Saturday, May 31, 2014

Yellowstone: May 31, Saturday. Drove the Figure 8

We didn't have reservations for May 31, so we left at 6:30, hoping to obtain a campsite. It took an hour to reach the park and we drove directly to Madison campground. They only had a few sites left. I accepted one. While she was entering my information, someone else took it. She started to explain the next available site and I said, just take it before someone else does! We got it. We had place to sleep in the car for the night.

Next we decided to drive the figure 8 loop and to the north entrance from Mammoth and the east entrance off of Tower-Roosevelt.

At Mammoth, I was in front of the visitor center, waiting for the car in front of me to move, and a parked car began backing up toward me. I laid on my horn. The car kept coming. Hit my car then drove off. I checked my car and the edge of the front passenger side had a stripe of paint missing. I stood behind the car that hit me , waving my arms. It kept right on going. I went in to the Visitor's Center, reported the incident, and they called the law enforcement ranger. While I was on the phone with the ranger, the driver returned, and I could hear him outside saying he didn't hit my car. I asked the other tourists in the Visitor's Center if anyone had seen it. A couple had. And, it turned out that they had followed him to the restaurant and told him that he had to return to the Visitor's Center where I was reporting it. Meanwhile, outside,he was saying he wouldn't go into the Visitor's Center, where I was with the ranger by this time. But, Mule told him if he didn't go in, they'd just put an APB out. Meanwhile, the ranger had arrived and took the statements of me and the witnesses. Then she took his statement. He had a rental car and from what I hear didn't have any of the insurance or other papers with him. He'd left them in the motel. At the end of it all, I had a case number and called and reported it to my insurance agency and they said I could deal with it when I return home. The damage is minimal, but it sure was frustrating. I'm glad the two very nice witnesses went out of their way to help.

Mule took a picture of the hit and run license plate.

Mishap #2 really happened before we reached the park. At Canyon Village (in the park) I went into the store and tried to buy some food. My credit card was refused! Turns out that I brought the old, expires card! Oh brother! So, we're using only Mule's credit card. Oh well.

From there we continued out trip around the park and saw geysers, herds of bisons, pronghorn, black bear, deer, elk, and Mule took pictures. Except for mishap #3, he couldn't get the camera ready in time and missed the picture of a coyote. Day 2's pictures more than made up for that mishap.

We were delighted that, although the road had been cleared, there was still now in the area between Tower-Roosevelt and Canyon.

We went to sleep exhausted and slept soundly.

Many of the roads are two lane and curvy, but the speed limit goes down to 25 and 35 mph. If there is wildlife, it may slow down to a stop as everyone gets out to take pictures.

The following two pictures are from the 17 mile drive between Tower Junction and Canyon Village.

Below: Bison near Madison campground, on the way to Mammoth.

Bear at Lamar Valley

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