Upon heading west from Cody, we soon enter rock canyons on the way to Buffalo Bill Dam. One of the people we met in Cody told us about a walk not many people know about. Just about one mile west from the Cody Rodeo grounds you will see a bridge across a river down a hill on the right-hand side. Turn right and park at the bridge. The trail starts at the bridge and goes about two miles to the base of the Buffalo Bill Dam. The walk is pretty level most of the way. He told us it is a good walk to do on a hot day because most of the walk is in the canyon. When you get to Buffalo Bill Dam, the spillway spray cools you off. Plus, he says, the view of the Buffalo Bill Dam from the bottom is awesome because it's so tall.
The rocks are pretty impenetrable, so a tunnel had to be blasted through them. Once you are on the other side of the tunnel heading west, you will be at Buffalo Bill Dam. It's worth a stop when you're in the area. We did not stop today because we wanted to make the most of our time in Yellowstone this afternoon.
|Tunnel to Buffalo Bill Dam|
|Dramatic Rocky Mountain scenery|
|You can see three different stages of erosion here|
Not all is natural here, however. Below is a very bizarre house. This is the Smith Mansion built by Francis Lee Smith, an engineer, one might say a very eccentric engineer.
Francis Smith started building the mansion in 1970. (That's the year I graduated high school!) In 1971, Smith began digging and excavating for the house. It took three men two years to dig it up. For the foundation, Smith used a concrete mixer, mixing up five gallon buckets of concrete at a time. He built around large boulders in the floor when he got tired of digging them up. For the whole article that explains this phenomenal place, see "House on hill captivates," by Cassandra Sturos, August 31, 2016, published in the Cody Enterprise newspaper.
|Photo by Susan Alton (as we drove by without stopping)|
|Woo hoo, we made it to Yellowstone!|
While we waited for Susan and Darren's cabin to be made up, we hiked a 10k around the Upper Geyser Basin, up to the Scenic Overlook. We saw Old Faithful go off a couple of times. They weren't huge eruptions of Old Faithful and lasted shorter than I remember.
|View of Old Faithful Inn from the overlook|
|Old Faithful geyser - people are lining up to watch|
Old Faithful erupt
|Another view from the overlook|
|Firehole River flowing through Upper Geyser Basin|
|Old Faithful from Geyser Hill|
|Grand Geyser from a distance|
|Grand Geyser and a vent geyser from the viewing area.|
|Grand Geyser goes on for a long time|
|Grand Geyser is so joyous and lasts a long time|
|Enlarge and you may see a rainbow on the left|
|I'm happy we saw Grand Geyser go off!|
|The surreal landscape of Upper Geyser Basin|
|Hot pools overflow into the Firehole River|
|Grotto Geyser spitting|
|E.T. phone home - Grotto Geyser|
The Morning Glory Pool is and has been effected by people through the years. It used to be bluer and clearer. Because people keep throwing things into it, it throws off the beautiful natural color of the geyser. The National Park Service (NPS) spends thousands of dollars trying to keep it cleaned out.
|Photo of NPS employees cleaning Morning Glory Pool|
|Morning Glory Pool now|
|Old Faithful Inn ahead|
|One more eruption of Old Faithful, please.|
We then called it a night. Tomorrow we plan to do the Fairy Falls Volksmarch very early because this is a 14k (8.68 mile) walk. After the walk, we want to go to Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Bad weather is supposed to come in after noon. We will be cutting it close with the weather moving in.
A word about our cabins...they have a sink with hot and cold running water, but no toilet or shower. The cabin with restrooms is next door to our cabins. I have a flashlight and my room key by the door in case I need to go in the middle of the night. The shower house is a couple of rows away. I skip a shower tonight. I will take one after the hikes tomorrow.
Travel Bug out.