YELLOWSTONE - DAY #3 - Saturday, August 7, 2004
In the wee hours of the morning I'm rousted out of bed by the local Sheriff. It seems I've committed the cardinal sin of street camping in Gardiner, MT. Fortunately, he lets me go with just a warning, no overnight jailhouse stay for me. I'm actually grateful for the warning because he prevented me from being stranded by an action perpetrated by my own hand.
Today will be my last day at Yellowstone National Park. Unlike the past two days, today will be a day marked by significant physical exhertion, for I have plans to tackle two of the park's most popular hikes. Namely, Sepulcher Mountain and Bunsen Peak.
I drive to Mammoth Hot Springs to the trailhead of my hike to Sepulcher Mountain. Armed with bear spray, a bear bell, and enough Rock Star energy drink to propel me to the moon, I make my way up the mountain. The hike is difficult but enjoyable. Rather than encountering a bear during my hike up, I encounter Dave and Jana at the mountain's peak. We share life stories and as well as the hike back down.
Still feeling like I have more energy to burn, I continue on with my plan to hike Bunsen Peak. I drive south a ways to the trailhead, park, then start hiking up the peak. Halfway to the top I run into Brian, who is from Portland, Maine of all places (I'm from Portland, Oregon)! We continue up the mountain together, sharing stories about this and that. Once at the top, we discover a treasure of sorts in a rusted metal box.
After my second hike, I road-trip it to Yellowstone's last major sight, the Canyon Area. Wow! What a beautiful place. Hugging Yellowstone River that falls over an upper and lower falls, the canyon area sports a myriad of brilliant colors that really grab my attention. Artist Point is the climax of my tour, providing a clear view of the canyon looking west. Supposedly this spot is the most photographed in Yellowstone.
After hiking almost 15 miles with 4600 feet elevation gain, needless to say I'm both tired and famished. I take in dinner at one of Yellowstone's cafeterias, then drive south for 2.5 hours to Jackson Hole, WY. Exhausted upon arrival, I immediately find a street camping site then immediately hit the hay.
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JACKSON, WY - Sunday, August 8, 2004
I decide to stay in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a few days to catch up on my travel writing. To break up the monotony of my writing day, I tour the town and take in the sights and sounds of this little tourist-trap destination.
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