Berkeley to Boston: Day 5 (YNP Canyon)

Day 5 (August 19, 2011): Grand Canyon of Yellowstone to Rapid City, SD

Last night we stayed in the Canyon Campground of Yellowstone, which has showers, so we are wearing new outfits in the pictures… just for you!

We started the day with a 3 mile run around the campgrounds.  I forgot we were at such a high altitude, so I was a little concerned when I was immediately out of breath.  Even after we had remembered that, it still felt demoralizing to be struggling so much to run 3 miles.  We ran up a “service road” where park visitors aren’t allowed to drive, and we saw 2 male deer chilling on the side of the road.  They were HUGE, so I wasn’t even sure if they were deer.  It was so cool to be so close to them and feel like I wasn’t really disturbing them like I would be in a car. 

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I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, so this was super cool for me.  Brendan, who has visited the Grand Canyon, said the thing that made this canyon so stunning was the vegetation and variety of terrain all around the canyon walls, rather than desert.  There was a huge forest all around the canyon!

The viewing area for the waterfalls was REALLY cool because we were right at the brink of the waterfall…

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Obviously, the fact that I took this picture just feet from the raging water is really cool, but the most fascinating thing to see was the crazy speed that the water was traveling at as it went over the edge and the constant flow of such an enormous amount of water. 

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We loved the waterfalls.  I started coming down with a cold at the canyon, so I felt a little more fatigued during each trek, but it was still really cool. 

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While we were still in the park driving along the Yellowstone River, we came to a point where a few cars had stopped in both directions.  That means something exciting in the road, obviously.  Well, it turned out the oncoming traffic was stuck behind a single enormous buffalo that had decided to go for a walk down the center of the lane.  At least he was in the right lane… Brendan took this picture from the driver side as the “oncoming traffic” went by…

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Only a few minutes later we approached another big traffic jam.  There was a ranger on each side of a bridge blocking traffic because there was a herd of at least ten buffalo in the middle of the bridge.  I jumped out of the car and ran ahead to get a good picture… that is when my camera died.  F!  Brendan parked and ran over with his phone to take a picture, but by that time one of the rangers was herding the buffalo off of the bridge by making shooting sounds in his intercom.  The buffalo didn’t really want to move, but eventually they were all coming towards our side of the bridge, so the ranger told everyone to get back in their cars because they couldn’t predict what the buffalo would do when they got off. 

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Our drive out of the park was also REALLY beautiful, but as I mentioned, my camera died.  I know, amateur blogger alert…

The rest of the day was spent driving through Wyoming.  We had a late Mexican food lunch in some town, and then we hade Oreo McFlurries for dinner.  Don’t worry, I also had a half pound of jelly beans for my afternoon snack!  Getting your fruits and veggies in while in the Midwest can be difficult, but I think I got it covered with the lemon-lime and tangerine Jelly Bellies! 

Stay tuned for Day 6 as we hit as many attractions as possible in South Dakota…

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