4 More Hikes – 100 Miles Complete!

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Now that I’ve completed the 100 mile hike challenge, I have more time for photography. I found this guy on a wolf watching trip 2 days ago in Lamar Valley.

Now that I’ve completed the 100 mile hike challenge, I have more time for photography. I found this guy on a wolf watching trip to Lamar Valley 2 days ago.

Spring Creek Trail – 7.3 Miles

Spring Creek trail passes through a mature pine forest. While it's shady and pretty, one can hear passing cars for the first few miles.

Spring Creek trail passes through a mature pine forest. While it’s shady and pretty, one can hear passing cars for the first few miles.

Once again, Cindy needed to run to town which means I got to choose a hike that doesn’t start and end in the same place. Cindy dropped me off at the trailhead that parallels both Spring Creek and the road between Old Faithful and West Thumb. The trail ends at the Lone Star Geyser road where I took a left and hiked 0.7 miles out to Lone Star Geyser. I’ve been here before via a different route so I didn’t wait the expected 2 hours to see Lone Star erupt for a second time. After a brief rest and snack, I returned to the Kepler Cascades parking lot where Cindy met me shortly thereafter.

The trail crosses Spring Creek numerous times and some sections pass through marshy areas soaking my shoes and socks.  This would not be a good hike during mosquito season.

The trail crosses Spring Creek numerous times and some sections pass through marshy areas soaking my shoes and socks. This would not be a good hike during mosquito season!.

DeLacy Creek Trail to Shoshone Lake – 6.0 miles

This is the second time I’ve hiked this trail. It’s one of my favorites and I wanted to share it with our friend Yun who flew up from Austin to visit us in Yellowstone for a week. Yun loves to hike and backpack so this was like a walk in the park for her.

Yun on the DeLacy Creek Trail.

Yun on the DeLacy Creek Trail.

Picnic Trail to Specimen Ridge Trail out to Agate Creek – 6.4 miles

This is another of my favorite hikes and one I repeated with Yun. It’s completely different from DeLacy Creek giving Yun a good overview of what Yellowstone has to offer.

I led the way on my hikes with Yun, not because we'd get lost but to keep her from leaving me behind. She's one fast hiker!

I led the way on my hikes with Yun, not because we’d get lost but to keep her from leaving me behind. She’s one fast hiker!

Along the way we saw pronghorn, bison and bighorn sheep. No bears or wolves though.

We saw these same sheep on my last hike through this area a few weeks ago.

I saw these same sheep on my last hike through this area a few weeks ago.

Old Faithful Boardwalk – 1.2 miles

With 99.5 miles completed, Cindy and decided to take Yun on a short 1.2 mile hike around the upper geyser basin thus completing my 100 mile hiking challenge.

Following our hike, we headed back to the Old Faithful Inn for a huckleberry margarita and big surprise. Back in May I had reserved a tour to the top of the Old Faithful Inn. Visitors to the Inn are restricted to the first three floors but if you plan far in advance, you can arrange to be one of a handful of visitors that climbs up to the roof to help take down the flags each evening.

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Yun, Cindy and I climbed to the roof of the Old Faithful Inn to take down the US flag and state flags for Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

Yun, Cindy and I climbed to the roof of the Old Faithful Inn to take down the US flag and state flags for Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

Fire codes and a locked staircase prohibit casual visitors from climbing up to the orchestra platform and treehouse above the third floor of the Old Faithful Inn. The staircase also leads to a door through the roof to an outside stairway on the roof climbing to a platform atop the roof. This tour is not for those afraid of heights!

Inside view of the Old Faithful Inn - In the old days, an orchestra would play on a platform at this level while the tourists would dance on the main floor below.

Inside view of the Old Faithful Inn – In the old days, an orchestra would play on a platform at this level while the tourists would dance on the main floor below.

Cindy, Yun and I in the Treehouse at the top of the Old Faithful Inn. In the old days, men would come up here to play cards. I assume a door on the treehouse was intended to "keep out girls".

Cindy, Yun and I in the Treehouse at the top of the Old Faithful Inn. In the old days, men would come up here to play cards. I assume the door on the treehouse was intended to “keep out girls”.

The railing at the top is kinda low and shaky. This combined with the wind makes for an unsettling experience. Nevertheless, I helped our tour guide take down the flags at each of the four corners of the platform.

The railing at the top is kinda low and shaky. This combined with the wind makes for an unsettling experience. Nevertheless, I helped our tour guide take down the flags at each of the four corners of the platform.

In addition to hiking, we drove Yun down to the Grand Tetons to witness the solar eclipse in the zone of totality as well as the more popular features of Yellowstone. But despite our best efforts, we were unable to find bears and wolves. Maybe next year.

The lower falls as seen from Artist Point.

The lower falls as seen from Artist Point.

Grand Prismatic Pool as seen from the Overlook trail which opened for this first time this July.

Grand Prismatic Pool as seen from the Overlook trail which opened for this first time this July.

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