Monday, August 2, 2010


With the clock ticking on our time left on the road, we booked it from Seattle to Montana, crashed one night, and swooped into Yellowstone in Wyoming the next day. We committed to 3 nights in the park so we could actually see what all the hooplah was about.

To tell you the truth, I had no idea about any hooplah besides that Yellowstone was "awesome." Not a super descriptive word (yet one that I use often...vocab check!). I mentioned in the post on Mt. Rainier that most parks have a few distinguishing characteristics, so here are Yellowstone's:

*Hydrothermal features
*Fly fishing

So this hydrothermal business...we're talking about geysers (which are a result of boiling water underground) and then a TON of sulfuric colorful, boiling pots of water in the ground. Everywhere. It is SO WEIRD.

The color depends on what kind of bacteria is growing on it, and there are muddy ones too. See:

This one was my favorite, Mammoth Springs. 
It's like an infinity pool hot tub that cascades down...awesome.

Don't be fooled. That's boiling water.

One big pool.

 Mudpot spewing out boiling water

I think the #1 word we used there was "crazy" - again, not too descriptive, but very accurate as it stands. The fact that there is an intense amount of boiling water erupting from the ground in the middle of Wyoming is...crazy. But nobody else seemed all that weirded out except us.

Okay, so onto the wildlife. If you're looking for an American safari, this is it.

Bison charging down the road

Trumpeter swan feasting in the rapids

Intimate encounter with an elk

Coyote looking for dinner

Okay dragonflies are everywhere, but how awesome is it that the point-and-shoot took this?

It's worth noting that the Grand Tetons NP, which is connected to the south side of Yellowstone, also sports a ton of wildlife. That's where we saw a moose and an otter, together, bam.

And finally, the fly fishing. There are so many fly-fishing-only rivers in the park, and they are magnificent. It's so peaceful, and the fish jump left and right! (Not that we caught any of course.)

Look carefully - that white blob is a hungry trout!

B getting in there

As a sidenote, we finally took advantage of a park ranger talk (we'd seen them in every park but never been able to time it right). As nerdy as it sounds, these things are great! They have a powerpoint presentation and a campfire outside under the stars and talk about things like wolves and fires. Slightly embarrassing, but hey, who doesn't need a little extra knowledge about how Lodgepole Pine trees contribute to forest fires?


  1. We watched a show about Yellowstone the other night. Here are some questions:

    1) Are there ropes in front of the boiling water to keep people out? Or is it just understood that you shouldn't JA around & try to get in?
    2)Does the whole park smell like rotten eggs? If not the whole park, does it smell by the sulfuric bubbling water?

    So cool that y'all went there! I think it's fascinating that someday in the future, the whole thing is going to BLOW!

  2. I'm so glad you went there! It's obviously a special place for me :) And my mind was blown with the boiling water!

  3. Eeek - what is it? A pelican? Somebody told us it was a swan...liars.

    p.s. Jackie - there are boardwalks that go over the ground (because a lot of it's really fragile and thin) and a lot of signs. But there are still JAs. Oh and yes there's major sulfuric smelliness...there are even signs warning you about feeling light-headed from the toxic gasses (gross). The whole park doesn't smell though, just right near the hydrothermal stuff. Actually the smell isn't as bad as the steam that permeates your skin when you walk by. But seriously, you should visit.