Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Incomparable Yellowstone!

 The day came when we chose to drive to Yellowstone, a bright, sunny day filled with anticipation. We had both been to Yellowstone numerous times in the past, but it is such a wonderland, one could never see it all. Today we drove down the Gallatin Highway to West Yellowstone and planned to drive up the west side of the famous "Figure 8" in the park, going out by way of the north entrance. We will save the east area of the park for another day. The photo above is the Madison River, so clear and blue, and lovely.

 The Biscuit Basin was our first stop. There is a boardwalk leading past these colorful wonders.

 The water almost looks like it's on fire!

 Old Faithful, the most popular display of all.

 The excited crowd stretched a long ways. I heard a few bored children waiting for what they'd been promised, and a few patient parents encouraging them to keep watching.

 I must always look at wildflowers. These were abundant throughout the park, but I did not identify them.

The Gibbon River, below a beautiful waterfall. From this viewpoint we could see evidence of the 1988 wildfire that roared through the park. New trees are about 20 feet tall  by now.

 Mammoth Hot Springs. By now we were tired enough to just stay in the car and drive on through. The next time we visit Yellowstone we will come down through Livingston and Gardiner to the north entrance, where Mammoth is located, so that we can spend more time here.

 Strangely enough, we didn't see much wildlife in the park except for some elk at a distance and a couple pairs of moose ears sticking up through some long marsh grass. Once we exited the park and passed through Gardiner, we spotted several mountain goats right along the highway. They didn't seem to mind our screeching to a halt, rolling down our windows and snapping photos.

A mama and her baby. The adult goats were not skittish, but the babies ran and hid behind their mothers when they saw us.

A cliff north of Gardiner showing the famous yellow color for which Yellowstone is named. The Yellowstone River runs along the highway here.

This is the incredibly beautiful Emigrant Peak. It was in our sight the whole way to Livingston. We plan to visit Yellowstone again before we leave Bozeman, but may wait until early September. I'm sure the views will be quite different by then!

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