Yellowstone trip day 7: Canyon and Grand Prismatic Spring

On day seven of our Yellowstone trip, the fourth and last full day in the park, we had a grand time visiting the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, plus a dusk trip to the Grand Prismatic Spring.

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone:

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone



Jenn taking photos:

Jenn taking photos

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone





Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone


Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Family pic at Artist Point:

Family at Artist Point

On the way back, spotted some more bison:



After dinner, Jenn, Eliza, and I decided to take a sunset trip to Grand Prismatic Spring. On the way, yep, it’s more bison:


Runoff from Excelsior Geyser Crater:

Runoff from Excelsior Geyser Crater

Eliza and Jenn on the boardwalk; it was nice to have the place almost to ourselves:

Eliza and Jenn on boardwalk

Excelsior Geyser Crater:

Excelsior Geyser Crater

Excelsior Geyser Crater

Runoff from Grand Prismatic Spring, in the just-past-sunset glow:

Runoff from Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring:

Grand Prismatic Spring

Reflected moon:

Reflected moon

Grand Prismatic Spring

Jenn and Eliza on the boardwalk:

Jenn and Eliza on the boardwalk

Info signs:

Grand Prismatic Spring info

Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring





Yellowstone trip day 6: Norris Geyser Basin

On day six of our Yellowstone trip, the third full day in the park, we explored the Norris Geyser Basin.

An unintentionally memorable hike, as Jenn tripped on a root and knocked me over, gashing my knee. It looked worse than it was, though; I was able to continue without too much difficulty.

The Norris Geyser Basin map:

Norris Geyser Basin map

Emerald Spring pool:

Emerald Springl pool

The Steamboat Geyser; apparently it hasn’t gone off for months, so we were excited to see it erupting; it continued for the entire time we were there:

Steamboat Geyser

Steamboat Geyser

Jenn’s father was excited to see it erupting, since it hadn’t all the many previous times he’d visited the park over the years:

Jenn's father

Steamboat Geyser

Looking downhill:

Looking downhill

Blue thermal pool:

Blue thermal pool

Orange themal pool:

Red themal pool

Another thermal thingy:

Another thermal thingy

Another thermal pool:

Another thermal pool

Puff ‘n Stuff Geyser:

Puff 'n Stuff Geyser

Geyser valley:

Geyser valley



Steamy pool and cave:

Steamy pool and cave

Yellow Funnel Spring:

Yellow Funnel Spring

Geyser basin:

Geyser basin

Pool and vent:

Pool and vent

Muddy geyser:


Thermal pool:

Thermal pool



Geyser basin:

Geyser basin

Yellowstone trip day 5: to Mammoth

On day five of our Yellowstone trip, our second full day in the park, we drove up from the Madison Campground to the Mammoth area.

On the way, a stop at Gibbon Falls:

Gibbon falls

Gibbon falls

The Gibbon River below the falls:

Gibbon river

Sheepeater Cliff:

Sheepeater cliff

Sheepeater cliff

Sheepeater cliff

Arriving at Mammoth, we saw some elk lazing by a building:

Elk at Mammoth

While eating lunch on some grass, the rangers started getting excited about elk moving nearby, telling everyone to give them space. A female and young elk wandered through the grass where we had been sitting:

Elk at Mammoth

Followed by a bull, who was trying to get them to go back to the others:

Elk at Mammoth

Elk at Mammoth

The elk back by the building:

Elk at Mammoth

The Mammoth terraces:

Mammoth terraces

A nearby bridge and valley:

Bridge and valley

On the way back to the campground, we encountered a bison jam; just a bison slowly wandering down the road, followed by a line of cars:

Bison jam

Bison jam

Yellowstone trip day 4: Bison, Midway Geyser Basin, Old Faithful

On day four of our Yellowstone trip, we drove down from the Madison Campground to Old Faithful, exploring the Midway Geyser Basin on the way.

With a little detour for bison by Fountain Flat Drive:




Midway Geyser Basin:

Midway Geyser Basin





Blue thermal pool:

Blue pool

Blue pool



Green thermal pool:

Green pool

Boardwalk and geysers:

Boardwalk and geysers



Then on to the Old Faithful area; here’s the visitor center:

Old Faithful visitor center

Old Faithful lodge:

Old Faithful lodge

Old Faithful lodge

Old Faithful lodge

Old Faithful lodge

Old Faithful geyser, with a crowd watching it erupt:

Old Faithful geyser

Old Faithful geyser

Back at the campground, and the nearby Madison river:

Madison river

Madison river

Yellowstone trip day 3, to Madison campground

On day three, we went from Jerome, ID to Yellowstone National Park.

Very flat in Idaho:


Looking back at the trailer in the side mirrors, including an extended mirror to account for the wider trailer:


An interesting building in a rest area in Firth, Idaho:

Rest area

Rest area truck and trailer parking:

Rest area parking

At last, we reached Yellowstone! Here’s the entrance road:

Yellowstone entrance road

Our campsite in the Madison campground within Yellowstone:


An amusing result of the higher elevation; puffed up bags of chips:

Puffed up chips

That evening, a pleasant fire and conversation with the family:


Tomorrow, we explore some of Yellowstone.

Yellowstone trip day 2, to Twin Falls / Jerome KOA

Continuing the journey to Yellowstone, on day two we went from La Grande, WA to Jerome, ID. Each leg was about six hours driving.

We spent the night in the Twin Falls / Jerome KOA:


Here’s our campsite:



The trailer:


The messy side of RVing: power, water, and sewer hookups:


The KOA office:


The pool and playground; we enjoyed a swim in the pool to help cool off:

Pool and playground

This campground also had a nearby pond:


Including some ducks:


Mini golf (we didn’t play):

Mini golf

Next time, arriving in Yellowstone.

Yellowstone trip day 1, to Grand Hot Springs

Continuing from yesterday, here’s day 1 of our Yellowstone trip.

To make the drive there and back less painful, we had decided to take two days each way. The first leg was from home (in the Portland, OR area) to La Grande, WA.

Here’s the trailer and truck at a view point stop:

Trailer and truck

La Grande viewpoint:

La Grande viewpoint

We checked in to Grande Hot Springs RV resort for the night:

Grande Hot Springs

The trailer and truck in the campsite:



A super-fancy Mac and Cheese and hot dogs for our first dinner of the trip:

Mac and Cheese and hot dogs for dinner

Some art in the driveway:


Pond and fountain:

Pond and fountain

An adjacent pond:



The RV park:

RV park

A hot water stream:

Hot stream

Hot pools (of which we didn’t partake, though probably should have):

Hot pools

Stay tuned for day 2!

Yellowstone trip trailer pickup

As you’ve seen, we have a luxury 40-foot motorhome. So of course we headed out in it immediately, right? Nope. We parked it at our homestead, and picked up a 19-foot rental trailer.

Why?! Because we have had a trip to Yellowstone National Park booked for over a year, where we planned to meet up with several family members. And our 40-foot coach doesn’t fit in Yellowstone, especially when towing a pickup truck.

So after considering many options, including staying outside the park, we decided to stick with our original plan of using a rental trailer, as one last pre-motorhome trip. The main reason being that since we were meeting family, it’d be nicer to be able to all camp together in adjacent campsites.

The trailer itself was a bit of a challenge; we actually went through five trailer bookings over the year or so leading up to the trip; some we cancelled as not being suitable, some stopped being available, etc. The one we ended up with wasn’t ideal, with only a full-sized bed, and as it turned out at the last minute, the shower didn’t work, but those weren’t dealbreakers (the Madison campground in Yellowstone doesn’t have any hookups, so we wouldn’t want to expend water on showers anyway).

Here’s the rental trailer we ended up with, when we picked it up:

Rental trailer

Rental trailer

It has a full-sized (aka double) bed, with a half-sized bunk above, where we stored clothing:


The tiny bathroom, with non-functional shower (we provided towels for use elsewhere):


The kitchen:


And dining area:


Stay tuned for a recap of day 1 of the trip tomorrow.

Roughing it smoothly

The slogan of the Tiffin luxury motorhomes is “Roughing It Smoothly”. After looking at the previous posts touring our coach, I think you can see why.

Here’s the emblem on the door:

Tiffin Motor Homes: Roughing It Smoothly

Motorhome tour: basement compartments

We just spent five nights in Yellowstone, without any internet access (or shower). It was quite pleasant… well, not so much the no shower part, but that was fine. Now we’re in Missoula, MT for a night (and a shower), on our way home.

Since we have Wi-Fi at the campground, I thought I’d do one more post touring our new motorhome, again using photos from when we first bought it. This time, the basement compartments. It has quite a lot going on under the floor. I’ll post about our Yellowstone trip later.

But first, an exterior compartment that isn’t under the floor; the outside TV and sound bar:

Exterior TV

Starting at the passenger-side front, here’s the basement fridge or freezer (it can do either, by setting the temperature):

Basement fridge or freezer

One of two full-width slide-out trays:

Slide-out tray

The trays are slid out and in via a switch on the door:

Slide-out tray control

Inside the storage compartments, you can see through to the other side, with a raised rail beam down the center. Plus what looks like a speaker? Not sure about that:


The second slide-out tray, with an electrical outlet:

Second slide-out tray

Next, a smaller compartment, plus the central vacuum container (yes, there’s a central vac):

Smaller compartment

Air hose and slide room hydraulic compartments:

Air and hydraulic compartments

Chassis batteries and electronics, powering the vehicle side of the coach:

Chassis batteries and electronics

Engine compartment (at the back; it’s a “diesel pusher”, as the diesel engine pushes the coach down the road):

Engine compartment


Engine compartment

Around to the driver side, the surge protector and 50 amp power cord reel (with powered winder):

Power cord reel

The wet bay, with water filter, outdoor shower, black (toilet) and grey (sink) sewer outlet, and water hose reel (also with a powered winder):

Wet bay

The Aqua-Hot hydronic heat system, that uses diesel or electricity to provide heat, continuous hot water, and pre-heat the engine:

Aqua-Hot compartment

Above one of the storage bays from the driver side; the auto-generator starter and the electrical inverter, that provides 110V power from the batteries:


Speaking of, the house batteries, that provide power when not hooked up to “shore power” via the electrical cord:

House batteries

There are six house batteries (currently flooded cell, but we may change them to AGM or lithium someday):

House batteries

At the front of the driver side, a bunch of electrical breakers and such:


Behind the front cap of the coach, where a gas-powered RV would have its engine, is instead the 10,000 watt generator, which slides out for servicing:


I hope you were fascinated by this tour under our coach!