The world is full of pretty places and I recently returned from a visit to a couple of them, Yellowstone National Park and the Black Hills of South Dakota. Every few years my sister Deb and her husband Rex invite me to meet them in Yellowstone and this is just such a year. So, off I went, packed up and prepared to sleep in my truck along the way to avoid the outrageous prices of motels. I arrived a day ahead of time so set my destination for Mammoth Hot Springs. I enjoy that place. Even though the colors there are diminished this time of the year I still found it to be very beautiful. A flood went through that area a few years ago that destroyed the road between Gardiner, MT and Mammoth. A new road has been built and I wanted to check it out. I was not disappointed.

Old road
I enjoyed driving this road and am sorry it is no longer useable
The new road took some getting use to but I enjoy driving it as well now
This road snakes through the hills above the old road that followed the
Gardiner River

One of the features of natural places is that things are always changing and the Yellowstone volcanic area changes daily. The hot spots beneath the surface move around and the boardwalks need to be moved and replaced to safer areas. Each time you go things will be different.

The new road opened on October 30th of 2022

One of the first features you see in the Mammoth area is this strange rock often called, “The Devil’s Thumb.” Upon exploring you soon find trees growing on top of rock mounds.

Other than seeing a couple of our favorite features of the park, due to over whelming crowds, we avoided most of them and stuck to the out of way places that we appreciate most. It is reported that 45 percent more people visited the park this year in August than last year at the same time. We spent time at Old Faithful, Norris Basin, The Dragon’s Mouth, and the Lake Yellowstone Hotel.

Mammoth terraces
The stark, but beautiful, Canary Springs area
I love the old original buildings in the park such as this one at Norris Basin
The pools were not the deep blue colors you see earlier in the year but were still beautiful
Steamboat Geyser in Norris Basin is the highest erupting geyser in the world, but does not often erupt to it’s full potential. I got a kick out of the clouds it was producing
Bee Hive Geyser
We spent a night in the Old Faithful area. Being an early riser I went for a walk just in time to see Bee Hive Geyser across the Firehole River erupt just prior to Old Faithful spouting off. People were already gathering to see Old Faithful which is to the right of Bee Hive. New comers were confused, asking, “Is that Old Faithful?” I understood their confusion.

By the time we left I watched Old Faithful erupt four times. Deb, Rex, and I spent lots of time playing the card game, “Pitch.” We went into Old Faithful Inn later in the morning to get a hot cup of coffee and played cards and again at night playing until everyone else went to their rooms for the night.

I have rented rooms several times at Old Faithful Inn in the past. I am happy I did as now it is very expensive to stay there.
Old Faithful Inn is my favorite historical lodge. I never tire of being there
Maybe I shouldn’t have drank that beer