Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Today we made a visit up to Yellowstone National Park. Again it was a beautiful day for a drive and also for photography. Of course we had to run into some more road construction. Between the two parks they are making some major road changes. We spent lots of time in single file following a pilot car as we drove across many miles of dirt and gravel roads eating dust all the way. At least this time we were in the pick-up and not the RV pulling the pick-up. Getting one vehicle dirtier isn’t as bad as getting both. Anyway we finally were rewarded by entering the park. We had to climb over another 2500 feet to get into Yellowstone NP. At the top we crossed the National Divide taking us up and over the Rocky Mountains.
Yellowstone is a pretty interesting place to see. Formed in a very massive caldera. Yellowstone has some very unique geothermal features. We went around the east side of the of the park loop and mostly stayed near the massive Yellowstone Lake. I would have liked to completely done the highway loop around the park, but it would have taken many more hours and also the road was closed in a section of the western side. So it wasn’t possible this time. We stopped at a large section of geothermal hot pools and mud pots. They had a very nice walkway out through the pools that kept our soft fleshy feet out of the very hot baking sediments through the area. I would have hated to have fallen into one of the hot pools as they all were at least 160+ degrees F. I bit too hot for a hot tub. However the colors and contrasts of the pools are more than enough to make the view very worthwhile. Of course no trip to Yellowstone is considered a success without the wildlife viewing. While at the pools we had two cow elk stroll through browsing on the vegetation. The big crowd didn’t seem to bother them at all. The scenery is truly spectacular in it’s own pure natural way. Yellowstone Lake looks very big just by viewing the Thumb portion of the lake. When you get to the main body of the lake you realize the true massive size of the lake. Before we turned back we stopped at the Fishing Bridge across the Yellowstone River. Pretty impress site with lots of native cutthroat trout under the bridge. However it is kind of ironic since you can’t fish off of the bridge. A really pretty sight up and down the river. On our way back through the park Rita finally got on of her wishes for viewing wildlife. Lumbering down the road slowing traffic to almost a stand-still was this old bull buffalo. Rita was driving and got to slowly drive next to him. I was able to snap some pictures of him as we passed. Rita could have almost reached out her window and petted him he was so close when we passed. Those are massive beasts. His head looked to be as large as a lounge chair. Very impressive. Returning home we had enjoyed our short stay in Yellowstone.