Travelog: Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Day 5 & 6.

Sunrise on the last day of our sightseeing for Yellowstone national park brought with it clear crisp blue sky with fluffy white cumulus scattered here and there. Being witness to brown or black bear in the wild was obvious expectation while visiting the Yellowstone that was not fulfilled yet for us. And there was less probability to get it fulfilled given the fact that mostly they avoid high human traffic areas that was the norm for month of July in Yellowstone (unless you trail deep in-roads). We had to scratch that itch and hence went first, early in the morning to Yellowstone Bear World, small place with safari to witness variety of animals, including many black and brown bears. It was almost 90 miles from west entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

Wandering thought: There are many attractions like Yellowstone Bear World around Yellowstone National Park such as Grizzly and Wolf discovery center, just beside west entrance. Depending on where you stay, enjoying Yellowstone National Park become NP-hard problem of Travelling salesman with shortest routes to most efficient enjoyment of the spot. Mileage can vary. 
Economic brain cell spark: Entry fee to Yellowstone Bear World is $24.95 per person. It includes safari (unlimited rounds), petting zoo and other amusements for kids. If you want to have bottle feeding experience for cutest baby bears than it will cost $75 per person. 

Yellowstone Bear world provided enough time to slowly drive past lazily sleeping on the road like a roadkill or voraciously chomping on grassy mounds many marmots, couple of Bisons, grazing mule deer and white-tail deer, majestic and kingly Rocky Mountain elk and a shy moose. Though, its main attraction was number of black and brown bears roaming and frolicking freely around cars on the road or besides. It was most satisfactorily safe close encounter of Grizzly you can get. With magpies darting around tree canopies and on the ground, safari made us believe roaming in jungle with wildlife around. After safari, we came to central area having leisurely fun. A petting zoo with clever set of goats that only interested in allowing you to pet till you insert the quarter in the dispensing machine to get them food out was delightfully enjoyable. You could pet deer and run around adorable hens and cocks and geese and turkeys. While sipping the bitter coffee with freshly made French fries and chips, observing cute little baby bears playing in the pen nearby, retrospectively, we spent good time in Yellowstone Bear World.

Back to Yellowstone National Park, We knew perfectly well that it was futile to get any kind of sense of completion on this massive national park, first of the world, by visiting everything it had on offer. We decided to move North from Madison junction this time after entering from west gate. Objective was to reach almost to north entrance and have fill of another famous site called mammoth hot springs. We decided not to be attracted by any unnecessary distractions or stops. The first signboard on the road pointing us towards something that called Terrace Spring, we happily obliged to check out what it was. We were not disappointed. It was another gem of a small lookout. Again, specially crafted boardwalk loop took us to hot springs and natural geyser formation on the small scale to end in beautiful turquoise water lake necklaced with bright yellow spring flowers. Out-of-this-world view that could have not been conjured out of pure imagination and be only possible in reality. Because it was there right in front of us.

“No more distraction”- was the motto once we were back on the road towards Mammoth hot spring. We stuck to the plan and kept moving north on Grand Loop Road, till we found two huge bison grazing in meadow nearby one lookout. Once this close to parking lot, one could actually grasp the true size of these beasts. They were massive. All the park ranger advisory on not getting too close to them is not even required. One, the size of hole akin to such beast in the brain could not heed such advisory and try to be close even after perceiving them as wild animal in the name of digital memory. We could not manage to have such close look even in Yellowstone Bear world safari in the morning. Somehow, we managed to break free of urge to visit Norris geyser basin, another big attraction on the way, and kept moving to north. And this is Yellowstone National Park for you. At one moment set of unique springs and geysers, at another huge grassy meadows and waterfalls. At one moment unique rocky formations and knolls, at another brilliant display of flowers and wildlife. Passing through huge plains of swan lake area, one could not fathom how quickly they were going to encounter steep slopes and ghats. Scenery was flicked as if someone is flipping the display in projector and each scene is more mesmerizing and unique in its own way.

Mammoth hot spring was unique geological formations that were too unique to be true. Terraced white like chalk or muddy brown to rotten brackish waterfall like stone formations were certainly imbue alien landscape vibe. Again, good amount of boardwalk hike and even rise via steps give access to many such formations clustered around. Whether deep blue crystal-clear small pond in chalky white stones or colorful miasma of sulfuric spring, all such features were different. As hot sun was sipping out the energy more than what we expected and return journey towards west entrance was long and rife with unexpected encounters, we wrapped up Mammoth hot spring without too much of wandering.

When it comes to Yellowstone, it was never that simple to just say “Goodbye”. On returning back, we again met same two bison, now roaming freely on the road. That was truly the moment where we can say trip to Yellowstone was satisfyingly concluded. And we met with unexpected slow moving to stopped traffic while exiting via West entrance. Reason being huge herd of elks and mule deer were satisfying their thrust nearby river. Everyone on the way out did not want to miss one last slice of huge, sweet pie of a Nature called, Yellowstone. And we did too.

Date of Visit: 07-July-2022

Last day (08-July-2012) of our dreamy vacation escape brought us from Idaho to Salt Lake City to catch our flight back to Indianapolis via Denver.

Previously

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

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