I returned yesterday from a five day trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks which took me through Montana and Wyoming.
Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America's first national park. Preserved within Yellowstone are Old Faithful and a collection of the world's most extraordinary geysers and hot springs. There seemed to be steam being emitted, water exploding from the ground, even boiling mud around every corner we turned during our first two days exploring the western portion of the park. Approximately one-half of the world's hydrothermal features can be found in Yellowstone. The only other areas where similar features can be found is Greenland and New Zealand!
Even more abundant than the hydrothermal features was the wildlife. I expected to see bison, elk, deer, etc. but I was not prepared for the volume of which we encountered. It was a show stopperliterallyas we had to stop the car on several occasions to let them slowly cross the road.
Day One: Flew from Chicago, Illinois to Billings, Montana. Then drove to Yellowstone.
Day Two: Hiked around several geyser basins and hot springs on our way to see Old Faithful. Old Faithful erupts more frequently than any of the other big geysers in teh park. Its average interval between eruptions is about 76 minutes, varying from 45 to 110 minutes.
Day Three: North to Mammoth Hot Springs. Hiked to the Lower and Upper Falls and around the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone--perhaps the most picturesque area of the Yellowstone region. The canyon is approximately 10,000 years old, 20 miles long and 1,000 feet deep,
Day Four: Saw the sunrise over my favorite area in the park, Lake Yellowstone. We then headed south to check out Grand Teton National Park. The Tetons are pretty impressive. On our way out of the park at the end of the day we hiked to Morning Glory. At one time a road brought visitors to the brink of Morning Glory. However, over the years they threw coins, bottles and trash in the pool, reducing its flow and causing the red and orange bacteria to creep in from its edge, replacing the blue bacteria that thrive in the hotter water at the center of the pool.
Day Five: Up early to drive through Yellowstone country back to Billings, Montana to fly home.
Yellowstone by the numbers: Saw hundreds of bison and elk (and a few curious and friendly mountain goats). Crossed the Continental Divide twelve times. Came across five waterfalls. Watched Old Faithful erupt twice. Encountered one coyote. I captured a good portion of our adventures on film.
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