Friday, December 24, 2010

Yellowstone (July 2010)

Yellowstone National Park is made up of explosive geysers, stellar views, amazing stupendous wildlife and much much more. We went there on our long and fun cross country trip from coast to coast. So where is Yellowstone? It is mostly in Wyoming. It is a gynormous chunk of land filled with many geothermal wonders. When we first came to the park, we set up a tent in a hustle bustle camp site.

With camp chores finish
ed we took off to explore.Our first stop was the Devil's Blue Gurgling Hole. If you are lucky enough you can see through all the thick vapors rising off the scalding waters. I was lucky enough to see it because the wind started blowing. It was beautiful. The color of the water looked like the Caribbean Sea which is mostly turquoise. It was a giant hot spring that was 180 degrees. There were other hot springs with different colors. Different kinds of bacteria, silt and mud helped made all the alluring beautiful colors. I saw every color of the rainbow expect for red and purple. The grand prismatic hot spring did not look like much from the ground but when you climbed the nearby ridge to look down on it, it was beautiful and amazing.

We drove a little bit and stopped to look at another of these interesting hot springs, we saw bubbling mud pots that looked like the Earth’s cup of bubbling hot mud chocolate. There were also several other of these bacterial mud hot pots which were steaming and bubbling up from down in the abyss and smelled like stinky sulfur. Some were even orange and brown.

Did you know that half the world’s geysers are in Yellowstone? We also saw lots of hot geysers. One shot yellowish scalding hot water 15 feet back at the Mud Pots. We also saw Old Faithful which is probably the most famous geyser in the world. Judging by the rangers schedule it was a little bit off that day and everyone was nervous. Just as we got there and settled down in our seat, it went off. It was crazy shooting very hot water high high up into the blue sky. Then the boiling toiling steaming water came fully back down to the ground and it sunk right in. It lasted for about 2 minutes. There were at least 100 people watching this very famous geyser and I was one of them.

We found another world in the park that was not so geothermal. We saw an amazing about of animal life which included buffalos, coyotes, marmots, grasshoppers, antelopes, elks, moose, deer, black bears, mountain goats, rat snakes, short tailed squirrels, Western Bluebirds, Magpies, Clark’s Nutcracker bird, a Grizzly Bear and many others.

We saw large herds of gynormous buffalos and elks that were grazing and chomping down the Yellowstone grass. It’s amazing that the grasses can keep growing with all the animal mowing. There were so many buffalos plus many windy roads that the buffalo created many traffic jams for the automobiles, we got stuck in a few of these. We would just have to wait through it all and take a lot of photos. They were almost brushing against the hood of our car. We saw a whole array of behaviors and moods and the buffalos were all different ages. There were big one and young ones staying close to Mommy and there even were rutting buffalo teenagers. Many were shaggy and losing their winter coat and it reminded me of Rastafarian dreadlocks, there was one buffalo that stood in the middle of the road blocking our car as he let all his females cross the street. It was really spectacular to see so many buffalo in these herds because in most places they are hunted out, but here they have land to roam and chomp grass freely.

The next day, we got in our car and drove to the base Mt Washburn. It was about a 6 mile hike with excellent views, gorgeous wildflowers, and a good variety of wildlife. There were lots of green meadows speckled with evergreens in the distance and a rainbow of wildflowers among the grasses. We had spectacular views in these clearings and I could see the Grand Tetons off in the distance. There was a rascally marmot standing on a rock and snuffling around who posed for some photographs. One of th

ose is in this blog where he is sticking out his little marmot tongue. We saw a Clark’s Nutcracker which was noted by by Lewis and Clark on their journey through this area. We played in the snow along our hike and this was in July. I was really really tired when we got to the summit and the snow got thicker as we got higher. There was a ranger station plopped right on the middle of the peak. We rested there, ate some peanut butter and jellies, and enjoyed the view. We saw 2 mountain goats a little off in the distance scrambling along a rocky outcropping.

On our way down a coyote trotted right by us using the same trail. I guess it was the easiest place for him to walk. When we got to the bottom, I was happy to sit down in the car and rest my legs, but I would love to hike this mountain again .

We also had another funny experience. We were driving along in our car and we spotted a grizzly bear down the street on the other side of a wide river. We drove a little farther and saw a nice sandy beach along our side of the river. We decided to park the car and go see the beach. Upon arriving at the beach we realized that the bear was not down the street anymore but on the other side just across from us. We thought he’d be happy on his side and we’d be happy on ours. Apparently this was his territory and he didn’t like us trespassing. He probably would have been OK with us, but a man with a camera went to the water’s edge. This made the bear rear up on his hind legs and then come gallumping across the river. So we ran up to the car and got in. By this time the rangers had arrived to make sure nobody else got startled by the bear. The photographer got chewed out by the ranger but nobody got hurt.

I thought Yellowstone was galangious stupendous excellentus which translates into, it was one of the most amazing places I have ever been. It was a big highlight of our summer road trip which included Glacier NP, the Badlands NP, Devils Tower, Big Horn Canyon, Big Horn Medicine Wheel, Effigy Mounds NP, and a lot lot more. See you next time on the Nudibranch Network.

Just click on the video links below and have fun

Geyser at Yellowstone

Geothermal River in Yellowstone National Park

Great Buffalo Herd in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park

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