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Patriotic Article
Experiencing America
By David G. Bancroft

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Experiencing America
5000 Miles of Beauty, Wonder, and Fun

Page 2 - (July 1, 2007)

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Yellowstone National Park

While I wished we could have spent more time in the Mount Rushmore area, our drive from it to Yellowstone National Park, the first national park, was one of anticipation with more questions coming from my 12 year old grandson about what we would find including the hope of seeing a grizzly bear.

And during this portion of the drive, he was a loving reminder of never taking my now three adult children to Yellowstone. A regret that was not a thought when they were his age, as the only thing my wife and I knew about Yellowstone back then was... Old Faithful (photo right).

It wasn't until learning through National Geographic's specials and similar informative documentaries about this amazing, unique American super volcano that I wished that my wife and I had done so.

Nor can I emphasize how all should visit Yellowstone National Park as a family at least once . . . and bring the grandparents along if they are willing. This geological wonder covers 2.2 million acres with 96 percent of its remarkable beauty and features located in Wyoming and the rest in Montana (3 percent) and Idaho (1 percent).

 Old Faithful geyser erupting in Yellowstone National Park
Bison / buffalo grazing in the area where Old Faithful and other active geysers are located in Yellowstone. And while there is plenty of driving involved to reach another geological experience, you will come upon Yellowstone's diverse wildlife at any given time along the road or easily seen in clearings and other less densely forested areas.

We saw bison (photo on left), elk, Bighorn sheep, and various species of birds each day. The first day we even saw a bear running up a slope that was densely covered with young trees under 5 feet. We are just not sure if it was a black or a grizzly bear due to its distance from us.

Then on our last day we saw two mother coyotes with pups, one was near Mammoth Hot Springs and

the other was a few miles north of Old Faithful.

Orange Spring Mound in Mammoth Hot Springs area
Orange Spring Mound in Mammoth Hot Springs area


Abyss Pool (hot spring) in West Thumb Geyser Basin

Now, be prepared to walk and walk some more if you want to really see all the hot springs and geysers. We walked several miles each day without ever venturing on any of the hiking trails. (We were not interested in going beyond where we could see plenty of other humans after hearing about a photographer being attacked by a grizzly in mid-May.)

Moreover, you will be amazed at the size of Yellowstone Lake, which joins you for most of your drive coming in from the East entrance and going south and then up towards Old Faithful. The scenic lake drive was especially beautiful with the mountains still covered in snow with their lower levels dressed in various colors of early-summer growth.
 

David Bancroft with wife and grandson at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park.
David Bancroft, wife, and grandson at Mammoth Hot Springs

Continued...

Return to... 5000 Miles > Page 1 > Introduction and Mount Rushmore National Memorial

David G. Bancroft
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Copyright 2007
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