Monday, October 24, 2011

Yellowstone 10/24/11

Wow, wow, wow.

When we were in Idaho, we contemplated skipping coming to Yellowstone because there is some bad weather headed our way and when we looked at the weather report it showed snow & freezing temperatures for the time we were there. Not to mention the road closures in the. I am SO glad we decided to go for it!

We arrived at the North Entrance outside of Gardiner and went directly to the Mammoth Hot Springs Campground.

The Yellowstone entrance outside of Gardiner, MT

I had called for information on reservations a couple of months ago and was told there would be no problem finding a spot. Mammoth Hot Springs Campground is a first-come first-served campground that in the height of the summer all spots are taken by 9am (which is checkout time!) but had no problem today... The yellow slips indicate spots being used.

Mammoth Hot Springs Campground in Yellowstone Park camping in October

As we pulled into our spot, we were welcomed by a passing Elk who hung out on the hill beside us while we setup camp.

An Elk greeting us at our campsite in Yellowstone

Yellowstone is an extremely diverse place and there is so much to see & do! Because of the road closures and weather in the area, we were only able to do the Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful drive. But we saw so many different things in such a short trip!

Our plan was to high-tail it directly to Old Faithful first to ensure we didn't miss it and it was incredibly difficult not to pull off at every sight. We held out though, making notes of places we needed to stop on our way back. A couple of times we just couldn't help it though....

Like for the Elk that was sitting on the side of the road...

An Elk on the side of the road in Yellowstone

And for the Buffaloes who were also on the side of the road... (I liked this guy!)

A Buffalo alongside the road in Yellowstone

Of course some things I couldn't help but take a photo of - like this one of the Geyser Basins. :-) It was chilly - with temps in the 50's - but the skies were clearing up and the sun was trying to come out. It couldn't have been more picturesque.

The Geyser Basins in Yellowstone

We made it to Old Faithful just before noon and went inside the Visitor Center to find the projected time of the next eruption to be in the next 20 minutes - sweet! We checked out the visitor center, learning everything we could ever want to know about how Geysers work. The Visitor Center is absolutely gorgeous as are the adjoining buildings, though it's obvious it's the end of the season as we couldn't find a Park Ranger or employee who wasn't a jerk! Oh well...

We went out to the viewing platform and waited, and waited... Old Faithful toyed with us a few times, kind of 'burping', and finally....

Old Faithful begins her show

Let the show begin!

Old Faithful in Yellowstone

The show lasted a minute and a half or so. It was really amazing. So much water! Or steam, boiling water, vapor, or whatever it is! haha... The show was fun but the people we were sitting by and chatting with made it all the more fun.

We left Old Faithful and headed towards all of the spots we missed - Upper, Midway, & Lower Geyser Basins where many of the great colorful hotsprings - clear & calm deep pools - are located as well as Mudpots & Fumaroles.

Geyser Basins in Yellowstone

On the way we were delayed as we had to wait until a herd of Buffaloes crossed the road. For some reason I can't get the song 'Home on the Range' out of my head... haha!!

A herd of Buffaloes crossing the road

Continuing on we stopped at Fountain Paint Pots where we stumbled onto this tree and had so much fun trying to get a photo with setting the camera on another log, setting the delay, and running around the tree. The best part was all of the spectators who were watching us intently. :-)

Michael and Rene in Yellowstone

We continued North with stops at Gibbon Falls, a gorgeous Waterfall on the side of the road...

Gibbon Falls in Yellowstone

Roaring Mountain...

Roaring Mountain in Yellowstone

And finally to the Upper & Lower Terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs. The Terraces is where the interaction of water & limestone creat chalk-white travertine. The water flowing over them is different colors and great intricate patterns.

The Terraces in Yellowstone

And truly so much more!! :-) Be sure to check out the rest of the photos taken during the day - on our photo album (click here)

The wildlife was amazing, the scenery was different at each turn, and there was so much to see & do! It's a shame that we have to bail so quickly but the snow & cold temps is headed our way and we gotta get outta here! But we will be back - we can imagine a motorcycle trip up here during the summer. Mmmmm...I can't wait! :-)

Thank you all for the well-wishes on a speedy recovery. I'm recovering well, the scabs are falling off, & the retainer is helping my front teeth significantly. Though I'm still not quite ready for any close-ups yet. :-)

Next stop....Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, & Badlands!
More to follow,


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home