Thursday, July 23, 2015

Yellowstone Part 2

July 22 our final day in Yellowstone. I have enjoyed Yellowstone but the drive in and out of the park plus the drives to see the features make for a long day. If you come, stay in the park and move from one lodge to another to be close to the items you want to see. We got around earlier this morning and traffic wasn't as bad getting in but it was still heavy.
Our first stop was Grand Canyon of Yellowstone Visitors Center for a stamp and then on to see the falls. What you are about to view are the lower falls. The Upper falls were not accessible. 
Four hours?? More like nine. 

Uncle Tom's Trail on the South Rim of the Canyon.

Becky and Patrick walked down to a view point and I talked to some people and snapped a few photos of my own.
This is an osprey nest for a mama and two babies.

 We drove out to Inspiration Point (no there were no submarine races).
The glacier dropped of this big boy in the middle of nowhere for our enjoyment.

 The colors in the rock were amazing. They are left over from hot springs that are now dormant. The colors in the hot water are formed by microorganisms.

 We left the Canyon behind and headed south towards Yellowstone Lake but were held up first by these big boys and then by construction. As we eased through this traffic jam, a ranger in a car kept blaring clicking sounds from her speakers and telling us to move on if the buffalo were not blocking the path. Unfortunately they were. I had to brake quickly as one stepped right into the road in front of us. I yielded the right of way to these two ton horned and hair kings of the prairie.

We got through them and stopped at a few road side attractions.

At this spring, a bubbling wave of water pours forth from the cave. When it was first named, the wave would come all the way to where were were standing on the board walk and looked like a dragon's tongue flicking in and out.

 We passed by Yellowstone Lake, its 410 feet deep and filled with little geysers that look like coral. I have read that the diving is spectacular and would love to try it sometime. For now we enjoyed the surface views. The lake is so large that it creates its own weather systems in the park.

Black volcanic sand hot to the touch in the warm sun!
For the last week we have been crossing and recrossing the divide so we stopped for a picture. 
 Then it was on to Old Faithful. We pulled into the parking lot and unloaded just in time to see people running for the fountain. We got there about five minutes before the famous geyser erupted and were able to elbow into get a good spot to watch the spectacle.

Lots of people lined up all around to see the big event.

Yeah!!! Hot water coming out of the ground!
 From there the loop was almost complete but we still had a long way to go.

All this colorful layering under the water is building up travertine. Counter tops anyone?

The yellow is caused by sulfur in the water. Yes it was smelly.

This little guy blows off every nine or ten minutes.

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We left the park's largest pool behind and headed out. First a short drive down Firehole Lake Drive to see some more geysers and hot springs. The picture of the one seems to have disappeared. I'm sure you're bored of looking at them anyhow. So as we headed out of the park we got caught in an hour long stop and go traffic jam. Usually this happens because of wildlife and we know that there was one buffalo and one female elk that stopped things but there was something else that we didn't get to see. Traffic eventually cleared up and we made it home by nine in the evening to have hamburgers and hotdogs in time for bed.

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