Last week I replaced my studio time with a trip to Yellowstone. I will resist sharing all 300 photos, but the place was so pretty I need to share some. If you've been to Yellowstone, sorry if I confuse the names of things. If you haven't I hope this post isn't too dull.
Mammoth Hot Springs
I especially liked the sorts of structures and formations that are formed at Mammoth Hot Springs. This was our first stop on our trip around the park. I think it was the most beautiful and visually interesting single spot we visited.
|Minerva Terrace (possibly)|
|neat curves juxtaposed with stalactites|
|or this might be Minerva Terrace|
|spines? I'd like to read about why the different shapes happen|
|we thought we'd read about this guy falling in eventually|
I'm pretty sure our next stop was Norris. The heat of the sun and the hot springs makes one a little less focused than one might be. We walked on a lot of boardwalks and saw a lot of hot springs.
|check out that hot dry shadeless expanse (crossed by a boardwalk)|
|perfect setting for an apocalypse movie|
|green and orange|
|I like the yellow hole with the spiny burnt trees guarding it|
On our way out of the park we saw lots of Bison. One guy was sitting right next to the road chewing his cud and soaking up the attention of the Yellowstone paparazzi.
The next day we drove through one of the wildfires and stopped at Yellowstone Lake. The pelicans were performing synchronized movements in a huddle. I assume they were either fishing or performing a type of water ballet. Later when I asked the Ranger why they bobbed into the water together like this, she said they don't. Apparently I photographed animatronic pelicans.
|animatronic pelicans preparing for a dive|
|did I mention the fire?|
We ended up at Old Faithful earlier than expected because of the fire. We asked if there were any cancellations and lucked into a cabin for the night (instead of camping in the Tetons). The best part of staying at Old Faithful was the walk on the boardwalks behind the eponymous geyser at sunset. These were my favorite thermal features, but possibly that's because we had plenty of time, no crowds and it wasn't hot.
|we got to see this guy erupt 3 times during our stay|
|the boardwalk at sunset: highly recommended|
|burping, bubbling, chugging, wheezing holes everywhere|
|Castle Geyser, my favorite (though I didn't get up to watch it erupt between 4 and 6am)|
|this guy filled just to the edge with boiling water then settled without seeming to overflow|
|boiling at the edge|
|orange bacterial "lily pads"|
|don't you love those soft organic shapes at the edges|
|Castle Geyser as the sun sets|
|this splashy guy jumped and popped and sprayed us on an off for 15 minutes while we waited|
|blue, orange, green, yellow, red, pink|
|playing with tree reflection in the water|
En Route to Madison
Our last day in Yellowstone we stopped a few times on our way from Old Faithful to West Yellowstone, though I'm not sure exactly where. We saw some beautiful thermal features and the colors were especially impressive. Unfortunately the entire the population of Montana, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming were lined up on the boardwalk that day. Several of them, I believe, attempted to push me into the water. I saw a kid drop her glasses off the boardwalk and another drop her hat. Later we counted at least 6 hats and a jacket at the edge of a large, deep spring. I wonder if the rangers have a special tool for removing them. At Kids' Castle in Yakima staff uses a long stick wrapped with backwards duct-tape to retrieve balloons from the ceiling. I imagine a similar tool could retrieve hats.
|seriously, the colors!|
|a river; not a hot spring|
Yellowstone Under Canvas
On our last night we camped outside the park in what my husband called a "tent city." I found the cot and set of sleeping bags quite cosy and enjoyed a wonderful night's sleep. I would highly recommend it. However my husband ended up sleeping in the car, so he might not. If you go, don't drive through the electric fence gate like it says (it will scratch your car). Instead get out and open the gate by holding the tennis balls, don't worry, they didn't electrocute us.
|really quite peaceful and pretty, and you can watch the fish in the river while you drink your hot cocoa for breakfast|