Another night with no furry visitors, nice! I had 27 miles to get to the road that leads to Grant Village where I could stay in their big campground without having an advanced permit. I got going early and again the morning was bitter with frost. And what greeted me first thing? A nice cold river crossing…it was too wide and deep to have any rocks to hop across, and I couldn’t imagine soaking my shoes so early in the shadows of the day, so I put on my chacos and WOOOOO that was cold!
I immediately switched to shoes and socks on the other side, but it took a good bit before I could feel my toes again. Feels like fall. On the good side this frost helps kill off the mosquitos, on the bad side, it seems too early for fall.
The morning’s hike took me along several river canyons which would have been spectacular packrafting waterways with more H20, but unfortunately the park has banned packrafting. (see http://forrestmccarthy.blogspot.com/2013/06/packrafting-guide-to-yellowstone.html?m=1 for more info…it would be an amazing opportunity to paddle the park!! I support a free Yellowstone)
The afternoon I walked the shores of Heart Lake, but the view was mostly of the trees that lined the shores, kind of boring, but later I was able to walk the shore for a while. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t throw down my pack and go for a swim; the temperature of the water was perfect! As soon as I left the lake the afternoon sun seemed to get hotter and I regretted my passing up the swim.
Soon after I met some more hikers, Flamingo, who was a southbounder, and Grimm, a flip flopper. Then I met two more: Guy on a Buffalo & Wanderer (who had hiked the PCT last year and I had screenprinted his shirt “hikertrash” at PCT days last September…and he’s wearing that shirt on the trail! Cool!!!!!!)
I hiked up and found my first boiling pools of sulfur smelling water! I’m in Yellowstone!
The pools continued and I hoofed it up a short climb before a nice flat bit of hiking where I met yet three more flip floppers: Nom nom, Apache, and Mehap. It looked like they were all having fun hiking together.
I was close to the highway, I could hear it…and you know what that means…Grant Village, cold soda and hot food!
I immediately got a ride from a nice dude and his friends out from Boston for the week and soon I was getting a campsite and wandering over to the land of ice cream and clean tourists.
As I was eating my strawberry cheesecake waffle cone, I decided to forgo the grill which offered mostly burgers and go to the restaurant.
I got trout and really relished the fancy dinner as I hoped I didn’t smell too much.
Then back to camp where a group of near-by teens were blasting some terrible pop music. Makes me feel old…turn that down eh!
I have to keep all my food and smellables in a bear box tonight, but the previous campers spilled coffee grounds all over the picnic table and ground, and there’s lots of crusty food debris as well…so much for keeping a clean camp!
She-Ra: You rock! I admire that you continued north in spite of the snow and weather. Glad you have gotten to Yellowstone, and hope you enjoy your days in Utah at the outdoor show. You mentioned that you were in favor of opening Yellowstone to paddling all waters… Yellowstone is home to the greatest diversity of large predators in North America, and is an intact ecosystem. As such, waterways are the highways of the wildlife. With 3 million plus visitors/year, allowing people on the rivers etc would effectively close those wildlife highways, leaving critters no where to go. Also, can you imagine the number of deaths/emergencies that would be called in? With over 200 waterfalls and rapids uncountable, the Park does not have the resources to respond to every emergency. Every year visitors are lost to the rivers just from wading–a 9 day search for a young man from China has just been scaled back–he was last seen trying to stay afloat as he was washed down the Yellowstone River. Just because we can does not mean that we should. Yellowstone is and should continue to be one of the few areas where we as a species think about our behavior and where we are not the most important thing. To be willing to forgo the fun and excitement of rafting/packrafting/kayaking/ etc for the benefit of the wildlife, the landscape, and the ecosystem is a mark of a mature population. Please don’t take this as criticism of you personally. I feel it is important for us, the hiking community, to be aware of issues and to look at those issues globally. .. Best of luck in your continued travels to the beautiful state of Montana. If you come through Mammoth Hot Springs and then through Gardiner, please let me know…. trail magic could occur 🙂
I appreciate your thoughts on the matter. I realize the issues are complex regarding river use. This is something I would like to learn more about…after the hike of course! Thanks for following, I’ll let you know if I pass through your neck of the woods.
Just a quick note for Yellowstone02,
Everything you said could also be said in regards to hiking, only with hiking there are more people making more of an impact, and how many hikers (seasoned or not) does the National Parks department rescue per year. Are you willing to forgo the fun and not hike or just stay out of the park for the sake of the wildlife.
Just something I thought you might want to contemplate.