Mammoth Hot Springs and Fort Yellowstone

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"All Nature's wildness tells the same story: the shocks and outbursts of earthquakes, volcanoes, geysers, roaring, thundering waves and floods, the silent uproot of sap in plants, storms of every sort, each and all, are the orderly, beauty-making love-beats of Nature's heart."
                                                                -John Muir

This morning we took a scenic drive over the Washburn Range----spectacular vistas of rolling hills, snow-capped mountains, green valleys.  

When we reached our destination, Mammoth Springs, we were blown away by this very unusual geologic feature with terraces of many colors and water flowing over the face, glistening in the sun. Roger shared some information and then a young park ranger spoke. Later Roger and Carol told us the ranger was quite intimidated speaking to us---he thought we were all Rhode scholars!  Roger led us on a walking tour of the boardwalk where we saw several more amazing features.

We had lunch at the Mammoth Springs Hotel Dining Room---sandwich and salad with huckleberry vinagrette dressing. (We've had huckleberry concoctions several times in Wyoming. It must be a local favorite!) We walked over to the historic Fort Yellowstone area and visited the Albright Visitor Center where there were interesting exhibits depicting history and art of Yellowstone National Park.  Several doe elk were fearlessly resting in the grassy areas nearby.
We headed back to the hotel in the rain.

After dinner we went back out with Sean to search for wildlife. We were hoping to see bear, wolf or a bull moose. It was an amazing evening. Sean took us to a high point where we could look right into an osprey nest with binoculars. This time in Hayden Valley we saw elk---cows and bulls, a large herd of bison and a wolf on an elk carcass---the first big predator spotted! While taking turns viewing the wolf with the spotter scope, we watched as several bison crossed the road, obviously stopping traffic, but seemingly oblivious to vehicles. Another beautiful sunset to top off a special evening!
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