Yellowstone National Park
The first surprise of the day was the warmth of the shower room which was great after the short walk through the icy morning air. The second surprise was the herd of wapiti directly in front of the hotel.
After breakfast we set off walking to the Beaver Ponds. The route had been suggested by the ranger who reassured us that we would surely see animals on the way. We were accompanied by the tinkling sound of the bear bell that I had bought that morning as a caution. The route was through bear country. We walked (alone) through marvellous woods and fields until we reached the Beaver Ponds where we saw our first animal - a cone-throwing squirrel!! Following the path around we saw two snakes near the path but no other animals!!!!
In the afternoon, after briefly visiting the Terraces at Mammoth, we drove down to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Our first view of the spectacular valley was from the Grand View and we stopped at all the viewpoints along the way. We walked down to the viewpoint directly at the top of the Lower Falls. Incredible!! From there we could see Uncle Tom's Trail - a series of steps somehow stuck to the cliffwall. Unfortunately, by the time we reached the trail head it was blocked off as it was getting late in the day.
In the evening we drove from our cabin to the North Entrance with its Roosevelt Arch to the Montana town of Gardiner. Beate had fresh fish as she had always dreamt of eating trout in Montana since she had seen the film "A River Runs Through".
We had originally planned to stay one night in a Frontier Cabin (toilet and shower in a separate building) but after talking to a ranger about possibilities to see wildlife, we decided to stay an extra night.