2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Yellowstone National Park - Day 1

As we are staying at an RV park in West Yellowstone, our access to Yellowstone National Park is through the west entrance.  This road runs along the Madison River for 14 miles.  Some of the area is flat land like this where the bison like to congregate.  Every time we went through there were bison along the river.  I guess we didn't take photos of them there.

At Madison Junction we went north and started following the Gibbon River.   Our first stop was Gibbon Falls. 

Looking downstream from the falls.

Our next stop was the Norris Geyser Basin where there are two routes you can follow.  The temperature was in the 40's but there was some heavy snow while we were in the information center.

As we started down the Back Basin trail, steam billowed every where we looked.  We followed a trail that was mostly boardwalk since the ground is very fragile and the crust thin in places.  Didn't want to fall into any boiling pits.

Some of the geysers and springs don't have names.  Yellowstone has the most geysers of any place on earth.   There will be plenty of information to read about these thermal features in other posts about Yellowstone.

The springs I liked the most are the ones I could see the farthest into.  The water would be so clear that you could see several feet down into them and you wondered just how deep they went.

The boardwalk we followed.

There's a board with the name of the spring/geyser sitting in front of each one.  Loved the name of this one... Puff n' Stuff.

We could just barely make out the water bubbling up at the  Black Hermit.

Most places the hot water or the acid content had killed the vegetation but other places it thrives.

The Green Dragon Spring.

You could see the snow-covered mountains in the background.

Blue Mud Steam Vent.

You can see the boardwalk around the Back Basin.

Pearl Geyser.

Monarch Geyser Crater

These signs were posted all around the basin in several different languages.

We just looked down into the Porcelain Basin Trail but didn't go on it.

We continued north toward Mammoth Hot Springs.  We had to descend through the Golden Gate.  This steep, narrow stretch of road was once a stagecoach route constructed of wooden planks anchored to the mountain by a massive rock called the Pillar of Hercules.  A stream ran alongside the road and at this point it went over a fall.

I don't know how far it dropped but I definitely didn't want to go off of it.

After going through the Golden Gate we came to this area that looked much different.

We stopped at Mammoth Hot Springs.

We walked on boardwalks throughout this area.

Some of the springs were no longer active and were a gray color.

Where the springs actually flowed down the travertine, the color depended on the minerals in the water.

This spring looked like it flowed right out of the rock.  It sure was pretty.

On the way back to the car we saw this little snake.  He was so cold (remember the temps in the 40's) that he could barely move.

We left Mammoth Springs and headed east to the Temple area.  There was road construction in this area.
As we headed south, we saw plenty of snow on the mountains.  This is Mount Washburn.  There's a building, possibly a fire watch tower, on the top.  It's elevation is over 10k feet.

We stopped to get a photo of the recent snow fall and I think I heard a mountain sheep baa.  They are known to be in this area.

It rained and snowed on us during the day so come of this snow cover is real recent.

A closer view of the building on top of Mount Washburn.

Heading south toward Canyon Junction, we stopped and read this sign.

What we saw when we stopped.

By the Petrified Tree (Tower Junction area) we saw a black bear with two cinnamon colored cubs.  Course we were so far away that we could only see them with the binoculars and the camera couldn't get a shot of them at all.  As we left the park cars were stopped so we stopped and saw this black bear on the other side of the Madison River.

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