The decision made to forego Mammoth—a huge disappointment, but the best decision for us I think—means we head out of the park toward the east entrance. This is the last leg of the big loop through Yellowstone and ends up being my favorite of it all. From the Fishing Bridge, over the Yellowstone River, begins the descent out of forest and into more grassland topography.
The drive along the Yellowstone is spectacular; the wide river, the islands within the river, the tall lodge pole pines. So beautiful, so peaceful.
The landscape slowly gives way to rolling hills and herds of bison.
You don’t realize how high in elevation you really are until you come to an observation parking area where you can look out over the valley.
The road leads us out of the high rolling grasslands and toward the last Yellowstone “Village”. The narrow, two-lane road isn’t particularly congested at this time and it’s a great thing! I notice traffic stopping in the westbound lane and I slow down. No one is behind me and what a blessing that turns out to be. On the west bound side, right along the road, RIGHT ALONG THE SIDE OF THE ROAD, is this big ol’ guy
I instinctively grab the camera and get the shot! I wish I had gotten a shot of the look on the guy’s face in the car going west as his wife took photos; eyes wide, mouth open … and my face was the same! Incredible reaction, incredible shot. WOW!!!
As we leave this part of the park we climb in elevation a little bit. Fire raged through this end of the park a few years back.
We travel along Yellowstone Lake for several miles and a thunderstorm gathers.
We get to Sylvan Pass, 8530 feet, and begin a descent of 7% grade for five miles. It’s narrow, twisting two-lane road that hugs the mountain on the westbound side with a sheer drop into the canyon on the eastbound side. Heart in my mouth we gear down and take it slow enough to cause cussing I’m sure in the vehicles behind us but that’s okay. I spy one too many holes broken through the guard rail to care what they might think.
As we level out and leave Yellowstone behind us we find a national forest campground and get our spot for the night.
Thanks for reading our blog! Hugs, Shawna, The Chiweenie Brothers, and ol’ Burger the nomad goat dog.