We drove into Yellowstone today and stopped at a cool saddle shop in Gardiner on the way to buy a belt for my camera. This was a shop for REAL men … Saddles, gun holsters, cowboy hats, after shave and razors. You could buy an off the left saddle for $2,500 – or have one custom made at the back of the shop for $3,500.

We visited Mammoth Hot Springs first off.  

This park is so massive, you have to do it in chunks. I am glad we have a week here – even with that, we will only scratch the surface of what this place has to offer.

The hot springs is an amazing sight – but busy with tourists. The sulphur smell really gets up your nose too. We felt a great need to escape them and hike in peace. 

If you hike on the trails, you are in bear country, which is scary.  “Your safety cannot be guaranteed”, the park leaflets warn. So strong was our need to escape though that we decided to go for it. I put the hotel keys in my lanyard to make a clanking noise and Tim strapped on the pepper spray. We set off on the Beaver ponds trail.  

This is one of the top day hikes suggested in the park leaflets. There were great views and the beaver ponds were really interesting,  

All that effort – you can really see where the expression “beavering away” comes from! It sounds obvious to say this, but my overwhelming impression of the landscape was that it was all just – well – so YELLLOW! It was good to find peace and quiet on this trail, but I wouldn’t say it was unmissable. We saw no wildlife beyond a few songbirds and some insects – a pleasant and interesting day though.

We finished off the day with a soak in the hot pool at Chich Hot Springs Resort – fun and very relaxing. 

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