As alluded to previously, our “Big Day” - aka marriage ceremony - will be taking place in Yellowstone on 28 June. By law, one must have a marriage license to officially be married. Since we won’t be back to Cody until the Cody Stampede and Xtreme Bulls (July 1-5) we thought it would be wise to visit the Park County Courthouse for the license. It’s almost official now. We just need the preacher to sign the dotted line. From there it was on to Accent Florist in Cody to pick our flowers. I think we’re going to really like the selection. We went with our two favorites: lilies and tulips.
We were only in Yellowstone for one minute when Jamie realized why it is my favorite place in the world. Standing in a shallow stream merely yards from the East Entrance Jamie spotted a nice size bull moose with his “fiancé.” This is the first time that I have seen a bull in the wild. My goodness, the size of these animals make bucking broncs look small.
A quick stop at Fishing Bridge Campground to unhook the trailer and we were back on the road again to explore more sights.
Since time was of the essence, we opted for a shorter trip out to Hayden Valley and then back to Lake Yellowstone before returning to Fishing Bridge.
Our wedding is scheduled to take place in Hayden Valley but there are so many beautiful locations here that we may move the special spot several times prior to the 28th.
We stopped by to stand next to LeHardy Rapids and feel the energy created by the nonstop action of the Yellowstone River. We noticed several trout hanging out in the calmer pools of water located just feet above the rapids. It was neat to see so many fish that close. Although I am now 31 years old, I am still a kid at heart. There is not too much I won’t do for a little excitement. I couldn’t take seeing so many fish within reach so I eased my way down to the edge of the river and tried to catch one with my bare hands. It didn’t work out too well but, trust me, before this trip is over I will be catching fish. Most likely with bait though.
From there it was on to Hayden Valley. The buffalo were out in full force. Even though I have seen bigger herds in the valley, we were able to get up close and personal with several. But we did keep our distance when we spotted a black bear. Yep, we saw a bear, buffalo, elk, trout, swans, geese, and ducks all within the first 20 minutes of leaving our camper. O wait, did I forget to mention a grizzly???
I really wanted to take Jamie to see Lake Yellowstone prior to sunset. I knew we also had a good chance of seeing more bears along the route. The bears weren’t in the spot I had in mind but we did see a griz with her two cubs grazing within sight of the Lake Hotel. Park Rangers were on hand and yes, they did have to tell us to back up. I promise we were being careful. My camera just sometimes needs a little help with the zoom.
More Yellowstone Adventures
Jamie and I headed west for Old Faithful hoping to see a lot of geyser and thermal activity. Old Faithful is a must for all Yellowstone visitors. Not only is it impressive in size, it is the most predicable geyser in the park. Give or take 10 minutes, Old Faithful erupts every 90 minutes.
Just as we pulled into the parking lot Old Faithful was starting to boil over. We made it to the seating area just in time to see it shoot water hundreds of feet into the air.
We took the long way around via the wooden walkway to explore the various geysers and thermal hot spots in the Old Faithful area. Super hot springs such as Heart Springs and Crested Pool are easily viewed from the walkway. The clearness of the water in such areas is hard to describe. It appears to be crystal clear for several feet and then it takes on a beautiful blue tint.
Making our way around the boardwalk we passed Beehive Geyser. It’s the most powerful geyser in the park but due to its unpredictability not all visitors get to witness the splendor. Our timing wasn’t on queue with it today and we had to keep walking. We did however get to see a few rare geysers erupt making the long route worth our while.
While on our journey today we also found yet another ideal location for our wedding. We really liked Gulf Point Bay as it features a more secluded section on Lake Yellowstone with a beautiful background of snow-capped mountains. We liked it so much we called the Park Service and had our outdoor wedding permit changed. So if you are planning on surprising, be sure to come to the new location.
I won’t spoil the wedding photos by posting the shots we took today but I promise they won’t disappoint. Plus, my good friend and photographer Cody Brinton (www.thewayeyeseeit.com) will be on hand to take our wedding pictures making my work look even more amateur.
After leaving Gulf Point, we headed to Kepler Cascades to witness the massive waterfall that seems to never end. I promise you, from the lookout point you can’t see its end! The water is so powerful that even at 200 yards away one can still feel a good breeze created by its thrust.
I have to sign off now because I’d like to get a little fishing in before dark. I’m headed to the backside of the Fishing Bridge Ranger Station to fish off the bank. Yesterday, one lucky lady caught a 22-inch cutthroat trout from that very spot.