Our cabin at the Lake Yellowstone hotel was a brightly painted but incredibly dated affair. Overpriced and underwhelming in almost every regard except for location. It's hard to beat opening your front door to a Bison grazing right outside and they know this.
Not to bang on about bad accommodation too much but I'd really suggest staying here only a night at most to get the experience and stay instead outside the park. We've found better quality accommodation, internet is available, amenities are plentiful, food is better and less over priced. We'll be driving through Cody, WY later in the week which is approx 90 mins from the Eastern entrance to the park and West Yellowstone which is right on top of the West Entrance.
There's a great documentary about Yellowstone we watched a few years ago which touts that the volcano under us blasted a hole through the Rockies. Pretty nuts when you think about it! Here's a great picture of the track of the volcano over the past 16 million years. I tend not to think of landscapes as evolving too much but change is definitely a constant in Yellowstone which won't exist as we know it one day, at all.
We had a delicious lunch of chicken and noodles in the Canyon village lodge which also had free wifi, the first in a couple of days. I used this to get a blog post out (this one is coming out several days later due to the internet situation!) and we had to sample the Huckleberry Ice Cream on offer. You know, for science.
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone I presume is what gives the park its name. The colourful yellow rocks lining the canyon mark a change in the geology of the area and create the best waterfall I think I've ever seen.
This is the lower falls. The noise they make is the most striking part about them actually. A low, deep rumble echoes around the canyon. A reminder of the forces at work.
The colours are what struck me most about this shot. Taken from the North Rim at one of the many overlooks you drive past.
Of course drive-by touristing was in full swing here. Buses disgorging 50 tourists at a time who all jostled for position at the main overlook you see all the famous shots of this place from. My picture below is a quiet time but it was worse than the tube at times for over crowding there. A melting pot of different cultural rules about what was acceptable in terms of getting into my personal space made for quite an uncomfortable few minutes.
This lead me to forming an opinion of avoiding the main tourist zones between 11-3 if at all possible. You can't beat the tour buses so just avoid them. There's plenty of other things to do during those hours including sleeping!
We rounded off the day with dinner at the Lake Yellowstone hotel. Much better than the Old Faithful Inn the night before we were treated to a beautiful sunset over the lake. As we sipped a post dinner cocktail accompanied by a lobby pianist who seemed to think rushing through every piece was the aim, we both truly felt for the first time in a while relaxed.
No internet. No distractions. Just a nice cocktail, great view and nowhere to be. Not my usual style for a holiday but I must say, quite enjoyable as a special treat.