5:30 am is early. Really early.
But we managed. We were up and out of the hotel by 6 and off we went to the Cafe we were told would be open. It wasn't. We were starting to panic a bit since we were being picked up at 7:30am and really needed to have breakfast first.
We asked a lady walking down the road and she told us about another place that was open. Breakfast was great, and we were back in time for the bus to pick us up. The hotel let us leave the truck there even though we had checked out already. They were awesome!
At 7:30am our bus arrived. We headed up to Mammoth, which is the town/resort within the park at the north end. We had time for coffee/tea to wake up a bit, then the tour started. Our guide was Tamarack, her knowledge of the park, the animals and the plants is amazing! She told us stories, and provided so much information that we were all blown away. Especially since she told us all this while driving, so she didn't look up the facts she gave us, she KNEW them! She made our tour.
Here are just a few highlights...
|Random, being Random at Gibbon Falls.|
|Paint Pots bubbling away|
|Black Sand Basin|
|When Buffalo/Bison want to cross the road, they get the right of way.|
|Bigger than that grey car!|
We were dropped back off at the hotel to pick up the truck at about 6pm. We then went down to a little place called Corall's to order dinner to take with us on the road. We all enjoyed our food, Dad even tried an Elk Burger.
Then we were off. We had a 4 1/2 hour drive to get to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We arrived just before 11pm. The drive was intense. Dark as dark can be, animals, traffic and tired-ness creeping in. Here's the map. We arrived to a big room, and pretty much all crawled into bed to be up bright and early for another busy day tomorrow.