Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Yellowstone National Park, Day 1

From Wiki: 
Yellowstone National Park, established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872,[3][4] is a national park located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, though it also extends into Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone was the first national park in the world, and is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful Geyser, one of the most popular features in the park.[5] It has many types of ecosystems, but the subalpine forest is dominant.
I must say that YNP has three distinct features that can capture one's attention.  Sometimes all three can be realized at the same time.  Wildlife, geothermal/geysers, and the forests of course.  Our visit to the park included one more feature:  SNOW!  And lots of it.  Some of the roads were not open yet because of the unusually late snow this year.  The eastern entrance had to be closed the day before we got there because of a gigantic avalanche.  It still was not open when we left this morning.  And oh, some of the park was closed because of this:
In fact, we learned by watching the news that there was a grizzly bear mauling last week and that the park was taking extra precautions to keep the visitors safe, at least safer than wondering through the park on dangerous trails.  Oh, and by the way, we found out about five miles into the park, just who owned the roads.
We saw lots of buffalo everywhere.  We learned that their numbers are around 3500 in the park.  We also elk.  We were told that elk are moving back into the park from lower elevation pastures and forests. 
We were told that this poor buffalo cow had given birth about 5 hours before we arrived.  And she delivered her baby right in front of Old Faithful, and probably no less than 150 people.
In fact, (and sorry about the gross photo) here you can witness her afterbirth.  I'm pretty certain that this poor cow was not having a great day.  Especially when her calf was having a snack on the run.  :-)
Here are a couple more calves we saw later in the day.  And it appears they were just born hous before as their hides seem to be moist.
Speaking of Old Faithful, we happened to be around for two eruptions, and one eruption of the Beehive geyser just about 100 yards from Old Faithful.  Here are OF pics.
Here are a couple of pics of the Beehive geyser.
Did I mention the snow?  Here is a pile of it trying to slide the rest of the way off the visitor's center.
Here are a couple of pics of the old lodge at the Old Faithful visitor center area.  This complex here is quite large and has several hundred rooms of loding I would estimate at the Inn and the Lodge.  Below is the front from a distance.  It is large!
The back of the old lodge.
A couple of inside pics.
We would like to spend a night or two here next time we visit.  It is most impressive and comfortable looking.  Laid back!
Oh, does this park have a geothermal, geological world of wonder.  Just look at these impressive yet eery looking wonderments.  I wish I could put a "scratch & sniff" here so you could experience the incredible smell of "earth-belched-sulpher".  We never got used to it.  We tried very hard to stay up wind or walk quickly, as the wind was brisk all day.  All of today's geothermal pics were from the Upper Geyser Basin, which has the most of the three or four basins.  Also, Yellowstone has two-thirds of the world's geysers.
The rich minerals paints the banks of rivers and creeks and the hunbdreds of "pots" paint the grey landscapes throughout.
Here are a few more of the geothermal wonders.
The thing that's amazing is that it was cold, so we elected to not go on some trails that had even more of these mezmerizing sights.  Here's a few more.

Oh, there are scenes around every turn of the road, and thankfully, the many turnouts are aptly place to take advantage of these scenes.
Well, the day was just wonderful.  We had lunch here, in between Old Faithful eruptions, and after the second one, we had us a frozen yogurt cone.  Yum!
So, stay tuned for our next blog as we will share Day 2 of our visit.  I believe that one could spend a week here and never see it all.  I think it would take two weeks.  So, till the next time, Joe & Nancy.