We saw so many incredible sites at Yellowstone that we don't know where to begin or which picture to show you! The geology is so incredible and diverse as well as the animals and the tourists! As we entered into the National Forest in the northeast corner of Yellowstone a mother moose and her baby crossed the road. We couldn't snap them fast enough but it was an incredible welcome to Yellowstone!
We will let the pictures do the talking. Whenever traffic stops because there has been a wildlife siting they call it a bear jam or whatever. We saw a bear jam, a bison jam, a trumpeter swan jam, a deer jam and one jam where we asked what it was and no one seem to know!
It was close to noon. You have to climb up and up with switchbacks to enter Yellowstone from this side. It is such dramatic scenery with huge grades. At 9000 feet there were several bikers going down.
Mom wanted to start singing The Hills are Alive...
Here is Phil at the top of the world! We are above the timberline and at 10,967 feet!
Patrick, Colleen and Michelle are catching some snow. When we rounded this turn there were lots of oohs and ahs.
Will and Madeline are checking out the snow and the river.
This is Tower Falls. A five minute walk from the car.
We had just climbed back in our car when the blue car lost it's brakes and came toward us at great speed. It made a complete flip, hit the two cars in front of us and stopped just short of our RV(that is our RV on the left and the car on its side against the bank). Phil ran over and helped get 4 of the 5 people out. They were bruised and a little cut but no one seemed to be badly injured. Very blessed - all involved!
After a little while, we proceeded on - a little shaken. This the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Much shorter and not as deep but very dramatic. There was a earthquake her a little over 10 years ago 6.1 on the Richter scale and lasted for five minutes! The sign says - when you come back it may not look the same. This rings true all over the park - everything is changing.
The Upper Falls are hard to see.
Another thing that rings true all over the park is construction. They scrap down the road to nothing and then re tar. The crowds were not overwhelming during our stay so the construction just slowed you down a little.
The Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon. This was also a 5 minute walk from the car. There are a couple of loops around Yellowstone and they do a good job of showing you a sampler of the living geology with little hiking. There are also horse trails and big hikes for the adventurous! This trip we took short cuts!
600,000 years ago the volcano at Yellowstone blew its top so well that it left a huge cavity (even Dr. Panec couldn't fix it!) and the result was the area caved in on itself.
The center of Yellowstone where Yellowstone Lake and most of the hotbeds of activity are located in this Caldera still over an active hot spot and magma not to far below.
This is a mud pot. The sulfuric acid dissolves the surface soils to create pools and cones of clay and mud. These mud pots can be 100-200 degrees and unpredictable. They can spew mud out of crevices and create little mud lakes and then just go dormant.
Yellowstone is the first time we have needed coats! At 10:00 AM on Sunday morning it was 59 degrees in the shade!
We got up and went to a great Mass at the Lodge with panoramic windows overlooking a meadow and Lake Yellowstone. Of course it also doubled as a gym so we felt right at home. The Priest was great and told us to remember we were vacationing with God. Not hard to forget here.
Our next stop was Old Faithful Geyser. Incredible - every 81 minutes or so it goes off 100 -164 feet for a few minutes. There were hundreds of people gathered by the time Old Faithful finally blew.
This is the most active area for geysers in North America. Some spout more often and at different heights. One geyser only has gone off twice in 100 years.
A little unstable you say??
Hey Will there
Girls - this way to the steam bath.
There are hot springs all through the park too. These are very close to Lake Yellowstone. All of these thermal activities smell strongly of sulfur. Lots of times we were covering our noses.
Oops - Mom mixed up those photo buttons again. Here is a lovely sunset on Yellowstone Lake. Yellowstone Lake is suppose to be the largest lake in North America at this elevation.
Then we saw a Ranger Show. The best joke of the night was how to know when you were too near to a bison. The bison tail will go up and soon after one of two things will happen - it will charge or discharge. If it charges then you may discharge.
Here is the cutthroat trout off of Fishing Bridge. You can't fish here anymore because this is where they spawn. It is very cool to watch all the fish. The kids got a big kick out of this.
Cool Dude! The Continental Divide crosses Yosemite in a loop. Do you know where your water goes???
At Isa Lake nearby half the water flows to the Pacific and half to the Atlantic.
Just for fun as we head out of Yellowstone - more construction. It still wasn't as bad as Chicago though!
Fire damage from the huge 1988 fire. It is evident all around the park. It came close to Old Faithful and all around the west and south of the lake and into the Grand Tetons almost.
Initially they were going to let the fire burn itself out but eventually they intervened. On a small scale forest fires can be purifying and help the forest flourish. Now they have redone their policies on forest fires.
This morning it was 50 degrees at 9:00 in the shade. We are headed to the Grand Tetons.
This is Jackson Lake with the striking Grand Tetons behind it.
The Grand Tetons are so jagged from all of natures work with glaciers.
There is a marina here, lodges, camping and lots of hiking and smaller alpine lakes.
Here we are at a picnic area at a river just above Jenny Lake. The kids were swimming and we heard thunder. One more time we were called out of the water on account of thunder and lightening.
South of the Grand Tetons is the town of Jackson. It was brimming with shops with flower baskets hanging from the rafters and lots of people The ski slopes are just behind the town. We didn't get time to shop - we headed for our campground - Lone Eagle and dinner!
This is Lone Eagle Campground located south of the Grand Tetons. This campground has horseback riding and rafting. We arrived late so we did not have a chance to participate. But we did swim and roast marshmallows.