Saturday, June 29, 2013

Last Day in Yellowstone

Once again we descended the steep windy road into the north entrance of Yellowstone, for the last time. At Mammoth Hot Springs visitor center Annie became a Jr Ranger! We also listened to a wildlife ranger program -identifying & observing animals safely- at 8:30 while baked oatmeal was in the oven for breakfast. 

Roosevelt Arch at n. entrance

this lady animatedly demonstrated playing dead in case of a bear encounter
Driving south toward Norris Geyser Basin we passed horse outfitters and riders single file out in the wide open.

There were many many Cruise America rentals throughout the park. We had seen some at Glacier as well. 3 tour buses were unloading scads of youth on Thursday June 13. Shannon said it reminded him of Egypt, "Welcome to my Yellowstone (instead of Cairo as our tour guide had greeted us)!"

Norris Geyser Basin had a boardwalk over bubbling water, in hues of green, aqua, blue, red, and pink, on white beds. Microbes make the color according to temperature. Rotten egg scent fumes wafted over us in steamy clouds. Gurgling pools, holes, crevices, & craters ejected smoking water spray. This geothermal place is so interesting!

We finished at the basin just as that large bus group was entering, done in the nick of time! Not far south we paused to watch a couple of antlered elk grazing. Nearby was a huge pine needle anthill as high as Cora's waist!

Next stop, Paint Pots, thick gurgling mud, and paler plaster-looking bubbles. 

Meg fell asleep on the mile long trail

largest herd of bison we saw

a couple up close
We ate lunch at Madison and the children attended another program at the Jr Ranger Information Station there, Be A Bear. We passed many fishermen with waders on out in the river and ponds. The parking lots were full at several of the special sights and we couldn't squeeze our RV-towing-van rig in, so we left a few places to enjoy when we come again!

We arrived at Old Faithful 30 minutes before it erupted. While waiting we took a walk beside several smaller sporadic geysers. Spots of gurgling, hissing, spewing hydrogen sulfide.

Castle Geyser behind Riley & Annie

Castle again with a small geyser in front

Old Faithful!

Grand Finale

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