Day 7, Buffalo Jam, Yellowstone Lake

This was our last day in the park.  After the breakfast at the Yellowstone Mine Restaurant, drove over to Roosevelt and check out Tower Junction.  The plan is to head south to Yellowstone Lake for some boating and then try to see as much wildlife as we can.

We stopped by some horse corrals as we passed Roosevelt.  The girls would have liked to ride on horses but Liz is too young still.  Maybe the next trip…

They are currently doing road construction on the Grand Loop between Roosevelt and Canyon, so the drive was a bit slow and bumpy.  We stopped at Tower for some ice cream and enjoyed the views.  We then did a slow drive south over Dunraven Pass to enjoy the beautiful sights of the valley from far up.  We also saw a lot of burned tree trunks from the previous fire.

We decided to skip lunch and go past Canyon to the Lake to save time. Though on the way there, at Hayden Valley, we ran into a huge buffalo jam!  Buffalos very close on both sides of the road – in some cases on the road – with lots of cars in long lines and rangers directing traffic.  We were able to get a parking spot at one of the pullouts and so decided to stay for a while.  There buffalos were very close to the cars-  at once point ranger had everyone get into their cars – so we ended up spending a few hours cooped in the cars watching the buffalos all around us.

Eventually, we got a chance to pull back onto the road amid all the traffic and continued on to the Yellowstone Lake Marina.  The Marina is kind of in a secluded place; I’ve actually driven by several times but didn’t know it was there.  We rented a motor boat and went out for a cruise on the Lake for an hour.  The kids really loved going fast on the motor boat and screaming over the sounds of the wind blowing into our faces.

After that, went on a long drive back to Bozeman, going north past Gardiner through a scenic Paradise Valley.  It was about 7 pm when we left Gardiner and for pretty much the entire 90 minute drive, we were the only car on the road until we reached Highway 90.  That night, had dinner from Roost Fried Chicken, a local chicken outfit in Bozeman.  Nice change from the usual Popeye’s and KFC’s.

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