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Old 09-11-2012, 10:17 PM   #61
TonyBKK OP
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Can't tell you how happy I am to have scored such a great site in the Tower Fall campground


I'm also very happy and relieved that so far Kristhawee's injured toe seems to be on the mend and isn't giving him much pain. I ask him if he's feeling up for a hike to the Tower Waterfall? He's up for it! Let's go!


He's diggin these monster dandelion-like flowers and gets to make a lot of wishes


At first he wishes for such sweet things, like "I wish I can stay with my daddy forever"

But as the flowers keep presenting themselves his wishes turn a bit more mundane, like "I wish I could drive a subway" and "I wish I could fly a plane"

I tell him that he can do anything if he's willing to work for it and tries hard enough- a wish will get you half way there, the rest is up to you!

Tower Fall, elevation 6650 feet


Tower Falls- spectacular!


Kristhawee at the Tower Falls overlook-


There's a trail that goes down to the base of the falls- I'm not sure if Kristhawee can do it with his injured toe... He wants to try


It's a pretty steep trail- going down isn't too tough but I point out to my son that we'll have to go back up the way we've come. He doesn't seem too concerned


Yeah! We made it- and it really is a beautiful spot- I'm glad we hiked down here-


Somebody wants to get their feet wet- off come the boots. I tell him to be careful as the rapids are FAST and this is NOT a safe place to swim and I CRINGE as I watch some parents let their small children out into the rapids. If they fall down they can easily be swept away and drown. Finally I decide I have to say something, walk over, and tell them as nicely as I can that they are fucking idiots




Kristhawee knows better than to go out into the water here-


Ah, life is good!


I think his toe was hurting a bit... Hey, wait a sec, that's his GOOD foot! ;)


Even if his toe was hurting, it wasn't enough to wipe the smile off his face


This cute little bird was making a racket (protecting a nest maybe?) and seemed totally unafraid of us-


Time to head back up!


Ha ha ha! I told you going up is harder than going down!!


He was really milking it, trying to get a ride on daddy's back, but I wasn't gonna fall for it. I promised him an ice cream at the top and that seemed to give him renewed energy

Another view of Tower Falls in the late afternoon light-


There's a great little deli and ice cream shop at the Tower Fall General Store. We got some ice cream, I bought a fishing license and some food for dinner. I also bought a bear bell for Kristhawee. Let's get back to our campsite, grab the pole and see if we can catch some fish!

Walking back to the Tower Fall campground-


Our site (#9) overlooks the Tower River-


The river is down in the canyon behind our site- you can't quite see it in this pic, but it's there-


I'd taken Kristhawee fishing in stocked ponds in Thailand where you catch a huge fish on almost every cast, and he had a blast. I warned him that catching river trout is a whole lot harder!


Cold and swift Tower River-


Kristhawee fishing in the Tower River, Yellowstone National Park


I must confess I know next to nothing about trout fishing. We didn't have any flies and live bait isn't allowed in Yellowstone...


Didn't much matter, Kristhawee was enjoying himself


What a nice spot!






There is a LOT of wildlife in this area, including Grizzly bears. Some hikers passed by and told us they had seen a small Grizzly bear about 5 minutes up the trail. Yikes- with the noise of the river I'd never hear one sneaking up on us so I kept my eyes wide open. I know that the chances of being attacked by a bear are very slim, but still, one does have to be aware of what's going on around you!

The sun is falling and will soon leave this canyon in shade-




With the light fading I think we should head back to camp and get started on dinner. Don't worry Kristhawee, you can try fishing again tomorrow!


We scramble around on some of the downed trees, spot a large rodent that disappears before I can get a good look (beaver or marmot?), and head back up to our campsite.






The sun is just setting as I get to work on dinner-


There were a bunch of boys in the site next to us- Kristhawee went to play with them while I cooked dinner and started a fire.


Dinner is served! Ok, yeah, I know I'm a lousy cook, but at least it's healthy(ish)! Look at his face!


Ok, sorry about that lousy dinner Kristhawee, but I know we can make up for it with some smores! Kristhawee is still working on cooking the perfect marshmellow...


Apparently he needs a bit more practice


Yum!!


Kristhawee is worried about bears so I tell him he can sleep in the bear box


Good night!!!
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:44 AM   #62
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Tony I really really love your trip, you are such a great dad, I fully understands that your son wishes he could stay with you always.

I am sorry about the toe injury of your son, but I guess it's getting better already.

Your trip really rocks!
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:04 AM   #63
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Good morning from Tower Falls, Yellowstone National Park!

Somebody doesn't want to wake up...



My the morning sun is bright!


Kristhawee still wanted to fish and I'd spoken with some folks in our campground the day before who recommended Trout Lake as a good spot.

We rode north on the Grand Loop Road in the direction of Roosevelt- just past the Tower Fall General Store is a very unusual volcanic rock formation that hangs over the road-

(Pardon the rattling, didn't realize my son's fishing pole was vibrating against the camera housing.)

At the Roosevelt junction we turn right (east) on the 212 through the Lamar Valley. Another beautiful day and the scenery riding through the valley was spectacular-






Lots of animals, mostly Bison, but also some deer or maybe Pronghorn- they were all quite a distance away so can't really see them in the pictures.

At the beginning of this video I point out some deer to Kristhawee-




Very little traffic- it seems that most of the traffic in Yellowstone is on the Grand Loop Road.


The parking area for the Trout Lake trailhead was nearly full and cars were having to park a ways up the road. Nice think about a bike- you can squeeze it in just about anywhere





Let's go for a hike!


It's a bit of a steep climb up to Trout Lake. Kristhawee taking a break-


It's only about a mile to the lake-


Welcome to Trout Lake, Yellowstone National Park!


We hiked around the lake looking for a good spot to fish-
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:49 AM   #64
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We hiked half way around Trout Lake and met up with a family with two kids who were headed up to Buck Lake. Kristhawee hit it off with their son so we followed them-



Kristhawee and his new friend-


On the trail to Buck Lake-


I guess perhaps we weren't on the "real" trail because we ended up having to bush whack it across a stream-


Beautiful day for a hike!


Never have to worry about my son getting dehydrated thanks to the Sprig backpack that we picked up from REI


Lovin it!


So many flowers in bloom, the bees were buzzing and lots of butterflies too!


There were so many bees in fact that Kristhawee started to get a bit nervous. I told him to just walk slowly and not make any sudden moves or swat at them and that if he left them alone, they'd leave him alone.


We found the perfect spot under the shade of a big old tree for a picnic next to Buck Lake-

There were dozens of little inch worms hanging from this tree on long silk threads- the wind would blow and they'd fly away. Kristhawee was fascinated.

Picnic next to Buck Lake, Yellowstone National Park-



The other family had been down by the lake and seems they couldn't find a decent place to fish or maybe they were just getting hot standing around in the sun- they soon joined us.


Eventually we headed back to Trout Lake, this time on the correct trail. Kristhawee slid down a steep slippery section on his butt


Returning to Trout Lake-




We continued on around the lake-




We could actually SEE the trout!


Catching them was a different matter though...




If it's any consolation, the other family didn't have any luck either, and their dad seemed like he knew what he was doing. I haven't a clue how to catch a trout



I swear I could hear those trout snickering as they swam right up to us and mocked our efforts
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:34 AM   #65
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Well, if you can't catch 'em join 'em!

We ended up jumping in the lake but didn't stay in long- it was FREEZING!

Fortunately it was a warm day and very little wind so we warmed up quickly in the sun.

It was getting late in the afternoon and pretty much everyone had left and we had the lake all to ourselves.

My little guy didn't want to change so I busted out the camera and told him he'd better hurry or I'd taunt him with some embarrassing pictures when he's a teenager


Ha, nice try, but I still see you!!


We ended up spending the entire day at Trout Lake- such an idyllic spot.


I was very happy and relieved to see that his injured toe was healing nicely and didn't seem to bother him much anymore.


He ended up hiking all the way back to our bike (almost a mile) in flip flops.






Bye bye Trout Lake!


Bit of "traffic" on the way back to the Tower Fall campground ;)


A big herd of Bison were hanging out on the road and we had to wait until they moved on-


They had just painted the lines on the road earlier in the day and I swear the young Bison were huffing the paint


Finally there was a gap that I deemed large enough for us to sneak through and we were on our way, snapping pics of more Bison as we passed them-




Lots and lots of Bison in the Lamar Valley!


Nice ride back to Tower Falls, very little traffic-




The Tower Falls overlook in the late evening sun-




We hit the General Store to pick up some necessities-

"Moose Drool" brown ale!

Dinty Moore Beef Stew for dinner


Can dad cook or what?!


Smores for dessert!


As we're chilling a couple of big buck deer come strolling right by our campsite-




A warm fire and a few pages out of Kipling's Jungle Book and Kristhawee is sound asleep.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:42 PM   #66
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Good morning from Tower Falls Camp, Yellowstone National Park!


We hit the general store yesterday evening so we have fresh food for breakfast


Kristhawee is a good helper, but still needs a bit of practice cracking eggs No worries, we had plenty of eggs, so one or two that ended up on the ground wont be misses and I fished out the pieces of egg shell before cooking.

Here he is grating the cheddar for our cheesy eggs


Today's destination- Red Lodge, Montana via the Beartooth All American Road!


We again ride north on the Grand Loop Road, then east on the 212, and again, the weather is perfect, traffic is light, and the views are amazing!

I'm still fascinated by these unusual formations near the Tower Fall overlook-






Lamar Valley-




The Bison look tiny from this distance-


Approaching the northeast exit of Yellowstone National Park-




Bye bye Yellowstone!


We've left Yellowstone and are now entering Gallatin National Forest-


Approaching Silver Gate, Montana-


Beartooth Highway Scenic Byway!


Of all the fantastic roads we discovered this summer, the Beartooth All American Highway was my favorite!


It would be easy to get done for speeding on this road- fortunately we didn't see any troopers


The awe-inspiring panoramas just keep coming.


We climb up and up!


This photo is looking back towards Wyoming- I believe that's Pilot Peak (11,522 ft) on the left and Index Peak (10,700 ft) next to it on the right.


Good spot for a break and a snack-


Surrounding us are some 20 peaks over 12,000 feet in elevation-


The fuel injected Land Yacht doesn't seem to mind the altitude much-


Lots of eagles and hawks riding the thermals-


We haven't even gotten to the good stuff yet-


Onwards and upwards!


Top of the World!


Lakes and snow!


A reminder that even in the summer it sometimes snows up here!


Lots of snow up here- Kristhawee wants to play!


Wow, what a road! Looking back the way we've come-






Oh oh, tractor traffic again


The Beartooth Pass is only open in the summer and is 10,947 ft (3,337 m) high!


We pass through pristine alpine landscapes, lush forests, and alpine tundra-


The highest parts of the Beartooth Highway level off into a wide plateau near the top of the pass. We stop at the Gardner Lake Trailhead to stretch our legs, take in the views, and go play in the snow!


Kristhawee is getting really good at identifying and naming other motorcycles-


Elevation 10,536 feet!


Gardner Lake-


Because of the high altitude, snowstorms can occur even in the middle of the summer and the Beartooth Pass is also known for strong winds and severe thunderstorms. No problems with the weather today!


Father and son at Gardner Lake, Beartooth All American Road!
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:28 PM   #67
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The snow was farther than it looked, but no matter- nice to stretch the legs


Almost there-


Ouch- that's going to leave a mark! Watch your step little guy- those rocks are sharp!


Uh oh, is that a snowball I see in your hand??




Snowball fight!




Playing in snow in July- how cool is that??


Snow!




He's still chucking snowballs at me


Kristhawee found a butterfly (I'm surprised they can survive up here- I'm sure it freezes at night?)






Ok, we should press on to Red Lodge as I have no idea where we're going to stay and I don't want to arrive too late. Walking back to our bike-


C'mon- almost there!


Lots of wildflowers and small lakes-
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:52 PM   #68
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We ride across the plateau and begin descending towards Red Lodge, Montana.


Stark and beautiful above tree line-


People ski here in the spring-


The public Beartooth Pass, “bare bones,” ski area rests on 600 acres about 10,800 feet above Twin Lakes Headwall near Red Lodge, Montana, and is one of North America’s oldest ski training areas, operated by International Ski and Snowboard Camp.
Beartooth Pass is usually open for skiing from late May into early July and is served by two high speed poma lifts providing access to 3,000 feet of terrain.


The Beartooth Highway crosses back and forth between Wyoming and Montana several times. From here it's Montana all the way-




A sobering reminder of how dangerous this road can be-


The descent towards Red Lodge is steep and exciting; lots of hairpins and switchbacks and one has to watch for variable road conditions along with rocks and sand-






It's a long ways down!


More switchbacks below-


Looking north up the valley towards the Beartooth Pass-


Arriving at Red Lodge, Montana- seems like a biker-friendly town!
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:21 PM   #69
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you do actually have a nice country over there, still enjoying your route. One question so, maybe I missed it, how do you shoot all the pictures? Do you always stop or can you remotely shoot those pictures somehow?
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:04 PM   #70
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I had no idea that we were rolling in to Red Lodge the day before the Beartooth Rally and Iron Horse Rodeo was to kick off.



Bone Daddy's Custom Cycle seemed to be ground zero for the event-


Really cool shop- they work on all makes and had some beautiful old Triumphs and Harley's in the shop. Kristhawee seemed more interested in the bear on the wall though


Some nice custom choppers out front-




Some damn funny patches for sale at one booth-


While it's primarily a Harley event, there were a fair number of other brands in town and everyone was really friendly.

When people saw our Minnesota plate they'd come over to congratulate us on coming this far and tell Kristhawee how cool he was for riding all the way from Minnesota on the back of dad's bike. He was glowing from all the praise

It was quite hot and I guessed that most campgrounds would be full of noisy bikers so in the interest of a good nights sleep I splurged for a room at the Yodeler Motel-

Corporate Free and Groovy since 1965!

We wandered down the main street, checking out all the booths that were being set up for the rally and stopped in to the Montana Candy Emporium, an antique candy shop-


Even the candy store was in biker mode with their Road Rash and Road Rage candies


Grabbed some food and snacks at the grocery store then wandered over to the city park-


Fresh blueberries!


Red Lodge Brewing Company Bent Nail IPA for dad


I taught Kristhawee all about resonance in closed-end air columns, aka how to make music with a bottle ;)


Took a bit of practice but eventually he got it!


Nice little park- we had it all to ourselves.


Playing on the See Saw-


I'm such a light weight these days... After a few beers it took me a while to figure out how to open this animal proof garbage can


Playing on some of the rental equipment at the hardware store. Kristhawee was worried he'd get in trouble- I told him not to worry about it-


It was getting late and time for us to wander back to our hotel. In the winter Red Lodge is a ski town-




There were no showers at Tower Falls in Yellowstone so we were pretty stinky and a hot shower felt great. Kristhawee relaxed in the tub for a while but was a bit freaked by the steam bath. Not me- I thought the steam bath was nice and relaxing. It had been another long full day, we were beat and went to bed pretty early-
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:42 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuyaoli View Post
you do actually have a nice country over there, still enjoying your route. One question so, maybe I missed it, how do you shoot all the pictures? Do you always stop or can you remotely shoot those pictures somehow?
Thank you for your many nice comments

I carried a point and shoot Canon Powershot D10 attached to my left wrist. This camera takes pretty good pictures, is waterproof, shock resistant and has a strong lanyard so it won't get dropped-


Mine is about 5 years old and beat all to hell but still works quite well.

We should hook up for a ride if it ever stops raining- where do you usually go around Bangkok on your KLX?
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:13 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by TonyBKK View Post
We should hook up for a ride if it ever stops raining- where do you usually go around Bangkok on your KLX?
Definitely! At the moment I just make it to the Billiard cafe - hardly dry - with this rainy weather lol.

I really admire you and I wish I would be able to take off that long and do something like that with my son who is living abroad as well. But when he was here in Bangkok this August we went riding together made it even to the off road track but with the SUV hehe and he was driving around alone there with the car. He's just 13. Loved it. We also went a couple of times to the go kart track which was great fun.
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:12 AM   #73
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Good morning from Yodeler Motel in Red Lodge, Montana!

Breakfast of champions! (Don't worry, Kristhawee had a proper breakfast)


The Beartooth Pass was so much fun that Kristhawee and I decided to do it again, in reverse! But, as we headed out of Red Lodge the skies were overcast and was threatening to rain...


I knew that rain in the valley probably meant snow or hail in the higher elevations and really didn't want to risk getting caught out in the open above tree line with no shelter...


It started to mist and the bikers we saw going the other direction towards Red Lodge were all wearing rain gear... I talked it over with Kristhawee and we agreed we should stop until the weather improved. Fortunately there are a bunch of US Forest Service campgrounds at the base of the mountains.

We pulled into one (forget the name) and found a nice spot-


It was a bit chilly and raining lightly, quite a contrast from the heat and sun the day before. I asked Kristhawee if he wanted me to make him a do-rag to keep his head dry. He didn't know what I was talking about, so I showed him-


He thought it was pretty cool that dad could make a hat out of a rag


So, I go and register for the site and of course five minutes after I drop the check in the slot the skies clear and the sun decides to come out! Ah well, I'll just consider that $15 as a donation to the US Forest Service

Off we go and what a change in the weather!


Going up this way I got a better sense for just how steep this road is in some sections-

(ok, I might not be holding the camera very level, but still, it IS a very steep road!)

Above tree line again and the weather is just as perfect as it was the day before, but there were some wet spots here and there so it had definitely rained. Waiting at the bottom the way we did was a good idea- the road was pretty much dry by the time we rode up.


Lots of bikes headed the other direction for the rally in Red Lodge-


Amazing views, but need to pay attention to the road too!


Zoom zoom!


Motorcycle nirvana!


Paved by angels!


And the switchbacks keep coming!




At the bottom of this section of switchbacks was a beautiful snow-fed lake-




Very happy with the handling of the K1200LT Land Yacht


This bike is so easy to ride! Isn't it weird that a bike this big and heavy uses a 160 rear tire? That skinny rear tire keeps it pretty agile though, and all the weight translates into excellent traction. Dragged the pegs around some of the corners without really trying-


Kristhawee enjoyed the roller-coaster ride and is keen to go play in some snow again-


No shortage of snow up here!


What a beautiful spot!


Uh oh, I think somebody wants to start another snow ball fight!






We're having a blast up here at 10000 feet!






We hiked around a bit (Kristhawee brought ammo)


His arm and aim are getting stronger and more accurate-


He took a picture of dad chillin on a warm rock in the bright sun-

(photo by Kristhawee)

Hiked around some more-


We wanted to get to the deep snow on the far side of the lake and had to work our way across a bog and cross a little mountain stream-


Made it!


KRIS was here!


The view across the lake-


Snow in July- gotta love it! (I used to be a ski bum but have been living in Thailand for some time now and really miss the snow so this is pretty special for me)


We continued hiking around the lake-


Then stopped to make some itty bitty snowmen


Kristhawee decided that this one was him-


And you can probably guess which one is dad


Father and son snowmen somewhere on the Wyoming-Montana border in the Beartooth Mountains!


Ooops, Kristhawee-snowman's arm fell off


Kristhawee didn't want to leave the snowmen behind and he didn't want to leave this spot. I understood how he felt- It was one of those perfect places and perfect moments that you wish you could last forever.


On the road again-
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:11 PM   #74
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We've crossed the Beartooth Pass and are headed back to Yellowstone. Lots of bikes on the 212 today, all headed towards Red Lodge for the Beartooth Rally.


Lots of alpine lakes up here- beautiful!






More bikes headed towards Red Lodge-


Almost no traffic in our direction-


Top of the World!


Fresh blacktop near Beartooth Lake- yum!


Bear country!


Beartooth Lake-


The road gets narrow and twisty near the Beartooth Falls-


Beartooth Falls (drive-by pic, it's actually quite an impressive waterfall, but I wasn't in the mood to stop)-


The curves keep coming




Passing a lone biker- I wonder what I look like to oncoming bikes with my arm stretched out and a camera in my hand?


Zoomin!






Index Peak off in the distance-


Again I'm thankful that I ended up with the autobahn worthy BMW Land Yacht instead of a Goldwing


Another fantastic view of Index Peak-


We roll in to Cooke City right about lunch time-


Cool little town FULL of bikes!


We wandered around a bit, taking in the sights and trying to decide where to eat.


Some pretty impressive bikes, though I'd be a bit nervous taking something like this over the Beartooth Pass-


Kristhawee is diggin all these cool bikes!


We decided to eat at the Soda Butte Lodge. They keep a tub out front for dirty customers

(photo by Kristhawee)

Lunch is served!

Fantastic lunch!

Chatted with a bunch of old timers headed to Red Lodge and they were mighty impressed by the Land Yacht's hydraulic center stand and adjustable wind screen. As we were getting ready to leave I asked one of them to snap a picture of us.

Father and son in Cooke City, Montana-
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:24 AM   #75
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Welcome back to Yellowstone National Park!


We're headed to Gardiner, MT via Mammoth Hot Springs- great ride!




Plenty of Bison in the Lamar Valley-


Just past the Roosevelt junction we stopped to have a look at the famous Petrified Tree-


Amazing- this is a fossilized ancient Redwood that has miraculously remained standing for some 50 million years!


Our first glimpse of Mammoth Hot Springs, off in the distance-


The 45th Parallel of Latitude- Halfway between the Equator and the North Pole


We'll visit the Mammoth Hot Springs tomorrow- tonight we're going to camp just outside the park as I reckon there's no way we'll find a spot in the park on a Friday.


Passing under the Roosevelt Arch-


From wikipedia- The Roosevelt Arch is a rusticated triumphal arch at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Montana, USA. Its cornerstone was laid down by President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt in 1903. The top of the arch is inscribed with a quote from the Organic Act of 1872, the legislation which created Yellowstone, which reads "For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People."

We got so lucky and scored the LAST site in the Eagle Creek Campground


Met some really nice people there. Big thanks to the nice guys from Colorado and their dog Louis the most hyper Beagle I've ever seen who gave us water (it's a dry site). And the really nice grad student mom who was camping with her two kids and their black lab puppy Bear for inviting us to share their camp fire.

We got one of the nicest spots in the whole campground- right up at the top where the road ends.


From our campsite we had an amazing view of Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs-


Quite a beautiful sunset this evening-


A small trail led away from our site and into the trees- let's check it out!


Kristhawee said he needed help to cross the mighty Eagle Creek


We hopped across Eagle Creek and hiked a little ways up hill from the campground to enjoy the sunset-


We enjoyed a nice evening with the mother and kids who were camping next to us and shared smores by their fire before calling it a night.
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TonyBKK screwed with this post 09-15-2012 at 11:02 AM
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