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Old 07-29-2010, 08:58 AM   #16
ScooterL
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I'm sorry you missed seeing Castle Geyser - I saw it twice when we were there and it was VERY impressive - once it starts erupting it goes on for close to an hour! Did you see Steamboat Geyser at all? That one goes off fairly frequently - and it just bubbles and spurts and spouts - we called it the "Happiest Geyser".
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:25 AM   #17
disneyfaninaz
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I'm sorry you missed seeing Castle Geyser - I saw it twice when we were there and it was VERY impressive - once it starts erupting it goes on for close to an hour! Did you see Steamboat Geyser at all? That one goes off fairly frequently - and it just bubbles and spurts and spouts - we called it the "Happiest Geyser".
Me too! However, it was a very windy day and the ranger told us that the wind effects the eruption of Castle Geyser. Oh well, next time.

We did see Steamboat Geyser, I could have watched it all day just sputter and spit.
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:21 PM   #18
disneyfaninaz
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Day 7: Where's the moose?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

We woke up and had breakfast in our room. We decided to check out the gift shop one more time and get DD her sticker from Old Faithful. She only had 2 so far and needed 4 to get a prize. However, since Roosevelt was closed and we wouldn’t be going to the Lake Lodge, she would only have 3. The lady at the shop was very nice and told DD that she deserved a prize anyway and went back to her storeroom. When she came out, she had a small stuffed moose with magnetic legs to wrap around objects. It was very cute and we were very grateful.

We then went out to see if we could see Old Faithful erupt one more time before heading toward’s West Thumb. Unfortunately, it was about an hour to the next eruption so we decided to say goodbye and leave.

DH was a little tired of thermals and geysers and didn’t feel like a long walk, so we skipped seeing the Lone Star Geyser and headed towards West Thumb. We stopped at Kepler Cascades.



We passed the Continental Divide twice as we climbed out of the Old Faithful area. Our highest elevation was around 8390 feet.





On our way to West Thumb, we saw these guys by the side of the road.



When we arrived at West Thumb, it was very cold and windy. Yellowstone Lake looked like the ocean with the waves crashing along the shore.



In fact, the famous fishing cone, where long ago fishermen would catch their fish in the lake and simply insert their catch into the cone to cook, was covered with water.



We strolled around the boardwalk and saw some more interesting thermal features.



We then headed toward’s Colter Bay in Grand Teton for lunch.

We exited Yellowstone and entered the J D Rockefeller, Jr. Parkway.



We were expecting to be delayed again by construction, but they took Saturday off, so we had no delay. We arrived at Colter Bay and ate at the Ranch House Restaurant. They had a really good salad and potato bar.

After lunch we headed to the visitor center. Our neighbor had told us about the American Indian museum and the American Indian artist who made jewelry there. I ended up buying a bear pendant made from abalone shell. It was a thread your own bead thing, but it was a good price.

After the visitor center, we headed toward Jackson Lake Lodge to see if our cabin was ready. We were lucky that it was. We unpacked the car and headed back out to see more of the Grand Tetons. This time we took the other part of the loop past Oxbow Bend.



While the bend was beautiful, it was not teeming with wildlife as we had hoped.

We then kept driving until we came across a jam in the road.



I had finally found my bison jam! It wasn’t bison walking down the middle of the road, but a substantial size herd was crossing the road to another field.



We then stumbled across Cunningham’s Cabin. This is a picturesque stop. However, the cabin is a lot smaller than it appears in photos I have seen.



We walked around for awhile and then continued on. We pulled off one of the overlooks to find a couple of guys with really powerful scopes and camera pointed down to the river below. Evidently they had their eye on a large moose. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, he had wandered into the brush and was no longer visible. Seriously?!! Our timing stinks today!



We went on our way and eventually ended up in Moose Junction at the main visitor center again. We had heard rumors that a moose was spotted near the visitor center earlier in the week. But alas, we could not find it. After we visited the facilities, we headed back toward’s Menor’s Ferry. When we arrived at the Chapel of the Transfiguration, they were preparing to hold a wedding. What a beautiful place to be married!

Anyway, we headed toward’s the river and Menor’s Ferry.

We went into the General Store and talked to the storekeeper for a bit.



He told us of a full grown bull moose that had walked by the store the other day and that a woman in the store screamed and the moose ran away. Go figure! How come I can’t be so lucky! Anyway, we saw this interesting chair made out of elk and moose antlers.



We also saw the pulley system used by rangers to demonstrate how settlers would cross the Snake River.



We decided to head back to our cabin for a small rest before heading out to dinner.

After our brief rest, we drove up Signal Mountain road before eating at Signal Mountain Lodge. It was a very windy road that seemed to never end, but there were 2 overlooks at the top that you could see the park on both sides. The views were stunning.





We made our way down and went to the lodge for dinner. The view toward’s the Teton range was amazing while we ate a very good meal and lamented the fact that we would have to go back home the next day.

After dinner we headed back to Jackson Lake Lodge. DD wanted to sit in the lobby and play card games while we watched the sunset.

There was a wedding here as well. The bride, in her strapless gown, looked very cold as she posed for pictures out back of the lodge. About sunset, we were rewarded with the most beautiful images.





It was then time to call it a night and get packed up for our drive back to Salt Lake City tomorrow.

Next: STOP the car!!!
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:28 AM   #19
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Day 8 - STOP the car!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

We all woke up a little cranky this morning. I don’t know if it was because it was the end of vacation, the dread of the long drive back to Salt Lake City, or the fact that we have been here almost a week and haven’t seen one moose! Well, that was why I was cranky, don’t know about the rest of the fam.

Anyway, we ate breakfast in the Mural Room again this morning. On the way, I caught a picture of this bird (I think it’s a robin).



Then I went out to the deck and got this.



Breakfast was very good as usual with an extraordinary view. After breakfast, I decided to head back out to the deck to get some last photos of the marsh. (Did I mention that I couldn't get enough of the views of the Tetons)?



People were saying they had seen a moose down there so I was hoping to spot it. I had some luck in that it was still there, but very hard to see in the brush.



My DH and DD decided to join me after they paid the bill. I told my DH that I was going to go to the cabin and get a camera with a bigger zoom to try to zero in on the moose. While I was away, just my luck, the moose evidently had a calf that ran away from the mom for a few seconds before scampering back into the protection of the brush. Was I there to see it? Noooo! Did my DH have his camera to capture the moment? Nooooo! Okay, now I was just in an even more pissy mood that I hadn’t yet seen a moose and we were an hour away from leaving the parks.

I guess my DH understood my frustration as he started a diatribe in his best Jacque Cousteau accent that we're “On the great quest for the elusive moose!” We checked out of the lodge and headed towards Oxbow Bend in hopes of spotting a moose in the water there. No such luck!





We then stopped at various turnouts that overlooked the Snake River. No such luck!



When we got to Moose Junction we headed down to Dornan’s camp area. We were on the other side of Menor’s Ferry.



While we didn’t see a moose, I did catch a picture of this bluebird.



We then headed to the visitor’s center to use the facilities before heading out of the park. Needless to say, I was not in a good mood and my DH knew it. As we were driving over the bridge to head out of the park, I was diligently watching the shoreline along the Snake River. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted something. I immediately shouted “MOOSE!” My DH said “WHAT?” I shouted, “STOP THE CAR!” So he pulled over after we crossed the bridge, I grabbed my camera, got out and started walking back on the bridge to make sure I wasn’t seeing things, which my DH was sure that I was! Low and behold, standing along the shore line in the brush was a young moose. Not a moose with a full set of antlers, but it was still the Great Elusive Moose! EUREKA!!! We actually started a moose jam of our own as people started walking over on the bridge and slowing down to see what we were looking at.





We got our pictures and then headed out. After all, we had a long drive and a plane to catch. Okay, it wasn't the biggest moose ever, but I saw one and I was happy.

After we hit Jackson, we stopped at the Rustic Inn to get a picture of the famed Elk Antler Arch.



We took a bit of a different route back that took us through rural Wyoming. It was Sunday afternoon, and I can honestly say that we did not see a single person in any of the towns we passed through. The scenery was beautiful and the yellow wild flowers in the pastures were stunning. It threatened rain most of the day, but we only got spit on a couple of times.

We passed through this antler arch in one town.



We also passed by Bear Lake. It was huge and was the most beautiful color of blue.



We finally arrived at Salt Lake City International Airport where we checked in our rental car, checked our luggage and headed to our gate, only to find out our flight was delayed by about half an hour. Oh well, we grabbed something light to eat and waited. Our DD had a loose molar and was playing with it at the gate. Next thing I know she’s going “Mommy, my tooth came out!” She was so excited to lose her tooth in the airport. What a way to end a vacation!

We arrived safely at home to about 90 degrees.

Thus ending Our Great Quest for the Elusive Moose. I hope you enjoyed my little report. If you ever get a chance to visit any of this country’s National Parks, I would highly encourage you to do so! And if you get a chance, definitely go to Grand Teton and Yellowstone!

Last edited by disneyfaninaz; 08-10-2010 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:18 AM   #20
ScooterL
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Great trip report!!! Thanks for taking the time to write and share it with us - I know that's a lot of work.

I'm glad you finally saw a couple of moose - that's wonderful! We never did see any on our Yellowstone trip, so we were disappointed. But that's really just about the only thing that didn't go as planned for us.
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:55 AM   #21
disneyfaninaz
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Great trip report!!! Thanks for taking the time to write and share it with us - I know that's a lot of work.

I'm glad you finally saw a couple of moose - that's wonderful! We never did see any on our Yellowstone trip, so we were disappointed. But that's really just about the only thing that didn't go as planned for us.
Thanks! I'm sorry you didn't get a chance to see a moose.

Anyway, my DH says that it was the best $50 he ever spent by giving it to the ranger to move the animatronic moose out to the river bank!
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:55 AM   #22
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Thank you for another great trip report.
I am in the planning stage of driving from Ct to Vancouver BC with a stop in yellowstone on the way out and posibly yosemite on the way home.

a four week trip with a diseny cruise to alaska.


Sadly I will only have a day in each park this time, but will get a taste from another trip
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:37 PM   #23
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Enjoyed your trip report

That was a great trip report. It looks like we are going to go to YNP/GTNP in July 2011 afterall... When we asked our children where they wanted to go they both said Yellowstone. Since I am also from the Phoenix area I was wondering if you ever priced flying into Jackson, WY and was it a lot more expensive? Also what was the drive time from SLC to GTNP/YNP to SLC?

Thanks,

Beth
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:48 PM   #24
disneyfaninaz
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That was a great trip report. It looks like we are going to go to YNP/GTNP in July 2011 afterall... When we asked our children where they wanted to go they both said Yellowstone. Since I am also from the Phoenix area I was wondering if you ever priced flying into Jackson, WY and was it a lot more expensive? Also what was the drive time from SLC to GTNP/YNP to SLC?

Thanks,

Beth
Hey Beth, your family will love the parks. The problem with flying to Jackson is that you have to lay over either in Denver or Salt Lake City, there are no direct flights. I looked at Frontier and US Airways, both of which charge for bags. Flights to Jackson were much more expensive than flying into Salt Lake City and driving. The drive was about 6 hours (same as from here to Anaheim), but the landscape was like nothing we ever see here in Arizona or along the I-10.

Also, if you haven't already done so, you want to book your accommodations inside the parks now!

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:50 PM   #25
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Thank you for another great trip report.
I am in the planning stage of driving from Ct to Vancouver BC with a stop in yellowstone on the way out and posibly yosemite on the way home.

a four week trip with a diseny cruise to alaska.


Sadly I will only have a day in each park this time, but will get a taste from another trip
Sounds like a wonderful trip. I would love to see Vancouver someday. Our nieghbors are going to Vancouver next May and taking DCL to Alaska.

I figure even a day at the park is better than none at all! Hope you can fit them both into your itinerary. If you are wanting accommodations within the parks, you should probably book them as soon as possible.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:27 PM   #26
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Thanks for the flight information Wendy... I think we will probably stick with flying into SLC... We may flight in the evening before and stay in SLC and get up early and drive up to WY... but on return flight I would like to try to drive directly to airport and flight home the same day... Is that what you did and did you?

I have managed to get our lodging reserved in YNP (Snow lodge and Canyon) and we are on the wait list for Jackson Lake Lodge...

Beth
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:34 PM   #27
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Hi Beth,

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Originally Posted by AZBeth View Post
Thanks for the flight information Wendy... I think we will probably stick with flying into SLC... We may flight in the evening before and stay in SLC and get up early and drive up to WY... but on return flight I would like to try to drive directly to airport and flight home the same day... Is that what you did and did you?

This is exactly what we did. Not the original plan, but it worked out well.

I have managed to get our lodging reserved in YNP (Snow lodge and Canyon) and we are on the wait list for Jackson Lake Lodge...

Good luck on Jackson Lake Lodge. It was really very nice staying there.
Beth
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:05 PM   #28
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Wonderful trip report!! We will be visiting Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons for two to three days this fall and your photos and report were very much appreciated - thank you!
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:10 PM   #30
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Great TR disneyfaninaz! Haven't had the opportunity to visit this part of the States yet, it's next on my list to visit! Those thermals look spectacular! Glad you finally go to see your 'elusive' moose!
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