Yellowstone National Park
I continued westward. The road wrapped around the mountains.
I ended up in the town of Cody, Wyoming.
The town of Cody was named after William Frederick Cody - better known as Buffalo Bill. In the center of town there was a cultural center called the Buffalo Bill Center of the West which was dedicated to the history and lifestyle of cowboys. Unfortunately, there was a special event happening inside the center, so I was not able to see the museum and displays. However, I remember learning about Buffalo Bill when I was a kid.
William Frederick Cody "Buffalo Bill" was an American scout, bison hunter, and showman.
He started working at the age of eleven, after his father's death, and became a rider for the Pony Express at age 14. During the American Civil War, he served the Union from 1863 to the end of the war in 1865. Later he served as a civilian scout for the US Army during the Indian Wars. He received the Medal of Honor in 1872.
One of the most well known figures of the Wild West, he started performing in shows with themes from the frontier, Indian Wars and cowboy lifestyle. He founded Buffalo Bill's Wild West in 1883, taking his large company on tours in the United States and, beginning in 1887, in Great Britain and Europe.
Sierra Trading Post. For years I've bought outdoor and sport equipment from their online store. They offer great deals on both new and overstocked items. I could not resist the temptation to check out what they had in stock. I ended up walking away with some Leki trekking poles for about $50.
The next morning I got an early start because I wanted to make the most of my time in Yellowstone National Park.
There were a number of rivers that cut through the park
One of the points of interest was a bridge called Fishing Bridge. When I stopped to take a look, there were a number of signs posted that read "No Fishing". Evidently, at one time this was a very popular bridge from which to fish. But it was also a breeding area for the natural cutthroat trout. When the populations of cutthroat trout started to decline due to overfishing, the park outlawed fishing in this area. I peered over the bridge and spotted a fair number of two foot long trout.
The water looked so clear and clean, but due to the high temperatures it was not safe to swim in nor walk near these hot springs. Earlier in the summer a tourist tried to take a selfie near one of these hot springs, feel in and died.
While driving across Yellowstone Park, I crossed over the Continental Divide. The Continental Divide is the principal, and largely mountainous, hydrological divide of the Americas. It extends from the Bering Strait to the Strait of Magellan, and separates the watersheds that drain into the Pacific Ocean from those river systems that drain into the Atlantic Ocean.
One of the most famous and popular attractions in Yellowstone is of course the geyser called Old Faithful. I had to check it out.
There was a center built near the geyser with plenty of informational signs about the history, geology and plumbing of Old Faithful.
The time between eruptions has a bimodal distribution, with the mean interval being either 65 or 91 minutes, and is dependent on the length of the prior eruption. Within a margin of error of ±10 minutes, Old Faithful will erupt either 65 minutes after an eruption lasting less than 2 1⁄2 minutes, or 91 minutes after an eruption lasting more than 2 1⁄2 minutes.
I went inside one of the visitor centers and was amazed at the educational and informational displays. They certainly covered every geographical and geological formation thoroughly.
At the Mammoth Hot Spring Visitor Center there were ample opportunities to see wild elk walking lounging around the grounds.
I was fortunate to find a campsite at the Norris Campgrounds. After setting up camp, I attended a talk given by one of the Rangers about the local flora and fauna. The talk was okay, but there was some excitement during the talk when a small feline passed through the forrest directly behind the Ranger. It was probably a bobcat or lynx. Nobody really got a good look at the cat because it appeared then disappeared within a blink of an eye.
When visiting national parks without a camping reservation, I either show up early in the morning before 8am or late in the evening after to 5pm. In the morning, the camp host reallocates camping spots and any open spots are offered on a first come first served basis. In the evening, if any guests do not claim their camping spot the camp hosts will sometimes allow others campers to take over the vacant spots. I was able to take over the last remaining backpacker campsite.
I must say that it was probably the best campsite in the entire campground, as it was located at the end of the a walkway and next to a beautiful stream. It was a long day. I took a soothing bath in the stream under the cover of night with just a twinkle of light from the stars.
Camping in a hammock in the wilderness is one of life's most precious experiences.
The next day I drove around the park in search of rivers. I located one river called the Virginia Cascade. To get to the river I had to traverse a number of fallen and stacked trees.
I caught a number of these small brown trout over the two days that I spent fishing around Yellowstone. I think that the largest trout that I caught was maybe 12 inches and less than 1 pound. Still I had a great time seeking out and catching these little trout. Life is good.