Hello again! We’re back in the States after a week in Canada. I haven’t had internet access for the past ten days, but now I do, and do I ever have a lot of amazing sights and fun times to report about! I’ll start with Yellowstone, but there will be more to catch up on following this post.
We left the Badlands/Mt. Rushmore area last Tuesday, July 16th and traveled across Wyoming via Route 16 through the Bighorn Mountains toward Yellowstone. The scenery along the way was spectacular! We couldn’t stop taking pictures — here are a few.
After meeting my parents Tuesday evening in Cody, WY, we traveled Wednesday the rest of the way into Yellowstone where we met up with my sister, Karen and her family at the Yellowstone Canyon. We took the walk down to see the lower falls at Artist’s Point.
The canyon/falls area was by far the most scenic place inside the park. The rest of the park was pretty too, though. Here’s a sampling of the views we saw.
The kids couldn’t wait to see all the wildlife we had heard/read so much about in preparation for our trip to Yellowstone. We weren’t disappointed.
Yellow-bellied Marmot — a groundhog-like animal with a long black tail.
Bison — they were plentiful throughout the park.
We saw one up close as we were walking through the mud volcano area. He was right by the boardwalk, (there was a fence between us and him) and wasn’t the least disturbed, or impressed for that matter, by all the people exclaiming over him.
And we were tickled to be able to see one swim across the river.
Elk — take a look at the rack on this bull elk! He was enjoying a peaceful rest in the shaded meadow along the side of the road.
I personally had hoped to see a grizzly — from a safe distance, of course. We didn’t get to, but my brother-in-law, Alvin and my nieces stopped along the road where a group of people were gathered looking through scopes at something out across the meadow. (They were following us, and we didn’t notice til later that they had stopped, so we missed out.) Sure enough there was a grizzly lumbering along. My niece Kimberly has proof on her camera. (I don’t; you’ll just have to take my word for it.) She was able to zoom him in enough to definitely see it was a grizzly. I’m just a wee bit jealous.
Old Faithful geyser is probably the most famous landmark in Yellowstone, and we did indeed get to see it erupt. We got there just as it was going off. We didn’t exactly have front row seats, as you can see from my pictures, but hey, at least we saw it!
We walked along the board walks surrounding Old Faithful and saw some other smaller geysers.
I didn’t realize before our trip there just how many other thermal features there are all over the park. The earth’s crust is actually a mere 1 1/2 – 2 miles thick in Yellowstone compared to the normal 20-40 miles thick. So the water that falls to the ground as rain gets heated by the magma beneath the crust and is forced back up as geysers, hot springs, mud volcanoes, etc.
Steam rising through the trees was a frequent sight as we drove and walked through the park.
We toured the park for an entire day, camped one night inside Yellowstone, then took in a few more sights before leaving the park around noon the second day. There certainly is so much more to see. We just scratched the surface. Maybe we’ll go back some day!