American West Adventure – Day 5
We slept in Friday morning to catch up from the long days and nights so far. Then we headed South to the Lake area. First we passed over the Fishing Bridge over the Yellowstone River, which was built in 1937. Beautiful views to the North and South. It was early AM and we wouldn’t be able to check Lake Yellowstone Hotel yet, so we headed to the marina to see if we could get out on the water. All the rowboats were out for rental already so we took a boat cruise around Yellowstone Lake with a park ranger from the National Parks Service. We found out that a large portion of the lake is over a dormant volcano and there is a lot of thermal activity down below. The rest of the lake is quite cold.
We then came upon Stevenson Island, which has an interesting history. A man named E.C. Walker built a raft in the early 20th century and brought wildlife to this small island. He then would charge visitors to Yellowstone $1 to take them out on the raft to see the animals. He would then take a photo of them and say they owed him $1 additional for the pic. Eventually the powers-that-be in the park kicked him out. That was one reason, it seems he was also having crazy parties and had lots of women. They never bothered to take his boat off the short of the island and it remained until it was hit by lightning and most of it burned up.
We went out to the general store grill (not bad) for some cheeseburgers and then went to explore Mud Volcanoes. We saw boiling mud and heard all kinds of bubbling sounds under the earth. Bison roam freely and one had stationed itself right in front of one and a crowd gathered to check him out. Some parents are really dumb; one kid was just a couple of feet from the Bison while he was started to get irritated; growling and shaking its head. Duh.
All Sofia kept saying at the mud volcanos was “Daddy it’s really cool and awesome but it smells so bad I can’t believe it”
We went to check into Lake Yellowstone Hotel but were too early. After taking some photos of the Lake, we went to Lehardy Rapids off the Grand Loop Road and took a walk along the river. Brandon was being annoying to Sofia (and me) so I held his arms and gave her some free shots at him. It was awesome and long overdue 🙂
It was very buggy and at one point on this little bridge Brandon started dancing like a fool to get the flies off. He realized after a bit that a family was stopped on the bridge waiting to cross and watching him…and that I was videoing the whole things. I will try to upload/embed the video.
We asked for a good local trail when we checked into the hotel and headed out to the Natural Bridge Trail. It’s 3 miles and not too rough for Sofia. The natural bridge is truly amazing and we took the steps up and around it and then finished the loop. Sofia wasn’t tired at all because it was mostly flat and at the end was asking to keep hiking.