Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

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Sunday Part I - Mud Volcano Area

Sunday August 14, 2011|
Bridge Bay Campground
Yellowstone National Park, WY

This morning we packed up and
moved to a boon docking site
at Bridge Bay Campground
for 75% less than we paid
for the one night of full hook ups.
Before I go on with today’s adventure,
I want to give you some facts and opinions
about our stay Yellowstone.
#1  It is gorgeous and amazing landscape

#2 There VERY limited cell service
and none in either campground we stayed in.
Carrie had the best coverage here with her AT&T.
David had none with Sprint.
My Verizon was very weak and very spotty.

#3 For RVs over 30’ there are only 3
campgrounds you can fit into

  1)Fishing Bridge Full Hook Ups 
We paid $42.16 for 30 amp service
2)Bridge Bay no hook ups
and VERY tight sites even for our 34’ RV.
$20.50 per night
(1/2 that with senior discount)
If you go to Bridge as we did, you
will find the speed bumps into the campground
are very difficult for big rigs.
One is on a curve and the wheels won’t both
go over it at the same time so it twists the coach.
Bridge Bay is very large and there is only
one dump station so the lines can be long
when leaving. 
3) Grant no hook ups.
at the far southern end of the park
The most attractive of the 3 in that it
is wooded but also has very tight sites
Same Price as Bridge

#4  Internet service/wireless is non existent
unless you have an air card or satellite.
Our air card could only get service well
in the Old Faithful Area.  It was too weak
to post the blog at other spots listed as
having “cell service”.  Mostly those are the lodges.
And thus, I’m WAY behind in my posting.
But all will be revealed in time.
#5 Yellowstone is a VERY BIG place
and requires a lot of driving to get from one
main center to another.  We spent at least an hour
each day, each way and usually more
in the car and didn’t do the northern most
end of the park.  I had been hoping we would be able
to camp a few days in each area,
but unless you are 24’ or less that isn’t possible

#6  Don’t take your rig out the North Entrance
We should have gone out the West side
but ended up climbing two mountains on narrow roads
and having to come back down again
One of the most frightening drives I’ve been on.
If there was information about this anywhere, I didn’t see it.
If any of you have found Yellowstone
to be more big rig friendly
than we have, please let me know the details as I
would like to return here in the future and
do some hiking.  In order to get to Glacier before things
start to close up, we have had time only to do
most”of the geyser attractions.
My thinking now is to stay close but outside the park next time.
Any recommendations??

On to our day.
Today we drove up to see the Mud Volcano.
It was close to our campground.
Here is the map of the boardwalk “trail”.

Mud Volcano 006

Most of the “trails” leading around
the mud pots, geysers, hot springs
are boardwalks because the ground is
extremely fragile and HOT.

The hydrogen sulfide gas gave
the area that infamous rotten eggs smell

Mud Volcano 013

We came to the first information
sign and look who was about 5’ away.
It is illegal here to be within 100 yards of bears
and 25 yards of other wildlife.
Hmmmmm  what to do.
Carrie & I were behind David
who didn’t notice the approaching fellow
until we pointed it out to him
as he was reading the sign.

Mud Volcano 016
As you can see, we had just left the parking lot
and started up the trail when we got
boxed in by buffalo.
The other folks starting up decided
to wait and see what happened I guess.

Mud Volcano 017

We just stood still and hoped for the best as
they moved across the path.  Eventually we
were able to walk on by.

The mud was bubbling,
the buffalo were snorting and sort of growling.
David took a video to record the noise
but the signal is far too weak here to
include it with the blog.
You’ll have to come on over and listen for yourself.

Mud Volcano 019 

Given the menacing sounding talk and the
closeness of the herd to the boardwalk,
we let David go first.
If you are old enough to remember the
commercial with the line
”let Mikey try it, he’ll eat anything”
then you’ll get the joke Carrie & I
share when we say,
let David do it,
he’ll try anything.

Mud Volcano 026

David said they were playing male
”one upmanship”  with their snorting and grunting.

Mud Volcano 028

Many faults converge here and earthquakes are common.
In 1978 a swarm of earthquakes struck this area
and soon afterward the ground temperatures
rose to 200 degrees F.
Even though it’s cooled, I wonder why their feet
aren’t hot hanging out on this strip between
two hot pools.
The colors of the pools and their edges
were striking shades of blue and yellow.

Mud Volcano 033

The ground around these pots is other worldly.

Mud Volcano 043

Mud Volcano 076

Mud Volcano 079

Mud Volcano


And finally, my personal favorite,
Dragon’s Mouth Spring.
Given the smell, perhaps Dragon’s breath
would be a better name although I admit
to never having actually smelled a dragon’s breath.

Mud Volcano 060

Mud Volcano 061


Until 1994, the wave like action often
splashed water as far as the boardwalk.
The rumbling sounds we heard
are caused by steam and other gases exploding
through the water causing it to crash
against the walls of the hidden cavern.
But it could pass for a dragon to me.

Mud Volcano 067 

There are 1000 miles of trails in
Yellowstone but the major
”sites” are mostly on automobile drives.
We were driving North from Bay Bridge
to Canyon Village (which has a more wooded campground
but only for 30’ RVs and under).
We had stopped at the Mud Volcano area
on our way to the
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and its falls.
But given the internet troubles I think
I’d better make the falls a separate blog.
Check back, they were FANTASTIC!!


  1. Man, those buffalo were close, but it looks like they were neatly trimmed. Wonder who their barber is?

    Great pictures once again. I'm drooling to go there!

  2. I think those buffalo where just a bit too up front and personal. You guys have a knack for finding yourselves in the middle of things :)

    I'm disappointed there are no big rig friendly parks. I suppose the answer would be to stay outside but wouldn't that make the trips in each day really, really long? I'll be curious if others have suggestions as we absolutely have to make that trip one day.

  3. We are staying at two parks when we stay near Yellowstone. One's called Buffalo Park, (the name Buffalo is in the park name), in Idaho on the Idaho/Montana border, 25 miles out from the park. The second one is closer, it's a Corps of Engineer Park called Rainbow Point and it's about ten miles north of West Yellowstone. (We're 40 foot long). LOVED the bison/buffalo photos, guys!

  4. You do like to roam "where the buffalo roam" don't you? :-)

    Thanks for the RV info regarding staying at Yellowstone, as that is definitely on our bucket list. Will be interested to see what others have to say in that regard.

  5. Sherry, I believe you have a buffalo issue!! I really think they are stalking you;o)) But what a great photo.

    We remember not liking the campground at Yellowstone also. We were there in late May and early June, so it wasn't crowded. Therefore, driving was not an issue. We just packed up for the day and headed out. One nice thing was the animals were just coming out of hybernation and still had there winter coats on. I would go back, but would investigate other campground options also.

    Even with the less than favorable camping, Yellowstone has so much to offer!!!

  6. Love Yellowstone. Visited during all seasons ... fall and spring, we liked best; with winter next. Summer we found to be too crowded. All those visits were well before we even thought about having a motorhome, though, so I can't help with any suggestions for your next visit.


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