Thursday, June 26, 2014

June 26 - Day two in Yellowstone

Woke to rain this morning. Took advantage of a hole to pack up and head out, but a steady slow rain continued as we headed north along the west side of Yellowstone Lake.

First stop along the way was the Lake Hotel and Lake Lodge area. Hard on the shore of the Lake are two impressive structures that became a destination of early visitors to the Park. Built in the 1890s and early 1900s the large hotel building (4 floors and hundreds of rooms) has been through cycles of neglect and renovation over the years... the latest renewal was just completed earlier this year. I'm told every room was touched and our walk-around/through of the public spaces revealed an impressive result that people are lining up to pay somewhere north of $300 per night for a standard room. There are 9 lodges in Yellowstone Park with a range of amenities but this one must be near the top.

There's another lodge on the Lake property known as Lake Lodge. Build in the early 1900s, this is a more rustic affair that catered to crowds of more modest means, which it still does. Built in a traditional mountain lodge style (lots of wood, huge lobby, rustic)... I gotta tell ya', Lake Lodge was more my style... was more comfortable to us. We lingered in the dining room for a while with a light meal and just absorbed it all. This place also has a history but unfortunately is overshadowed by it's larger lakeside companion. We had a stimulating conversation with an enthusiastic woman who opened the information floodgates when I asked about the history of the place. Very cool.

Back on the road north we took the next right turn, drove through the "Fishing Bridge" area along the road toward the east entrance to the Park. This section of road gives visitors their first views of Yellowstone as they come into the Park by way of Cody, so there was plenty of pulling over and gawking going on. By this time the rain had given way to sunny broken skies so we found a pull-off high above the eastern side of Lake Yellowstone and had a snack lunch while enjoying the views. Another short stop at Lake Butte Overlook finished our touring for the day. We made an "about-face" and scooted to camp before more threatening rain.

Camp tonight: Bay Bridge Campground (NPS) site G318 ($12)
Miles: 60 (odo 8365)
N44.542, W110.429

Lake Hotel; recently refurbished.

Lake Lodge Lobby.  More my taste.

A spot to linger on east side of Lake Yellowstone.

Campsite at Bay Bridge CG (NPS)