Monday, August 06: Yellowstone
What’s “ice wine”?
When we got up, it was raining lightly. We walked next door to the complementary breakfast, which was really crowded (a real zoo) and with mediocre food. Afterwards, we finished reorganizing our stuff, loaded up the car, and then headed off.
I thought that we were just outside of Yellowstone, but it took us two hours to get there. I had thought that the Grand Tetons Nations Park was just the mountains, but it turns out that it includes most of the valley outside of Jackson. We had to drive through the Tetons park and a bit further before we got to Yellowstone. Then it was probably another half hour before we got to Grant Village, where we were camping.
We checked in at the campground, where we got our assigned space. (At least we didn’t have to drive around through literally hundreds of spaces, looking for an open one.) We also found that we could keep our food in the car, that we didn’t need to put it in bear boxes. This was good, as we normally keep almost all of our stuff in the car anyways.
The campsite was wet, so we drove to the restaurant and had lunch. Then we went back and set up the tent. The next stop was Old Faithful.
Our first stop there was at the medical clinic, so that Amy could get her allergy shots. She was already about week behind, so we really wanted to get that taken care of. Unfortunately, she forgot to have them look at her toes while she was there.
Then we went to watch Old Faithful. In previous parks, we almost seemed to deliberately avoid the “big ticket items” until the end (e.g. Mather Point at Grand Canyon), but this time we were hitting it first.
It was warm, so I went with Michael to get an ice cream. But by the time we got it and returned to Amy, the weather had changed. It was cloudy with a cool breeze, threatening more rain.
We watched one eruption. The breeze was strong enough that when it erupted, the spray landed on the viewing circle downwind of the geyser, causing a mass exodus from that area. As the eruption was ending, it started raining lightly. That really cleared people out. We hurried to the lodge, where we did some window shopping. The rain didn’t last long.
We then walked around Old Faithful. It was cool but bearable. We eventually made it back around to the visitor’s center, which we visited. While Amy and Mike were there, I walked back to the car and got my fleece shirt and all of our rain gear (in my backpack). That guaranteed that we didn’t need any of it.
We wandered over to the Inn, a great old log structure built in 1903/04. The main lobby is huge, 70 feet or more in height. There is a “tree house” up the upper reaches that looks like it came from the Swiss Family Robinson, but it is now closed to general traffic as it was damaged in an earthquake in the 50’s.
We put our name in for dinner, but we had a 45-60 minute wait. We just hung around the lobby and gift shop until our time. At dinner, I made a mistake in ordering a glass of wine. They had ice wine on the menu, so I thought I would try that. It came in a tiny glass. It turns out that ice wine is a very sweet after dinner dessert wine, not something that you would drink with a meal. Oh well... Now I know.
It was now very late, with the sun having just set. So we pretty much went back to the car, drove back to the campground, got ready for bed, and called it a night.