Day 10: Pancakes, Lamar, and the Soda Fountain

After another long sleep, we fixed a big breakfast before setting out to hike in the Lamar Valley, a remote area full of wildlife in the northeast corner of the park. We decided on this trip not to have pancakes every morning, since having a big dose of sugar at the start of each day would makes the kids fidgety and ill-tempered. Once in a while, though, pancakes on the campground are absolutely necessary:

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Chelsea jumped in on the pancake party and started fixing some more for herself, after the chef had hung up his white coat and started taking pictures.

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When we hit the road for Lamar, we enjoyed yet another bison traffic jam:

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We also enjoyed more ridiculously beautiful scenery:

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Rivers and creeks continued to run fearfully high throughout the park. I felt some butterflies in my stomach when crossing this bridge, and when watching the family cross:

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On the far side of the bridge, which was directly below the trailhead, we entered a breathtakingly pretty valley.

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The kids found some discarded elk antlers and started pretending they were animals:

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Alas, they couldn’t persuade us to wear the antlers:

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Because of the high water, our original trail soon disappeared in a wash of mud and flood waters. So we simply followed some bison trails across the valley floor.

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We were hoping to see wolves – there are several wolf packs that live in the Lamar Valley. Chelsea loves wolves, and would have dearly loved to see some. Near the end of our hike, we thought we heard some wolf pups playing in the trees. However, we didn’t want to go tromping into the forest to look closer.

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We never saw the pups, though we could hear their cries. (That, or it might have been some trees rubbing together in the stiff wind.)

On returning to the van, we fixed some lunch for ourselves. I felt there had not been enough ‘real’ tailgating on this trip, so I made sure we had beer in the cooler and propane for the camp stove. Maria and I feasted on hot dogs for lunch.

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From Lamar, we headed back down to the Canyon area for another round of showers and laundry. Along the way we stopped at Tower Falls. Only the upper observation deck was open, because of high water and bear activity, which was the same hangup at Firehole Canyon. Even so, we got a great view of the falls:

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Then it was time for a real treat. At the Canyon General Store, they have an old-timey soda fountain. The fountain itself is quite new – probably built within the last 5-10 years – but it’s tricked out in a 1950s doo-wop era design. The kids loved the place and the menu. We would end up eating dinner here at least twice more while we were in Yellowstone.

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Then it was time to get clean and pretty. Nick and I horsed around in the laundry area while the girls took their showers:

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Driving back to the campsite, we were treated to one of the prettiest sunsets I’ve ever seen in my life.

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All in a day’s work at Yellowstone. My goodness, we had fun.