7/28/19 – Sunday
Since the rest of our family (Joe, our other son, rode with Justin’s group) wouldn’t arrive until late in the day we decided to scope out Yellowstone National Park and places to see in West Yellowstone. We’ve been to Yellowstone twice before (the latest was in a prior blog for 9/8/16), but we’ve never stopped in the town of West Yellowstone. In the morning we planned to drive to Old Faithful, partly to see how long it would take, after collecting our map and newsletter at the entrance gate. Note: if you have a Senior Pass (you can get it for $80 at any National Park once you’ve reached 62 years of age) you have “free” access to all the parks and more as long as you’re alive. Here at Yellowstone you can use the lane on the far right for those who’ve “paid” already. It moves very fast. On our way to Old Faithful we saw Firehole Canyon Drive and thought it would be fun since we’d never done that and we’d just enjoyed that lovely meal at Firehole BBQ the night before. Well, we mustn’t have been paying attention when we needed to and missed the sign. As we neared Old Faithful we saw a huge line of cars. Well, that was enough for us to turn around. We’d gotten a good idea of the time it would take to get to Old Faithful from the West Yellowstone entrance by then, about an hour. On the way back we peeled our eyes to the road for that sign and saw it, this time at the back end (it’s a one way road). Thus we enjoyed a fun drive to a waterfall and a spot for actually swimming in the Madison River below. There was quite the little hike down so we just watched the swimmers as we drove by. There were not many people on the road or parked for the sites, maybe because it was Sunday. Later when we drove this way with the family it was packed with people!
We scoped out the Museum of the Yellowstone, then walked along their “West Yellowstone Historic Walking Tour” (brochures available at the Museum and WorldMark condos). Along the way we saw the original Oregon Short Line 1903 rail car, specifically built for the Vice President of the Union Pacific. They actually built a Holiday Inn and the Branch Restaurant around it!
Finally we checked out the Grizzly & Wolf Center that was very close to our condos.
Joe, Justin and his family arrived. We provided a spaghetti dinner for everyone. Before leaving we’d planned to share cooking meals for the gang, which worked out very well. Because Justin/Jamie had the 2 bedroom condo, they had the chairs and settings for a larger group, so we always ate at their place, thus John and I got to carry our food items to their condo.
Because we had a Murphy bed (pulls out of the wall), we could take someone from Justin’s group. Thus Lily volunteered to stay at our place. Mostly to get away from her “annoying” brother, I think. It worked out well: she could be with us where it was quiet yet go over to their place where all the action was when she wanted. I was really glad that we had that separate condo, because it provided us time for peace and quiet and a chance to get to bed earlier as we prefer.