Saturday, June 20, 2009

Yellowstone National Park


We are so glad we decided to come back here to Yellowstone. This is now our 5th national park in 2 months, and they are all spectacular in different ways. The great thing about Yellowstone is how many different and unusual things you can see, even on a short hike. We drove to the Mammoth Hot Springs area Thursday, about 60 miles from our campground. Unfortunately, Yellowstone is so big, it takes time to get to the different areas of the park. There was major road construction, during which we came to a 20 minute stop, but it was lunchtime so we just ate in the car while we waited. What was worse was the number of cars that just stop in the middle of the road to look at wildlife, while a line of cars piles up behind them. Of course by the time we got there, the animal was just a speck in the distance.  (It looked like a dog to us, but was probably a coyote or wolf.) Jim got a bit crazy after this happened several times. Now, he didn’t have a problem with cars stopping to let the elk and bison cross the road,  though, since they crossed right in front of us twice.P6180006 P6180001

We hiked a couple miles on the Howard Eaton Trail near the terraces area of Mammoth. The first part of the trail took us by some of the terraces. These pics show the variety of things we saw along the trail.P6180023 P6180010 P6180011



We stopped at Artist’s Paint Pots trail on the way back. The most interesting things there were the bubbling mud pots, but the pictures didn’t come out very good.

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Yesterday we went to the Middle Geyser Basin area, just a few miles north of Old Faithful, and hiked the Fairy Falls Trail. It was one of the flattest hikes we’ve done, but we ended up walking over 6 miles. The first mile passes the Fountain Paint Pots area.P6190005 P6190001

Then it’s 1.6 miles to the falls. Fairy Falls  is 200 feet high, so it was pretty impressive. Our waterfall pictures never seem to do them justice. We had fun watching a couple of ravens that hung out by the falls, waiting for someone to leave them some crumbs.

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Then another half mile leads to Imperial Geyser, a small but frequently erupting geyser. The surrounding water was incredibly blue and clear. We also got to see 2 more bison just off the trail near the geyser.

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As you can see by yesterdays photos, we finally had a day without rain. Well, almost, I should say, as it did get dark and cloudy and we had a little shower around 9 pm, but no hail. Today is windy, drizzly and dreary, but we needed an excuse for a down day. Getting ready to do some laundry,  my least favorite but necessary activity.  The clouds and rain do make for some pretty pictures, though. These were both taken Tuesday evening. Nice way to end a day.



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