Yellowstone Firsts

I lived in the Northwest for three years, driving across the country back to the east coast for holidays the whole time, and somehow I’d never been to Yellowstone. So here we are! Tracy’s been a bazillion times when he lived in Bozeman, so he’s showing me around.

Mammoth Terraces

These chalky terraces are created from water bubbling up from geysers over limestone.

I did learn that the color of the water around springs is determined by the algae and/or bacteria that will live in that temperature.

These elk were so brazen, they walked around the boardwalk at one point.

Specifically, they’re called travertine terraces. Just imagine the trickle of water and the shimmer of rising steam.

We stopped at Sheepeater Cliff for a picnic lunch along Gardiner River. Truthfully: my favorite part of the day, even though the scenery wasn’t anything new. Nothing beats eating a sandwich by running water.

Noris Geyser Basin

This area offers many different types of geysers, but all in all the park’s hottest ones, too. If you stand close to some you can feel the heat coming off the steam.

There are warning signs all along the boardwalk about the dangers of stepping off onto the fragile layer of earth right above the bubbling gasses and liquids underneath. I felt like I was playing that game, Lava, we all played as kids. One step off the boardwalk, and you’re toast.

We walked only about a mile around one section; I hope to go back another day this week and walk more. Can you see the boardwalk over the fragile land?

Eagle Creek Campground

We couldn’t find a decent boondocking spot so we’re actually paying for a campground for the week, right outside the north entrance, on Forest service land. It ain’t bad.

A grizzly was spotted three days ago, though, right by the campground. It’s pretty wild out here.

And beautiful enough to risk hikes with Banjo (as long as I remember to bring the bear spray).

Sorry again for the lack of info on the geology, the zoology, all the things we saw. I am beat. Tomorrow we’ll get up really early to try to see Old Faithful. In the meantime, we’re enjoying our campground. The sun on Montana mountains just doesn’t get old.

4 thoughts to “Yellowstone Firsts”

  1. There’s a geothermal area here called Rotorua that has similar things but in totally different surroundings than Yellowstone. So big! One of the major tourist attractions back in the late 1800s was a set of those travertine terraces except they were pink and white from their particular algae. Imaginatively named the ‘Pink and White Terraces’. They were buried by a huge volcanic explosion but they’re still famous so boy they must have been pretty! Having seen the Yellowstone terraces you probably have a better idea of what they might have looked like than me!