Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Yellowstone, Southern Route - 09/04/12

There are two circular routes visitors can take around Yellowstone National Park, the Northern Route and the Southern Route. The Southern Route takes you from Norris through Madison, Old Faithful, West Thumb, Little Bay and Canyon Village and back to Norris. The Northern Route takes you from Norris through Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Roosevelt, Canyon Springs and back to Norris.

Today we decided to take the Southern Route. Our first stop was at the Old Faithful Geyser. This geyser erupts about every 60 to 110 minutes. Eruptions normally last between 1.5 to 5 minutes. The event leading up to the eruption and the eruption itself puts on quite a show for the viewing audience. Bursts of steaming hot water erupts to an average height of 130 feet into the air. Yellowstone National Park sits upon an active volcano and the Old Faithful Geyser vividly demonstrates the tremendous amount of energy entombed within the earth’s crust.

We departed Old Faithful and continued on our journey around the Southern Route. It was quite interesting to see how the terrain changes from the smoldering acidic thermal pools to open plains containing scattered herds of bison to heavily forested areas and canyon areas with magnificent waterfalls.

We finished the day’s activities with a late afternoon picnic lunch at Fishing Bridge. This area is located on the northern edge of Lake Yellowstone. A beautiful pine forest surrounded us on three sides with a view of the lake as our front door. We arrived back at our campsite at the Madison Campground at 6:00 p.m.

Today is laundry day. We depart our campground at 7:00 p.m. for the 14-mile trip to the town of West Yellowstone, Montana. The Laundromat is located next door to a hotel and is full service! It has separate showers for men and women and it has free secured WiFi. The showers cost $0.25 for each 30 seconds, so don’t dilly dally around, get er done quick! The WiFi allowed us to get caught up on all of our business and personal activities that needed to be tended to.

While at the Laundromat, I spotted a cute little Spanish restaurant across the street. At 9:15 p.m. we entered the restaurant, CafĂ© Madriz, and inquired if it was too late to get something to eat. No problem… so let the dining experience begin! The restaurant is very small and tastefully decorated in a Spanish motif, probably seats about 20 people. We ordered the house specialty, "Paella for Two". This dish takes 30 minutes to prepare, so we ordered their special spinach salad to tide us over while the Paella was being prepared. The spinach salad was excellent; it contained pine nuts, goat cheese, large pieces of bacon and a very flavorful oil mixture dressing. The Paella was to die for! The texture, aroma and taste were unsurpassed in our dining experience at other Spanish restaurants we have dined at. This turned out to be an excellent find.

We arrived back at our campground at 11:00 p.m., played cards until midnight, then packed it in for the night. A very memorable day spent in Yellowstone National Park. Total miles traveled today: 102

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