Trip report #11 – Yellowstone – Beaver Ponds Loop Hike

As Scott and I discussed our desires for this first long-term trip, we agreed we wanted to be more active. We had enjoyed our twice-daily walks along the Oregon coast and looked forward to the hiking opportunities afforded us in Yellowstone.

As we were staying near the North Entrance of the park, we chose to hike first in the Mammoth Hot Springs area. Upon looking at the day-hike information provided by the park, we settled on the Beaver Ponds Loop, which is five miles in distance and described as “moderately strenuous.”

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Trip report #10 – Yellowstone – Mammoth Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs lies at an elevation of 6,239 feet and is five miles south of the town of Gardiner, MT, where we are currently staying. It is the site of the Yellowstone Park headquarters and delightfully colorful hot springs. Home to the park’s most dynamic hydrothermal areas, its features are constantly changing.

Steam rising from the thermal terraces is best viewed in the early morning, as are the wildlife, so we headed out around 6:30 this morning with coats and cameras in hand.

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[Scared to] Death in Yellowstone

This is my and Scott’s third visit to Yellowstone together. On the first day of our second visit, we were in one of the visitor centers buying fishing licenses. Always one to scope out literary opportunities, I found myself in the book section. One good-sized shelf was predictably lined with more than a few historical accounts of the park’s origin and its colorful characters. But one volume jumped out at me from the shelf and I simply had to buy it.

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Trip report #9 – Yellowstone Park – Canyon

Learning that the Canyon area of the park would be closed early due to planned road construction and facility improvements, we made that one of our first areas of exploration.

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Trip report #8 – The Cascade Loop Highway

After knocking around the Seattle area for more than a week, Scott and I decided it would be fun to broaden my admittedly narrow view of Washington state. We packed a bag, threw it in the truck and headed north on I-5. Less than an hour later, we turned east onto Highway 20 to begin our drive of the Cascade Loop. Described by National Geographic as “one of America’s grandest, most spectacular drives,” the Loop circles “through the North Cascades mountain range, along the semi-arid Columbia River Valley, past glacier-fed Lake Chelan, through the North Cascades National Park and into the Puget Sound.”

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