Oxford Bend - Grand Teton In the morning I wanted to go back to the oxford bend where I took a decent photo the night before. However, I knew the morning light would provide a much more excellent photo. Unfortuantely, when we woke up, it was raining! Luckily as we got read the rain subsided, but on the drive, we could see the grand tetons still covered in clouds. Luckily, as we approached oxford bend, the clouds had Grand Teton cleared and we were greeted with an amazing view. I will note that after you park, you need to go down the hill to get an unobstructed view of the river with the mountains. While I was there there was one tourist which had no regards for others and decided to wade out into the river to take his snapshot. This caused many ripples to go through, I had to wait a good 10 minutes before the river was calm again….only to have him walk back to shore. ARG. At anyrate, this was probably the best photo I took the whole trip. We did stop at a couple of other locations which we stopped yesturday

Bison On the drive towards Oxford Bend, we were greated with our first official animal greeting. This guy walked across the fields and right behind my CAR. I was a bit paranoid this thing was just gonna walk up and ram into my car. But, it just walked on it’s merry way. This guy did cause numerous cards to stop on the side of the road to obverve nature in all it’s gloary. Hawks We were also greated with some beautiful eagles that were perched in a tree, looking for it’s prey…or sleeping.

Hidden Falls After our repeats of our sites the day before, we decided to try the Jenny Lake hike again. The parking lot was FULL. So make sure to get there early if you want to do this hike. We were lucky and parked into an RV spot behind an RV who left enough room for a car to fit. The hike was an easy 6 miles RT, which some ups and downs but nothing to bad until you get to Inspiration Point. If I had to do this hike again, I probably would have opted to take the boat ferry one of the ways just because it was relatively flat and uninteresting. We got to the hidden falls and it was fairly Jenny Lake crowded with other tourists. We decided to continue on towards Inspirition Point, which was a fairly moderate hike up. The trail was slow moving with the number of families and their kids that were also attempting the hike. The view from the top provided a magnificent view of the lake.

While going up towards Jenny Lake, we encountered many squirrels which had no fear of humans. They were efficently conditioned by tourists that food would be given. This particular Squirrel was Fat Squirrel really fat, compared to other squirrels we saw on the trip. For those that would critizie that the squirrel is in fact a chipmunk, based on the description I found a website chipmunks vs squirrels which provided a description which makes it a squirrel.

Old Faithful After our Jenny Lake excursion we stopped in for lunch at Flagg Ranch. We didn’t get a chance to really explore this area because we wanted to get through Yellowstone. We entered through the south gate and went to the visitor center at grant village to get a timetable of Old Faithful. If we were to drive straight towards old faithful we would arrive about 10 minutes before the geyser would erupt. However, this meant skipping any of the sites that were available on the west thumb and anything on the way there. But we did arrive just in time. We were probably about 10 minutes early from when the geyser was going to erupt. There was already a large crowd waiting for it. Unfortunatley, I didn’t get much time to scout the best location to take photos and the sky was cloudy making it hard to differentiate the geyser activity from the sky. We decided to skip out on the other geysers in the basin, which I do regret, In favor of trying to see the Grand Prismatic Pool.

Grand Prismatic Pool The Grand Pristmatic pool is located in the Midway Geyser Basin, and it was a spectcular sight to see. The pool had many colors from bright reds/oranages to green/blues. Unforutnatley, it was very to photograph due to the steam coming off the hot water. I would have liked to see the pool when it didn’t steam, which I’m assuming would happen on a really hot day when the temperature difference of the water and air are not as drastic.

Bacterial Mats Sapphire Lake

Mud pit The colors of the hotsprings and pools are due to a bacteria mat, which thrive in the hot spring environments. Of course, we found this out after touching it with our hands. The mats have a very slimy texture and it stayed on your hands for a little while. In addition to seeing geysers and hot springs, we saw mud pools and steam vents. The mud pools are also formed from bacteria eating away at the soil and the hot water from the springs.

Elk Lastly on our drive out of the park, we were lucky enough to catch this Elk grazing in the river. After leaving the park, we headed north thinking we would stay in Bozeman. We stopped in for dinner at Rooster, which had some delicous fried chicken. But this is where our trouble started. We were looking up places to stay in bozeman for the night while we were eating fried chicken, and to our amazement almost everything was booked solid. Every cheaper place we called was completely filled. We even tried to book via priceline, and were given a place, only to have them call 20 minutes later saying there wasn’t actually any rooms available. After another 20 mins of searching, we decided to stay at Big Sky. At this point, We stayed in Jackson and Big Sky, and I didn’t get a chance to snowboard at any of them =(. So we had to backtrack about 40 mins back the way we came to stay the night. So lesson learned, if planning trip to Yellowstone, make sure to book accomodations ahead of time.

Christmas, Feria de Cali, New Years

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