Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gibbon Falls and Busted By a Park Ranger (August 15 Part 3)

Since the winter/spring snowpack was so high in Yellowstone, the waterfalls were probably flowing a lot more than the average August. Gibbon Falls overlook is a busy one.
You may have to click on this photo to see the larger version, but notice the guy on the left in the bright orange jacket.
The guy in the orange jacket and his friend had been on the other side of the wall on a large rock taking photos and they got caught by the park rangers. He was scolded pretty badly and the ranger made him look like an idiot. It's kind of funny to watch that after being at the Grand Canyon ealier this year where people pretty much do whatever they want all along the rim, sometimes with accidents and deaths, of course.
It started to rain so we drove to the west entrance and had dinner at Buckaroo Bill's in West Yellowstone. As soon as we had cell service we received texts that Samurai was back at home safe and sound. We definitely had a fun dinner that night, happy and relieved.

Artist Paint Pots and Beryl Spring (August 15 Part 2)

The Artist Paint Pots trail is a fun 1-mile hike and takes you up above a small thermal basin.
Also right beside the road is the Beryl Spring. It's a pretty one and worth stopping for. It is one of the hottest springs in the park with a temperature up to 196 degrees.

Norris Geyser Basin (August 15)

Walking into Norris Geyser Basin is like visiting another planet. The geothermal features in this basin are always changing, highly acidic, and have the highest concentration of silica in Yellowstone.
The Pinwheel Geyser is in the distance, with runoff from Whirligig Geyser giving a colorful display from the thermophiles.
The unusual Blue Mud Steam Vent.
We all liked the Green Dragon Spring.
Puff 'n Stuff Geyser.
Crater Spring.
Steamboat Geyser is the world's tallest active geyser with water shooting 300 feet into the air for anywhere from 3 to 40 minutes, but full eruptions are unpredictable. It hasn't had a major eruption since 2005.
Emerald Spring is 27 feet deep and the temperature is almost boiling.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mud Volcano Area and Bison Fights (August 14 Part 3)

The Sulphur Caldron is one of the most acidic features in the park, said to be as acidic as battery acid or stomach acid. Savanna liked the little Sulphur Caldron vent in the parking lot.
The Dragon's Mouth Spring is one of my favorites in the park. It really does sound like a dragon breathing and seems like something out of an amusement park.
Mud Volcano.
Grizzly Fumarole was pretty tame when we were there.
This buck didn't have a care in the world. I guess he didn't know the bison were fighting just over the hill.
Remember that I said we were there during the bison rut. That morning on our way to the corral we were stopped behind another Jeep and ended up in the middle of a buffalo fight. Two were fighting in the road and the winner ran in front of our Jeep, clipping it with his hip as he ran by. The only damage was a long scratch on the front driver's side fender, but he really shook the Jeep when he hit it! That was exciting, but I didn't have my camera ready in time. That evening as we did this hike in the Mud Volcano area, there were several buffalo right by the trail and there were quite a few people standing around trying to decide if we should continue the trail or not.
These two looked happy and already partnered up.
We obviously all made the right decision to not continue the trail and go back the way we came. These two were fighting on the hillside and one of the bison slid down onto the trail.
The buffalo were getting pretty close to the Mud Geyser.

North Rim of the Canyon (August 14 Part 2)

After riding horses, we went to the overlooks at the North Rim that we hadn't been to yet. This is the Brink of the Lower Falls.
We had a good view of the stairs of Uncle Tom's trail that we did on August 11.
Lookout Point.
Canyon spires are a great place for osprey nests. These three chicks are getting pretty big. I think we had seen their mother flying over the canyon earlier.
Steps down to the Grand View overlook.
Another view of the osprey.
This is a nice view of Mount Washburn and the fire outlook tower at the top, our destination later in the week.