Road Trip Day 18: We Learn Nothing

Though I have already issued a warning about the size and scope of Yellowstone, we did not heed my own sage advice yesterday, and after cruising east into the Lamar Valley (otherwise known as America's Serengeti) and seeing herds of bison, a wolf (this was through someone's scope-- there are these lunatic folks who set up very expensive magnification devices on hills in the park, and then drink coffee and chat for hours, until they see something . . . and they are quite hospitable about letting regular people with $30 binoculars from Sports Authority use their equipment) bald eagles, coyote cubs, a buffalo carcass (some other lunatics watched this thing all night and got to see a grizzly pick at it) and possibly a badger (I didn't see this but my kids did, and they claimed it was a "wolverine" until we went to eat dinner at Rivers Edge Bar and Grill in Pray and they saw a badger pelt and claimed that was what they saw . . . anyway, after seeing all this stuff and doing a hike around Trout Lake, we then drove down to Old Faithful-- which none of us had ever seen-- and it took a long time to drive down there, and then when we got there, the parking lots were enormous and full, so we had to park far away-- and there were hordes of people waiting for the geyser to erupt . . . which it did . . . and it was impressive, and then it started to rain, which cleared everyone out-- so we got to walk the miles of boardwalk and see the other geysers without the nuisance of the hordes of people, and once we completed the loop through geyser country, we caught Old Faithful for a second time, which was fun, except we had to run to our car-- the way you run to your car when you are leaving a concert and want to beat the traffic-- in order to get out of the parking lot, which is an odd thing to do in the middle of a national park in Montana, but the best thing about staying north of Yellowstone in the Paradise Valley is that if you've had a ten hour day in the park, you can stop at Chico Hot Springs on the way home, and swim in the ninety five degree pool, while drinking beer, even though it's cold and rainy and giant storm clouds are swooping in from over top of Emigrant Mountain.

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