Winter in Yellowstone is Hot!!!
Posted by Guest Blogger
Posted in: Tauck’s Travelogue
Tags: National Parks, Nature, USA, Small Group Travel
By definition, a blog is a free-flowing web-based narrative, ideally interactive, which consists of real-time, conversational postings from people doing interesting, real-life things. Well, that’s our loose definition at Tauck anyway, where we are always sharing our passion for travel with like-minded visitors in stories, through pictures and tips of the trade! Last week we mused about the fun you can have outdoors when the temperatures drop and landscapes don their winter-white wear, when, much to our delight, we heard from Tauck guests Keith Harding and his wife who were writing to us from their first night on Wonderland: Yellowstone in Winter.
We are happy to pass along their posts and photo tags… in real-time, right now, as they are bundled up and headed into the wilderness with our Tauck experts and a small group of Culturious guests!
Day 1 (January 8, 2013), Bozeman, Montana… in HOT water and loving it!
Just had a very relaxing dip in the Hot Springs and now are heading over for a Tauck welcome reception and dinner with Randy Hammond, a long-time Tauck Director… in North America for 30 years and counting!
WIND picking up... Good night!
Day 2 (January 9, 2013), Chico Hot Springs Resort…
Two days into this wonderful adventure, our first Culturious trip, with one young couple in their early 30s from sunny California, several groups of women from Australia and Pennsylvania and a gal from Brazil who is a geologist!
This morning we are watching filmed vignettes by Ken Burns via video, followed by a dog sled presentation here at Chico… Brrrr… Temperature is going down to single digits.
Then we’re off to Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel for two nights. Can’t wait for the wildlife photography lecture this afternoon!
Weather here at present is a balmy 36 degrees but someone said frigid weather would be coming in for Thursday and Friday. Tomorrow is to be the coldest, of course, when we are looking forward to a full day of outside activities. I am looking around at my fellow adventurers as I write. We could be an L.L. Bean ad for the clothing we’re dressed in: fleece lined jeans with minus 35 degree rated jackets and Velcro boots so we can get in and out of our shoes quickly for airport security purposes. Layers are best out here. Randy’s tip for the day… Keep your clothes dry in the evening… use a hair dryer for your boots.
The wind is a challenge… it seems to be howling like I imagine it was in Jack London’s "Call of the Wild"! It is very exhilarating… wow… how it is blowing at present and it’s only 9:45 AM here!
Day 3 (January 10, 2013) Lamar Valley...
We are at 6820 feet looking for wildlife, like coyotes, so trudging about makes an impression on your body. The weather is grand! As we move south and to a higher elevation more snow is expected!
Day 4 (January 11, 2013) Snow coach to Snow Lodge
Transportation on this adventure is varied and exciting…
Van... Bus... Galval Bus (track driven)... "Bombardier" (Wheel track with skis)... Snow shoes... Dog sled (optional)... Cross-country skis (optional). When you look at the photos here, think of the conditions in which they were taken. It’s an exhilarating time to be exploring the western wilderness… you have to bundle up as it keeps getting colder.
Day 5 (January 12, 2013) Old Faithful
It is bitterly cold today but we managed to get in a restful day. We just missed seeing Old Faithful spout its steam plume so we waited for it to go off at a later time and are we glad we did. The ranger estimated that the plume was 110 feet tall. The highest he has ever seen was a 140 foot one so we were very happy. The ranger let me jam on the ram horn to celebrate!
Day 6 (January 13, 2013) Wipe Out!
We were traveling aboard a Bombardier today along the frozen trail… then wipe out! All are well and unhurt... we continued our explorations with another Bombardier. The land out here is wild and can be hazardous. Human error can play a big role out here so caution is called for. We arrived safely back at Snow Lodge to warm fires and wonderful food. Tomorrow we will travel aboard another Bombardier to a transfer point, then on to Jackson Hole!
Day 7 (January 14, 2013) Snow Shoeing in Jackson, Wyoming
Snow shoeing is totally exhilarating and invigorating! How else do you stay young???
Day 8 (January 15, 2013) Jackson, WY
How wonderful it was to explore the town of Jackson without crowds! What we have seen this afternoon is zero people – and it is the way the town used to be – SO we are really seeing the past.
Tonight we attended the Tauck farewell dinner at the National Museum of Wildlife Jackson Hole, normally closed at this time, but they are hosting for Tauck this event. After living and seeing face to face the wildlife in Yellowstone, how fitting it is to stand and move about among wonderful interpretations of what we saw in Yellowstone.
My mind reflected upon the ice diamonds of snow that veiled a final scene of the sunset as we departed Yellowstone. Our driver stopped and allowed folks to lean out of various opened hatches to capture the moment! We will treasure lasting memories of new reflections and new friendships as we prepare to return to distant places like Perth, Australia, California, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York and Brazil! With our Gift of Time from Tauck, we will do our dog sledding tomorrow... then fly away!
Day 9 (January 16, 2013) A Gift of Time on Tauck
Thanks to Tauck, we spent an extra day sledding with man's best friends. A marvelous once-in-a-lifetime experience – if you ever get the chance, go for it!