Day 9: Hayden Valley and Lake Yellowstone

We got a late start on the day after our Old Faithful adventure – I think everyone slept late, and we had a leisurely breakfast to boot. We had a bit of a drive to reach our hiking destination for the day, which was the Hayden Valley, in the southeast quadrant of Yellowstone. Despite all the crowds on the main road, this was another place we had essentially to ourselves:

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This was also another place in which we found snow still on the ground, despite daytime temperatures above 70F / 21C.

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There were abundant signs of bison in the area. We think this was a femur bone from a bison:

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There was a great herd of bison lounging in the valley, a few miles off the main road. We don’t seem to have any great pictures of the herd – we were keeping a safe distance – but you can see that they have excellent taste in scenic locations:

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Along the hike, the kids also caught some tiny frogs along the small creeks that dotted the valley.

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When we had finished with our hike, we headed over to Lake Yellowstone and rented a motorboat so we could go cruising. There was a strong standing wind from the southwest, making the lake somewhat choppy, but the scenery was fantastic.

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The kids took turns driving, and all enjoyed it greatly:

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Chelsea liked piloting, too:

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Nick took up position in the bow. He seems to be a natural sailor:

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The late afternoon light was beautiful, and once again we had the place nearly to ourselves.

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After our boat ride, it was back to the campsite for a nice fire and some marshmallows.

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Tomorrow: Lamar Valley.