On Day 25 of Road Trip, PapiBlogger Goes Back to Yellowstone for Bear Sightings, Cool Vistas and More Geysers

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The Porcelain Basin of Yellowstone was probably my favorite one to visit.

On the 25th Day of the PapiBlogger Family Road Trip, we went back to Yellowstone to find ever-elusive bears, gaze at the park’s famous version of the Grand Canyon and to see the tallest geyser in the world.

WHERE’S THE BEAR?

You always hear horror stories about frisky bears at national parks like Yellowstone so we thought we would spend the day aggressively looking for them on our way to some of the park’s main destinations along the road.

This is as close as we got to bears.

For most of today it seemed that packs of other tourists could lead us to the bears but that’s not always the case.  It turns out that many tourists you might stop with are buffalo or elk-viewing virgins so before you get off the car, try to ask someone what the off road commotion might be about.

We asked rangers and other park professionals how we might be able to find bears and they almost universally said that the bears are unpredictable because they can roam about any where in the park and at any altitude.  Alas after two days of searching, a bear sign was the closest we got to the real ones.

WHY THE TALLEST GEYSER’S NOT THE STAR

Steamboat Geyser is taller but not more famous than Old Faithful because of its infrequency. In this photo Steamboat is only slightly spouting.

Yellowstone is home to the Steamboat Geyser.  You may not have heard about it before either but it’s classified as the “world’s tallest geyser”.  Even though it’s frequently having short water spouts, the reason you NEVER hear about this geyser is because old Steamboat only fully spouts off once every FOUR DAYS.  As I mentioned in yesterday’s post about Old Faithful, height without frequency does not attract a following.

Another view of the otherworldly Porcelain basin area of Yellowstone.

The other major geysers we took in today were also in the same Norris Geyser Basin area where you find Steamboat.  The Porcelain basin area, the hottest one in the park, is probably my favorite area because it looks otherworldly with a large swath of land that looks like a combination of mars and colorful finger painting.

MAXIMIZING THE TRIP FOR KIDS

The biggest regret we had was that due to travel fatigue we had less than two days to see Yellowstone.  The kids liked but did not love the park because we weren’t able to incorporate some of the neat activities Yellowstone has for children such as their Ranger Program, fly fishing, rafting, horseback riding and more.  When you come with your children, put those activities at the top of your list and plan accordingly.

SPRINT NEXTEL ROAD TRIP TIP OF THE DAY

Jonathan and Elena take advantage of their time in the Yellowstone area to watch "2012" in their portable Sony DVD player.

Having your kids watch movies on your road trip can make your journey more peaceful but did you know that they can also make your trip more memorable?  One of the coolest things we’ve been doing with the kids is pairing the places we visit with the movies where those locations are featured.  The kids have been on their Sony DVD player for two days (it’s a long movie) re-watching “2012” because Yellowstone plays a prominent role in the cataclysmic events in the film.  You can be sure that for the rest of their lives, Jonathan and Elena will connect that film to their family road trip of 2010.

The PapiBlogger clan stayed at the family run Rand Creek Ranch near the east entrance, near Cody, Wyoming.

Our cabin at the Rand Creek Ranch. It's a very cozy place to stay near Yellowstone.

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