what I presume is) an Osprey, as I’m driving by Firehole River, and it has a fish in its talons which is still swishing this way and that as the bird flies level with the car, for a moment I reach for my camera, but realising I have no chance of getting a decent pic of this event I just drive looking out the passenger window for a few seconds and enjoy being this close to nature.