Sunday, November 20, 2022

Exploring Yellowstone Day 1 - 2022/08/22

It's time for another National Park and it happens to be the nation's very first National Park! Yellowstone! It's even considered to be the very first national park in the world, gaining protection all the way back in 1872! Let's go explore! 

It was after dinner when we all hopped in the car to drive into Yellowstone. The entrance is in Idaho (1% of the park), and more is in Montana (3%), but the remaining 96% is in Wyoming! Wait, did you say Wyoming?  

Ian and Alli! You get to add another state to your list of states you've visited! 

There's a few things we're hoping to get to see tonight, though it's already 6pm. One of those things is animals! Yellowstone is teaming with wildlife! Theresa really wants to see a Bison. 

We brought a pair of binoculars that Gram gave them for a birthday (though Alli kept calling them goggles) to see the animals a little closer. 

Animals like these deer! 

Or these deer that were really close to the road. Just hanging out on a little island in the river. 

And we had a big surprise as we were driving along and all of the sudden a bear crossed the road! Whoa!

Seeing a bear is rare! Maybe it's headed to the campground to look for food... 

As we were driving, off in the distance we saw herd of bison. 

But had an even closer encounter when we were driving down the road and saw a couple of these giants just ambling beside us. 

The North American Bison is the largest mammal in North America, weighing up to 2000 pounds and standing 6 feet tall! 

They look so calm, I can understand why some tourists get close. They're so fluffy! And their fur pattern is such that they look shaved. 

We've seen the Grand Canyon in Arizona, but let's go see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. 

Some believe Yellowstone received its name from these yellow stone walls here, carved by the Yellowstone River (named Roche Jaune by French trappers in the 1700).  


Continuing further into Yellowstone, the landscape started to change and in places we started seeing steam vents coming from the ground. What is this place? 

We continued our drive to the Mud Volcano area, which upon hearing "Volcano" caused the kids a little concern. 

We're on dangerous ground here. There's boiling water all around this area!

The faces on the people here are kind of hilarious! 

There's the Mud Cauldron. 

Here's the Mud Volcano. Back in 1870, each eruption would send mud spewing into the treetops. Just a couple years later though, the volcano had blown itself apart and we're left with a bubbling muddy pool. 

Ooh, whoever named this one did a great job. Back in 1912 it was called Dragon's Mouth Spring. The water surges from the cave, while steam blasts forth and deep rumblings sounds emanate from it. 

What a cool feature!

A short walk away there was a Mud Geyser that used to be one of the main attractions. Conditions changed though, and the once famous geyser fizzled out in the 20th century as the "plumbing" got clogged with mud and gravel. Eventually this large, hot, 184F pool formed. 

It's starting to get dark, but there's another thing that would be really cool to see. Old Faithful! Let's go! 
Along the way we found another herd of Bison, including some babies! Aww. 

Plus this big Elk just off the road! What a monster! 

In all, we had really good luck seeing animals today! Deer, a Bear, Bison, baby Bison, and even an elk! On the drive back we even saw a creature loping along the road. Maybe a fox, but hard to tell. We were excited to see them all. 

Old Faithful is so predictable that they can often guess when it will erupt +/- 10 minutes. It goes off every 70-100 minutes and there's even an automated phone number you can call to hear when it will go off next. The only problem is, there's limited cell coverage in Yellowstone, so as you drive around it's difficult to know how soon it might be. 
As we got closer to the Old Faithful visitor's center, a single bar of cell reception appeared and we found that we were within just a few minutes of the next eruption!  

Our timing couldn't have been better if we had planned it! We walked right up and it started to go off! 

It's been a great first day here at Yellowstone and we've been able to see so much! This is an awesome park!

1 comment:

  1. Lots of good timing today...seeing a bear unexpectedly and Old Faithful as you approached! Many different animals in Yellowstone NP and you all got to see several of them... the bison still looks intimidating to me (its "calm" demeanor is so deceptive!) Lovely family photo with the falls and canyon of Yellowstone in the background. The Mud Volcano area was quite unusual...the Dragon's Mouth Spring must seem spooky when it gets dark with the spewing steam and the "rumblings". EOM