Are We on Another Planet?

One word for Yellowstone: Wow!

I don’t know what I expected, but Yellowstone clearly exceeded it. Within moments, I was being stared down by a bighorn sheep.IMG_9787_FotorThis stuffed bighorn, as well as a bear, a moose and a fox were all in the Visitors’ Center, ready to have their photos taken – I think the idea is that if you want a selfie with a wild animal, get it here, safely.  

After getting a map of the park, we walked up the road to take in the first of several wonders: Mammoth Hot Springs IMG_9797

Icy Hot

From a distance these steps really looked like blocks of ice; they’re actually formed from calcium carbonate deposits left behind by the mineral-rich hot water that flows over them daily. They were absolutely captivating!

We hiked back to the jeep and drove farther into the park. The first thing that really struck me was that it was far less congested with traffic than I’d anticipated. I guess I was expecting bumper to bumper traffic, with everybody running across the road to snap a selfie with a bear. It was so wonderful to find it largely “ours” for the day in all its wide-open, unsullied beauty. 

Coming from the North entrance, we hit an area of plains first kept our eyes open in search of bears, bison, moose and elk.

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One of the many bison we saw.

And then we entered into a whole different realm – a realm filled with other-worldly milky, jade green pools…

IMG_9880 (1)Looks like cool water, right?

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Wrong. There were warning signs everywhere to stay on the path. Some of this water is acidic enough to eat through boots, and hot enough to kill. The salty looking earth around the pools is actually a fragile crust, and more than a few have fallen into the waters, paying a steep price for their curiosity. As of 1995, there were at least 19 people who had died falling into the thermal pools (more about that gruesome reality here).

So, we stuck to the path, with geysers gurgling and steaming nearly everywhere we looked.

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But even in this harsh environment, life thrives.

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The vibrant green and rust colors above are organisms called thermophiles. They live in water that ranges between 106 and over 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

And as a perfect (if a bit ironic) ending, when leaving the park we were in the bumper to bumper parade led out by…this guy.

buffalo walk

And snapping photos all the way!

8 thoughts on “Are We on Another Planet?

  1. given the revenue stream, I would think that boardwalks with decent tread and rails spaces that would not allow small children who slip to fall to their deaths would not be asking too much. Given the number of children and foolish-aged ones, seems to me that the “some people will do anything” company line is stone-hearted.

    On a happier note, do you two plan on rolling through Sravasti anytime this year?

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    1. Yes, Ingrid – it is a total must see! I’d also recommend going for at least a couple of days – we did it in only one and skipped over quite a bit. I’m also learning from others that our experience of low traffic was definitely a product of being there a bit late in the season. When we come back, we’ll for sure be looking to hit it around this time of year.

      Liked by 1 person

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