recommend anyone visiting Yellowstone to take one of the many
guided tours. I used Yellowstone
Tour Guides, and Buffalo
Bus Touring Company. They were both excellent, and the commentaries
were both informative and entertaining. For instance, this pool
has been renamed by the guides as "Hotdog Pool" after
a dog jumped out of a car, and following it's love of water, leapt
in. The water is at 200F, or about 98C!!! What's worse, the owner
dived in to rescue him!! They both died! Shame for such a pretty
first day was spent touring the Southern Loop. The first animal
we saw was, predictably an Elk. However, it was a stag, with a lovely
wrack of antlers. Elk are the most populous animal in the park.
next stop was Firehole Canyon, and the Firehole Falls. Apparently
Hole means Valley, so this is the "Valley of Fire". Aptly
named, since it is the river that flows through the Old Faithful
area, and the valley is full of geysers (pronounced GUYSERS), and
other geothermal features. Here is me posing in front of the falls.
stop was the Fountain Paint Pots, where we were privileged to see
Fountain Geyser erupt.
This geyser is not regular, or predictable, so we were very lucky
to see it. The hot spring illustrated in the first picture was also
at this place. We also saw some mud
then moved on to the Old
Faithful area. Here I had the privilege of seeing the Beehive
Geyser erupt, just before Old Faithful erupted. The Beehive
Geyser does not go off at all frequently, so again, we were very
lucky to see it. I also saw the Castle
Geyser, though it did not erupt whilst I was there. Whilst walking
round the area, I came across a Chipmunk,
which posed beautifully for me.
We then headed
towards the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone via Yellowstone
Lake.(This image will take 4 minutes to download but is well
worth it). At the canyon there are two majestic falls, the Lower
Falls and the Upper
Falls. On the way we passed a herd of Bison.
After that we headed back to West Yellowstone
for the night.
||Next day we headed
off to the Northern Loop. Our first stop was at Gibbon Falls, one
of many waterfalls in the park. Not particularly spectacular, but
certainly pretty. We then went to a particularly colourful, and
smelly pool called Beryl's
Spring, on the way to the Norris
Geyser Basin. Here we saw a variety of scenes, including this
area that was desertified by the very mineralised water. The
area is predominately dominated by cone
geysers, but there were some pools.
The area is subject to some change at the moment, so most of it
is closed to the public for safety reasons.
After Norris, we headed towards Mammoth Springs
for Lunch. The tour bus dropped those who wanted to walk at the
top of the hill, and we were able to walk past a number of wonderful
sites, including a pool,
a large area of grey calciferous rock that was no longer active.
We then came across the main pool. This is a shot from the
top, then the side,
and finally, the full cascade.
Apologies for the quality of the last picture. Here is a rather
unusual picture of a dormant
cone that looks like a petrified mushroom.
||This tour was mostly viewing some spectacular
scenery. We saw changes of scenery that looked quite stunning, and
headed over a place called Dunraven
Pass. We had a wonderful view of the Caldera
that is the centre of Yellowstone and is about 24 by 34 miles! We
made it back to the Grand
Canyon of Yellowstone, this time from the North Rim. First the
Lower Falls, then
the Upper Falls, which I
think are the better of the two, and does include a Rainbow.
We finally exited the Park in the evening, and we saw this small
Elk herd, with a young buck in their midst.
||Jean and I returned on the final day to Hayden
Valley, which is my favourite part of the Park. The Bison herd were
still happily grazing. I managed a good close up of a
Bison. In this valley, you can see the Yellowstone River meandering
through, and it is quite idyllic. The herds of Bison peacefully
grazing makes a lovely sight.
||Finally, I returned to the Old Faithful
area to have a really good walk around. I took pictures of many
geysers, but here is a selection. The Beehive
Geyser I saw erupt on the first day. Followed by the Riverside
Geyser, which shows the wide range of geysers. This one is right
by the riverside. In fact these rivers never freeze despite -40F
air temperatures in the winter. The Grotto
Geyser was quite a site, and eventually, the Grand
Geyser erupted whilst I was there. The Morning
Glory Pool is a chromatic pool, and is beautiful.