Day 8 – Adios Yellowstone!

I feel like a kid who has to go back to school after the holidays! I just can’t believe it went so fast and all that’s remaining is this long dreary drive through the nothingness of Wyoming , from Cody to Denver.

But looking back at the last day at Yellowstone, we had some great moments to cherish. While the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone river was like a breathtaking oil painting, the modest Upper Falls treated us to a fantastic double rainbow in the chilly weather.  As we passed Canyon village into Yellowstone Lake, the chill intensified. The lake was covered with 6 inch thick slates of ice, broken in between as melting progressed. Standing near the semi-frozen lake with the gusty wind proved near impossible. We had our lunch inside the car with the heater turned on.

As we turned eastward towards Cody, Vishnu had all his prayers answered! A grizzly cub !  While all of us caught a glimpse of the apex predator, Vishnu had other plans. “15 mins”, he said and was already off to capture the beast with his telephoto. Although a clear shot eluded him, he did get the thrill of seeing the cub from within 200 feet. It was one last parting gift from Yellowstone.  Now we can call it a complete experience – a shot of the grand view of the grand prismatic, the hike up to Undine falls, coffee over an Old Faithful eruption, rainbows cast on the Upper Falls, shots of the Mammoth Spring under evening lights, and now a grizzly sighting !!

A feeling of sadness started seeping into the car as we drove out of the park through a mild evening snowfall. As we drove east, the sun set behind us, painting the snow deposits on the canyon walls with an orange glow. I call it the “Driving into a postcard” experience. It was a magical end to the 3 days in Yellowstone – 3 days I will never forget. If Algonquin was beautiful and Kruger was wild and haunting,  Yellowstone provides a rare combination of different natural dimensions.

The high point for me – well, has to be the hike up the mountain to photograph Grand Prismatic.

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