Summer vacation season is here! And according to a recent news release by Yellowstone National Park officials, Park visitation is at record numbers. The first 6 months of 2009 logged just over 1 million visitors. And June by itself logged in nearly 644,000, an increase of 8.5% from 2008.
And visitation is anticipated to continue to increase through the summer as the National Park Service is offering 3 FEE – FREE visitation weekends in Yellowstone and other National Parks! The Fee – Free weekends for Yellowstone are:
Last month, the Yellowstone Association had a grand opening of their new headquarters. The Association refurbished the building that was originally the town merchantile in the late 1800’s. The entrepreneurwho built and owned the merchantile, also built for his family the house that is now known as Yellowstone Suites B&B. I had the priviledge of meeting WA Hall’s extended family and gave tours of the house to his great great grandchildren. The family shared many stories about the house and the town, including confirming the folklore that the 2nd story rock used to build the house was indeed leftover rock from the Roosevelt Arch. I hope to continue a relationship with the Hall family and continue to learn more about this old stone house in Gardiner, MT.
Lastly, on an afternoon drive through the Lamar Valley yesterday, I was fortunate enough to encounter two black bear sightings, one was a sow and her two cubs born just this spring. And I got some amazing pictures. If anyone is looking for a good, simple to use camera, I highly recommend the Nikon D90. More photos of my bear encounter as well as the B&B and the seasons of Yellowstone, can be found on the photo gallery tab at www.yellowstonesuites.com.
The summer tourist season is just around the corner and what better way to impress your friends and family than with some Yellowstone facts and trivia. Have fun! Answers at the bottom of the page.
1) How many acres does Yellowstone cover & where does it rank in size among the largest National Parks?
2) What is the fastest mammal in Yellowstone National Park?
3) What is the most common tree found in Yellowstone?
4) What is the oldest man-made landmark in Yellowstone?
5) What is the most abundant fish found in Yellowstone waters?
6) Name the igneous rock type that makes up the vast majority of the Yellowstone plateau?
7) Name the highest peak in Yellowstone National Park.
8) What are the 2 most common causes of death to tourists at Yellowstone?
9) Name the tallest erupting geyser in Yellowstone.
10) What is the largest backcountry lake in Yellowstone?
11) What historic home in Gardiner, Montana was built with leftover rock from the Roosevelt Arch?
- 2,219,790 acres, 8th largest
- Lodgepole Pine
- Lake Hotel
- Cutthroat Trout
- Eagle Peak at 11,358 ft
- Traffic accidents & heart attacks/strokes
- Steamboat Geyser
- Shoshone Lake
- Yellowstone Suites Bed & Breakfast
The west road in Yellowstone National Park is opening to vehicle traffic for the 2009 season on Friday April 17. This road is accessible from the north gate in Gardiner, Montana and just blocks from my Montana bed and breakfast. These major Park attractions are now within an hours drive of the B&B: the Norris Geyser Basin, Canyon, Old Faithful and West Yellowstone.
On May 1 the road from Canyon to Lake, and Lake to the East Entrance is expected to open. And on May 8, the West Thumb and South Entrance is slated to open.
Construction projects for 2009 include Norris to Madison through the Gibbon Canyon. Delays of 30 minutes are expected April 17-May 22. This section of the road will be closed nightly at 10pm until 8am beginning May 26-August 16. On August 17 this section of the road closes for the rest of the season.
It’s always a good idea before you head out to check the 24 hour Current Road Report Hotline at (307) 344-2117 for the latest information on conditions affecting roads within the Park.
One of my favorite recipes to make here at my quaint Montana Bed and Breakfast is banana bread. Served with a cup of strong coffee and enjoyed from a rocking chair on the back porch in the morning, life just doesn’t get any better. And don’t feel bad if you have a second (or third) slice, it’s a healthier version using applesauce and wheat flour.
Makeover Banana Nut Bread
2 Tbs butter softened
3/4 cup sugar (or Splenda)
1 egg white
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 medium)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans
In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar for 2 minutes or until crumbly. Add egg, then egg white, beating well after each addition. Beat on high speed until light & fluffy. Stir in bananas, applesuace, honey and extract. Combine flours, baking soda and salt. Stir into banana mixture just until moistened.
Pour into a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake at 325 degrees for 60-65 minutes or unitl a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf approximately 10 slices.
Should be enjoyed with a cup of coffee at the best lodging in Gardiner, Montana!