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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Oak Park, Illinois, United States
    Posts
    12

    Default New Year's Eve at Old Faithful

    1st off, I am so glad to have stumbled along Road Trip America and the Forum. I just saved another $30.00 on my rental car following a link on this website. Saved $16.00 a week ago. It's made my day. I'm glad I was able to support this website before joining even if it is just a few dollars.

    Here's my trip:

    On March 15, 2012 I made a reservation at the Snow Lodge in Yellowstone National Park for New Years. It will be my 2nd trip to the park in winter. The 1st was Christmas 2007. It was breathtaking.

    About my first trip. I entered the park through the Roosevelt Arch. I was able to walk Mammoth Hot Springs before heading to Old Faithful Snow Lodge. The transportation in was also part tour as we were able to stop along the way to see some of the sites. Once at the Snow Lodge, you're pretty much snowed in until you leave. Old Faithful is right across the street from the Snow Lodge. The sidewalks are cleared.

    The visitor's center was open during day time hours to sit and hang out between eruptions and the film runs every 30 minutes. Christmas Eve I took a snow coach tour to several thermal areas. I shared the ride with a family from Hawaii. The guide was very informative with details about the bacteria mats, mud pots and geysers along the way. Christmas Day I took a 15 mile hike in a blizzard. This was just area the upper geyser Basin, Black Sand Basin and another basin "just over the hill". It took most of the day. The OTS out was also a mini tour as the driver was ahead of schedule and stopped at a few areas allowing us to take in one last eyeful.

    The driving potion was I-90 from Chicago to Gardiner Mt. Out was a straight drive and I only napped for a couple hours along the way in Montana. Heading back to Chicago, I stopped at Devil's Tower and Mt. Rushmore. I don't remember if I skirted down to I-80 or took 90/94 through Wisconsin. It was a memorable trip and one I will take again.


    This year, I will be entering the park from Flagg Ranch and the Grand Tetons. For the low price of $626.27, I was able to get a cabin at Old Faithful, food, over-the-snow transport in and out of the park, snow coach tour to Canyon of the Yellowstone River, and a NYE Champagne Toast. I will be there for 4 nights.

    Just about a week ago I was thinking that would take the long way home passing through Las Vegas. TR member with 60K in credits from last summers great race. This means free room, food, drink, and even some free money if I choose to waste my credits. The additional cost is only $97.00 in gas as of yesterday. Since football season ends on 12-30, my choices are Hockey and Basketball. I like sports betting. So, with another 30 dollars in savings on the rental car, Las Vegas is a done deal. The $46.00 I've saved on the rental car is about 18% of my total fuel cost. That's about 525 miles, or 1/2 the distance to Yellowstone.

    Yellowstone in winter is a must for bucket listers. You might have to go twice to see the entire park, but it's worth it. It's something you'll have to remember and memories you can take with you. Reservations should be made 1 year in advance through the Parks Hotel Management, xanterra. This year reservations were started March 15th. Take a package deal as it will include OTS transport in and out of the park, food. It's a trip of a lifetime.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,695

    Default It would make my list !

    Hello Wroberson and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I see you have already been busy giving helpful tips to other members, we always appreciate it when new members 'chip in', Thank-you.

    Thanks for the report on Yellowstone in winter, it really does sound like quite some adventure. Although I have never been, I have enjoyed watching programs on the solitude of Yellowstone in the winter and not being totally adverse to [extremely] cold temps is something that would certainly make my 'Bucket list'. Yellowstone is on my 'to do' list one way or the other !

    I have moved your thread to 'Roadtrip Field reports' which I think is more appropriate and in the hope that you will update it with a report [and possibly pics] of your next visit. [Hint]

    Enjoy RTA !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Oak Park, Illinois, United States
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Thanks for the welcome. Thanks again for saving me money on the rental car. The price will be hard to beat.

    I have hard pictures. I only have one that I use online for a profile picture. It's me with a snow coach at the lodge. I had disk on my other computer which is long gone. I'm not one to go hunting online for pictures to post as my own. I have a new camera and I will be taking pictures next trip and looking at a video.

    Once you get moving, the cold isn't there.
    Yellowstone2007.jpg

    Added a link to Road Trip America to my FB page.
    Last edited by Wroberson; 06-09-2012 at 10:37 AM. Reason: Added link to RTA on my FB timeline

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Oak Park, Illinois, United States
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Well, It's exactly 9 weeks before I leave Chicago for Yellowstone over New Year's Eve. I got the final cost for the Cabin Package and tour. $598 for the cabin package that includes OTS IN/Out of the park. The Tour of Canyon is $130. I have most of it paid for and 9 weeks to save enough to cover the entire cost without using my credit. I've been watching the gas prices and the cost has dropped 100.00 since June. I've been reading gas will be 50 cents per gallon cheaper by Christmas. That would be awesome. Right now the fuel cost is $269.

    I would be in better financial shape but in August I decided to remodel a 125 gallon aquarium. I bought 150 in plants, new lights, plant food, filter pads, and few fish and testing kits. The first water test since I had the tank 2 years showed NO3 at 200ppm, PO4 at 10ppm, some NO2 and NH4/3. Today, two months later I have the NO3 down to 20ppm PO4 down to .5ppm and no NO2 or NH4/3. But in the process of getting rid of the old tank syndrome, I lost 3 fish.

    The other thing that set me back in cash was a trip to Vegas with my sister. We're going for March Madness. The airfare was only $229. For this trip, we will be staying at Rio. The room is comped through total rewards. We have day trips planned. The first one is a zip line tour through Bootleg Canyon. Should be fun. The other day trip planned is a drive through Zion National Park. The road will be open for auto traffic and I love driving.

    It's one of my days off and just a little bored. The weather is cold in Chicago and time seems to have slowed to a crawl. Just wanted to find the thread and update it a bit. I wouldn't cancel a trip like this. I am looking forward to it and can't wait to see the park again. This is my 2nd winter tour of Yellowstone. One more is needed, but it's just a snowmobile tour of the Lake.

    I thought I've leave any reader with pictures of my 125 gallon aquarium. I will really try to do a live update from the park. All I need is to borrow my nephew's smart phone.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,695

    Default Happy fish !

    It's not long to go now for your Yellowstone and I'm looking forward to seeing a trip report from a winter visit.

    We have day trips planned. The first one is a zip line tour through Bootleg Canyon. Should be fun. The other day trip planned is a drive through Zion National Park.
    Zion is a wonderful National park with lots of great walking. Here you will find some day other day trip ideas from Vegas.

    Nice aquarium by the way !

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