February 24, 2006 - Snowmobiling Yellowstone - Day 1

Amazing trip... Cold - frigid, actually, but great!
We arrive at our hotel in Jackson Hole late Thursday night.

The next morning, packed and fed, we wait for our 7am pickup in the plush lodge.

The drive to Yellowstone's south entrance takes us through Grand Tetons National Park.

Finally on our snowmobiles (pictures to follow), we go through the park's south gates.

The plan is to go from the south around the EAST pass by the lake to the north country.
However, the morning weather was bad (you'll see) and the east road was closed.
We re-routed as outlined here to the west through Madison to Mammoth...
Total distance for day 1 is 97 miles.

The first stop is Lewis Falls, where the bitter wind welcomes us to Wyoming.
We struggled against the driving snow for a quick shot of the river and waterfall.

After we pass over the Continental Divide and Riddle Lake, we make it to Old Faithful.

She starts to erupt after a 10 minute wait.

What a show!

Jill's all bundled up in front of the geyser.

We pass our first wildlife - a few moose.

Shortly afterwards, we see a coyote headed for the woods - probably hoping to find a hare or ermine.

Headed a little further, we stop at Lower Geyser Basin for a quick warm-up.

Though they smell of volcanic sulphur, some of the bubbling pools have a beautiful azure hue about them.

After a long walk, we moved on towards the north.
This is a typical shot of Firehole Canyon Drive. However, it is only typical of that drive.
Each stretch of road and each trail had completely different scenery!

Firehole Canyon had cliffs on one side and a river and waterfalls on the other.

Continuing even further north, this is a partially frozen Gibbon Falls.

Downstream, the Gibbon River flows into the frozen valley.

A little further north (just south of Steamboat Geyser), we encounter a mother bison and calf eating along the riverbank.
She's a little skinny since it has been such a cold, snowy winter. (You can see her ribs.)

Clearly not very far from her, we have an unusually safe view.
(Yes, that is foreshadowing...)

Baby enjoys what little grass it can find, too.

Love the snow on her horns!

We spend the first night in the park at Mammoth, the northernmost area of Yellowstone, just far enough inside the north "Roosevelt Gate" to not see it.
Tomorrow is bison country and the heart of the thermal areas as we head from the north entrance to the west.