DISCLAIMER….This post documents our vacation from September, 2019. We continue to write while being at home because of social distancing due to the coronavirus. We are heading towards Grand Tetons on this part of the trip and hope everyone is enjoying the posts so far. I encourage you and yours to visit all the beautiful places that the USA has to offer once our great nation overcomes this terrible obstacle in front of us. If you missed any of the Living in the Moment posts from this series, the links are listed at the bottom of this blog. Stay safe and God bless, we will get through this!
Leaving Old Faithful, we were back on Grand Loop Road headed toward Yellowstone Lake. It was deja vu all over again. Not because we felt we had been here before, but because we were repeating our vacation pattern. As usual, we enjoyed everything we saw and did even more than we imagined. Because we were having so much fun with all the amazing attractions nature had to offer, our experiences took a lot longer. We were cramming more into the hours each day with less sleep. Plus, we were making more unplanned stops.
The closer we got to Yellowstone Lake, the more we wanted to see it. By the time we were a little more than halfway there, we had already planned our route and stops. To miss a few moments at the incredible lake that feeds the amazing Yellowstone River, the same Yellowstone River we had kayaked a couple of days before, wasn’t going to happen. We watched an elk stroll along the banks as we looked upon The West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake.
Yep, we were running late and had planned to drive straight through to Grand Teton and onto Jackson Hole without stopping after leaving Old Faithful. Yep, it was like sitting at a club with a killer band playing and the bartender says last call. You know you should leave but you stay for one last drink and to hear the last great song. Our recurring theme and we loved it. Here’s what happened next!
Even though we had just been to Old Faithful and we needed to get to Jackson Hole, a quick stop at Potts Basin was in order. What the heck, it’s not every day you get to see giant pots of chocolate milk bubbling up out of the ground. Too bad it wasn’t real hot chocolate or I’d think we had landed in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. I’ll take a bowl full and then turn into a big brown cow as my utters squirt chocolate milk all over. Sorry, digressed for a moment.
It was another great decision and after our quick stop at Potts Basin and Yellowstone Lake, our batteries were charged and we were on the south entrance road heading out of the park….or maybe not…time for one more quick stop.
Yellowstone National Park is such an amazing place with so many incredible things to see. One of the parks most amazing qualities, that sometimes is understated, is the incredible aquatic environments that so profoundly impact the landscape. Of course there are the geysers. But that’s not what I’m talking about. If you look at a topographical map of Yellowstone, the lakes and rivers really dominate the ecosystem. Water, water everywhere as far as the eye can see. We had just left Yellowstone’s largest lake and were about to take our last stop before leaving our old friend. It was another aquatic feature, Lewis Lake and Lewis Falls. Not much time as it was going to be dark soon.
Lewis Lake was one of the many planned excursions we had charted out before leaving Jacksonville. Our original plan was to paddle our kayak across Lewis Lake back through the Lewis Channel to Shoshone Lake. Our amazing paddle on the Yellowstone River took that spot. We had no regrets with that decision but, we look forward to completing our original plan on our next visit. A quick view of the lake and a stop at Lewis Falls would have to do on this trip. Sorry about no pictures of Lewis Lake but enjoy the video of the falls.
Driving south on the South Entrance Road, we would be leaving the park soon. We felt like we were leaving an old friend behind. Everybody has certain places that really speak to them, they feel like home. That’s how we felt here. The beauty and wonder of America’s great lands make us want to see them, but it’s how they make us feel, that make us want to come back. I can say unequivocally, we can’t wait to go back to Yellowstone National Park!
Leaving Yellowstone National Park, we were exhausted and knew we would be getting into Jackson Hole late. Looking at the map we noticed that the highway passed right next to Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park. Was there any chance we wouldn’t stop on the way, even though we were very tired and would spend our next days in the park? Not a chance, the band played an encore and we slowly finished our last drink.
We took a couple of pictures of the cloud covered tops of Grand Teton and headed to Jackson Hole for a well deserved nights sleep. God, thank you for our deja vu moments! We will see you soon as we continue our venture into Grand Teton National Park.
Living in the Moment is what we do while enjoying our time in nature. If you missed any of the other Living in the Moment Series, you can click on them here. Just After Take Off, Day 1, Day 2 Mammoth Hot Spring, Day 2 Traffic Jam, Day 2 Undine Falls and Lava Creek, Lamar Valley – Slough Creek, Day 2 Trout Lake, Lunch at Otter Creek, Mount Washburn, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Paddling the Yellowstone River, The Tiny House, Old Yellowstone Trail, Gibbon Falls – Drive to Old Faithful, Old Faithful. Please look forward to our next post as the adventure continues.