yellowstone

….here we are at the hot springs…

 

b and i took a little roadtrip recently.  We drove from Seattle to West Yellowstone, Montana (with stops in Ennis on the way there and Bozeman on the way back).

 

It felt like summer.  

Also, did you know that Yellowstone is like crazy huge?  I had no idea.  

so we drove and drove and drove.

Montana had a big sky.

 

 

me, driving …

over river and through the woods and through mountains and farms….

Once at yellowstone we hiked and hiked and hiked until my feet hurt.  Seriously do you know how big that place is?  We stopped at a visitor’s center (the new one at old faithful), and they had a video playing that said you needed 1 and a half days to do the whole loop.  Are they crazy???  Do those people ever get out of the car????

Anyway, we saw lots. 

out to clear lake…

and up to a ridge near the yellowstone river.    see all the calcium carbonate deposits along the raging river?

One day we hiked down into a canyon at another point of the Yellowstone river.  Going down was easy peasy…but climbing back up was a different story!  We saw some amazing and massive waterfalls along this hike too. 

 

What I loved best of all… was that the park was so huge… you didn’t always have crowds everywhere.  Sure, the major sights to see had people, but there were plenty of hikes on paths less travelled… including this trail, which popped us out of the forest and onto the shores of Lake Yellowstone.  I am a lakes-and-mountains type of girl…

mmm mountains…..  beauty that no picture will ever describe, no matter what lens I use.

 

Another vacation-love was was the deliciousness of pb&js and huckleberry ice cream.  It’s like summer in food form.

oh, and we saw old faithful erupt. It was amazing! {also amazing was how accurate those scientists are at predicting those eruptions!}

 

Probably though the craziest and most unique places in the whole park were all the areas where water, minerals, and heat all came together — the geothermal features.  Places like Dragon’s caldron where smoke poured out and mud bubbled… and the Paint Pots which looked like hot piles of paint running together and through little pools… and Mammoth Hot springs which was, well, mammoth.

 

I had no idea that Yellowstone is the middle of a volcano..

It was also designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978…making it the second World heritage Site we have visited this year.

Now, I am not going to lie to you.  The smell at all these geothermal features was kind of like leaving hundreds of deviled eggs outdoors in 95 degree heat for weeks.  But, I’m blogging so you can’t smell that.  Lucky.

Totally worth it though.  This was at Mammoth, which was amazing. 

And this is from the top lookout at Mammoth Hot Springs.  I loved how the rusty orange seemed to run right into the crystal blue pool before it trickled down the terraces the calcite had formed over time.  Evidently, during seasons where there is a lot of water at the springs… several inches of rock can be added  to terraces each day.  Crazy!

 

 

And, just in case you wanted to touch the pretty colors…. or were wondering if there are railings around there….

 

Oh!  and i forgot to tell you about the wildlife that came with us!!  Luckily we didn’t see any bears.  Getting my lunch stolen was not on my vacation to do list.  Although, B let me talk like Yogi Bear quite a bit.  : ) We did see TONS of Bison.  Often one or two at very close range even.  But one day we saw (and heard) a herd very close to us.

 

 

We also watched this little big bison family one afternoon. That baby bison was SO cute.  I mean not as cute as the twins, but pretty cute for a bison!

 

And then one day a huge bison decided to escort us down the road and over a bridge.  Luckily we did not look appealing to him.  And we stoped moving whenever he turned around and glared at us with his horns.

 

Mr. Bison, remember – please stay to the right if you are a slower vehicle… the signs say so!

Mr. Bison replied, hey I have a sign with my picture on it that blinks and another sign that says ‘slow down for wildlife’… so I win!

 

Hehe.  Bison humor for you.

Anyway, we had an AMAZING time.  By the end… we looked like this expression found here, in this mud pool.

Can you see it?

 

And on our way home, we drove through some pure beauty.  Big sky, bigger clouds, rain and sun-rays pouring through the distance.  Magnificent.

 

I am not ready for the end of summer.

 

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