Yellowstone isn’t easy to describe, so I am just going to give you a very very brief photo tour:
We entered through the North entrance (from Gardiner) and headed down to Madison Campground where we made a reservation for that night. The first area is Mammouth Hot Springs. (The way the park is sectioned off reminds me of Disneyworld’s villages; isn’t that sad?) Everywhere you look the ground is steaming, bubbling and spewing water. And all the minerals in the land create bright colors.
Upper Terrace Springs with mountains in the background:
The sulfur in the ground made the whole place stink like rotten eggs. Me and the three-year-old girl in front of us walked around this section holding our noses shut.
Roaring Mountain (Andrew was reminded of the Astrocrag from the show Guts!):
Some of the Fountain Paint Pots just randomly spouted water:
Andrew loved it!
I don’t know what makes the water blue, but it was so vivid.
Mustard Spring. The colors on this one were a bit ewwww! But as we visited the Mustard Museum only a few days earlier, the photo had to go in.
The Mammouth Hot Springs “area” is were the hot springs are most concentrated, but they are everywhere. You drive down the road, pause for a photo, and next to you on the ground is bubbling mud. They were very good about warning you though. These signs were everywhere:
From there we did the ultimate touristy thing and joined the crowds waiting for Old Faithful. Seriously, it was like waiting for a Seal World dolphin show. We actually arrived just after it erupted (erupt? Is that the right word?), so we indulged in the local cafeteria’s fine cuisine. Outside the cafeteria was a long porch with rows of rocking chairs that people had taken up residence to wait. It made me think of my grandma. I could imagine her sitting there with her knitting, stopping every 92 minutes to watch Old Faithful and say “oooo, ahhhhh!”
To kill time we headed towards a path that goes around the perimeter of the geyser. “Sorry, this trail is closed,” a ranger said standing in our way. “Oh?” “There is a herd of buffalo on the trail; you can’t walk on it. Head over to the other side of the waiting area and you can see some buffalo.” So we did:
And eventually Old Faithful showed all her glory:
My opinion? Over-rated. There are a number of geysers in the park actually, Old Faithful just happens to be the only one that erupts that regularly. The Grand Geyser is actually the tallest one known, but only goes off every eight hours.
From there we got back in the car (story of our life this week) –– after a quick stop at the souvenir shop. Andrew’s caption for this photo: “Ahhh, The American Government sold out!”
We made a few animal-inspired Canon moments. It’ really easy to track animals in the park; you just look out for a lot of other cars on the side of the road and pull over when you see people pointing into the woods.
We also saw a grizzly in the woods… not at our campsite, thank goodness.
At this point it was an hour from getting dark. We decided to pass up cooking on the fire and eat in the lodge so we could get some more sightseeing time in. This turned out to be a fantastic idea: the next, and last stop, was my favorite, EVER! And the bison tacos I had for dinner were pretty sweet too!
It really was the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. Until now my favorite place I’ve visited was Lord Stone’s Country Park in the Yorkshire Dales. I camped there once and spent the night lying on the softest coziest grass on this earth staring at the stars. I felt at ease there.
This place brought the same peace. It was perfect!
It was the perfect note to end the day. So we did. We headed back to the campground to cuddle up and freeze our butts off all night!
Been to Yellowstone? What were your favorite sights?