31 May 2014

Wry & Crusty Visit Jellystone National Park

Ok, Ok, OK, OweKay! so it's NOT JELLYSTONE, in fact it's called YELLOWSTONE National Park - who knew?  Being children of the 50's that grew up with Yogi Bear - (hey BooBoo!), we must admit to a certain prejudice against Yellowstone. We fully expected a tacky statue of Yogi to greet us at the entrance and for that theme to be carried throughout the park.  Sooooo, with great trepidation we made our way in.

This is a park for scenic driving, lookouts and overviews, museums and wildlife viewing.

Most travelers will only ever see views from the roadside.

There are hiking opportunities but they are limited compared to other National Parks and when we were here the majority of hiking trails were closed due to heavy snow coverage and icy walking conditions. There is some boating, but power boats are limited to a few lakes and canoes and kayaks are only allowed on one river in addition to some lakes.

Fact - Yellowstone is the World's 1st National Park, established in 1872, it occupies 2.2 million acres in NW Wyoming and SW Montana and a small parcel in Idaho. It's filled with geysers, hot springs, hot springs terraces, canyons, grizzlies, elk and bison.  The whole park seems to bubble.  Very busy when we were here. I can't imagine it in July.

Here's a sample of what you might see.

Female Elk (cow) along the roadway ... not shy, very tame, probably not a good thing.

Old Faithful - we missed the giant eruption (every hour and a bit), so rather disappointing.

Yellowstone Lake, the ice is still in the tails. This is the largest 'high altitude lake' in North America (a lake above 7000') 

LOAF rests at a pull-out along the Yellowstone River.

Yellowstone River - Bison are everywhere. The Bulls are solitary in the spring.

Hard to believe, but this is our FIRST campfire and our FIRST boondock camp in 44 days of travel. Note the mounds of snow! Our tenting neighbors used a flat, aluminum shovel to hack enough of the ice out of the base of their fire-pit to light a damp fire. It's still cold up here ! Almost freezing overnight, furnace cycled on/off, early morning temperature 4.8 C.

(The Grand Canyon of the) Yellowstone River - canyon walls reach 1200 foot depths, length is nearly 24 miles and width up to 3/4 miles.

Lower Falls on the Yellowstone River - 308 feet high.

Norris Geyser

Algae formations

Artists Paint Pots

Chipmunk eating spring flowers

Hot springs terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs

Wry - text & photography, Crusty - photography and some editing.

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TEAM: LOAF, Crumby, Wry & Crusty