Yellowstone National Park
Trip Start Jul 07, 2008
22Trip End Aug 09, 2008
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The first thing I noticed about Yellowstone is that it's kinda ugly...really! All of the old growth trees are dead and the new growth is still short, so the view is dominated by grey, bare, trunks. The second thing I noticed was that distances on the map are deceiving. What I estimated to be a 15 minute drive was really 40 minutes.
There are so many animals in the park. The very first example (after the dead rodent on the road) was bison, just standing at the side of the road, eating grass, like a common cow
I got to the geyser areas and I have to say it is really cool. It's like suddenly landing on a different planet - steam shoots and boiling water bubbles and hut mud gurgles from holes in the ground, the earth takes on colours from red to yellow, green to black. There are boardwalks at all of the scenic areas for good reason: in some areas the ground is no more than a 2 inch crust with boiling water just below - to fall through would be (and has been on many occasions) fatal!
Old Faithful lived true to its name and erupted within a couple of minutes of its scheduled time. It is impressive - 4-6000 gallons of water shoot out in less than 4 minutes. Funny though, I was expecting it hear some sort of loud whooshing sound or something, and it is actually really quiet.
The final spot I went to was the most impressive: Artists point at the lower falls. The waterfall is impressive, but it's the canyon walls that are really cool - brilliant reds, pinks, yellows (how Yellowstone got its name!), greens, blues. The heat and steam of the hot springs at the bottom of the canyon caused the minerals in the walls to take on the colours over time
So my plan to be gone by 4 fell apart. It was after 7 when I finally ended up riding out of the south gate, and I hadn't even seen half of the park. If you are planning to see Yellowstone, bank on at least 2 full days and be prepared for a lot of driving.
I'll continue today's story in the next blog...