Saturday dawned wet and cool. We had breakfast at The Treehouse Restaurant before meeting up with the family at the popular Farmer’s Market, where fresh vegetables were purchased and local crafts admired. The rain let up so we could enjoy lunch in the warmth of the sun outside one of the many bakery/coffee shops along Front Street, the main street.
A great family-style restaurant as long as you don’t have food allergies
Jim and I shared a table with a photo journalist who had recently returned from documenting life in South America. He told us of the slide show presentation he was giving at the Langham Museum and Cultural Centre next Friday evening, an event we planned to attend.
After lunch, it was decided that we should all go pick up our swim suits and take the half-hour drive along Kootenay Lake to Ainsworth Hot Springs, another one of our favourite places to visit when in the area.
Ainsworth Hot Springs, on the hill
There’s nothing like soaking in the warm water of the natural springs, while watching the children splash about. A sign above the door told us that the temperature in the large pool was 101 degrees Fahrenheit. For the brave, there was an option to wade through a tunnel where the temperature was 104 degrees. Jim made it through, but I had to stay near the entrance. The heat and humidity made it difficult to breathe. At the entrance to the tunnel you can also get quickly cooled off by getting into the plunge pool, a cool 59 degrees! Up to our ankles was enough of that for us!
Day 14 – Wed
I didn’t think I’d take any more pictures until we got to Yellowstone, but the scenery through the hills of Wyoming were impossible to ignore!
We left the campground at 9:30 am and arrived at the gate to Yellowstone National Park about an hour later. The scenery through the park is impossible to describe. Probably the many pictures we took won’t really convey the magnificence either. The one “black” spot on the beauty was the massive area where forest fires of past years have left nothing but naked tree trunks standing. There is evidence of new growth beginning, though.
We knew we wouldn’t be able to see even a fraction of the 2.2 million acres of park, so we took the lower half of the circle, catching some of the highlights. Our first stop was at West Thumb Geyser Basin, an area that percolates with geysers, hot springs and mudpots. The steam coming off of one geyser created a sauna effect and steamed up our glasses as we stood over it, on the wooden path. We stopped to photograph a herd of buffalo; we ate lunch beside beautiful Lake Yellowstone. We reached Old Faithful just in time to catch the end of an eruption. We enjoyed ice cream (I think this is becoming a bad habit!) while we waited the fifty minutes for the next one. This time we had front row seats. It was exciting to see, but we also enjoyed just as much the many smaller geysers and ponds that surround the area. This was our last stop and we made our way out the west side of the park at about 7:30 pm. Along the way we crossed The Great Divide, and the border into Montana.
We stopped at the city of West Yellowstone, just outside the gate, for information. We hoped to find a campsite in the city so we could catch the IMAX film. There were no RV Parks that could accommodate us, so we continued west for about eight miles to Lion Head RV Park. It was nine o’clock by the time we had dinner, but we had a great day. Tomorrow we’ll continue south-west.