We checked out of our high-cost/ low-amenity motel in West Yellowstone and drove straight to Mammoth Hot Springs in the northern part of the Park.
Yellowstone was established in 1872 as the first national park. There was no precedent for the idea of reserving land to remain wild so the first park superintendents had serious struggles with poachers and miners looking to exploit the natural resources.
In 1886 the US Army was sent to Yellowstone to establish order and to patrol the vast area under Federal protection. They established Fort Yellowstone and built barracks and other sturdy buildings, many of which remain in use at the foot of the Mammoth Hot Springs.
The 5 Adventurers took many pictures of the terraces because they presented an interesting variety.
We had a couple great wildlife encounters as we left the park. The first was a herd of elk hanging out in the shade at Fort Yellowstone.
Next we were passing through Lamar Valley which is known for wildlife. There was a dense traffic backup which usually means something interesting to see. But what we didn’t anticipate were two black bear Cubs 50 ft up in a tree, perfect viewing height.
We finished the day by joining hundreds of bikers in a motorcycle rally on the drive from the Northeast park entrance back to Billings. Once we were back we said ‘bye’ to Bob the Jeep and ‘hello’ to Ole Wheezy. We’re all ready for our adventures in the Dakotas.