Monday, August 12, 2013

Day One—The North Rim

I thought I would do a post for each day.  Not when each day has 2-3 blog worthy occasions.  So…Day One, Part One.
The Canyon Village area is a pretty busy place.  The campground, where we were staying for three nights, has about 275 sites, and just across the road is a lodge, grocery, sporting goods store, and Visitor’s Center/Museum.  We started the day at the Visitor’s Center and got the boys set up with their Junior Scientist Program (gosh darn, they were going to LEARN something in this vacation if it KILLED me!).  We also visited the gift shop, and I bought a couple field guides to help identify animals and give me hints on where to find them.  I had been watching an app on my phone daily for the past 6 months or so that posted wildlife sightings (YNPWildlife; it’s awesome), but in the park, cell service is sketchy at best…I needed a good old-fashioned guide.  Owen, it turns out, is my natural born shopper—he found a wolf puppet that he HAD to have (two days later, he bought it—I make him think about purchases, so mean).
After the museum visit and getting our bearings a bit, we headed off to our first tourist destination—the North Rim of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  It was beautiful.
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See the osprey nest?  Right in the center of the photo below.Yellowstone 007
After hanging out with the hordes of tourists at the parking lot, we set out on our first “hike.”  Flat along the canyon rim, a couple miles…no biggie, but at about 7700 feet elevation, I was winded anyway.  It was a bit of a blow to the ego (we all need that sometime, anyway).
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See our car?  The white dot to the left of my finger is the “Big Mac” pod on the top of the Mazda.
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When we got to Inspiration Point, it was truly less than inspirational.  “Really?” was more the reaction.  A long walk (paranoid about bears the whole time, since it was our first hike), and the real Inspiration Point—a ledge that reached out into the canyon to give a nice view of the falls—was closed off.  Oh well.  Apparently we had already been spoiled by the previous views from the parking lot.
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