Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Exploring Yellowstone National Park Day 1

It was going to be a low key day...First, we were going to go see the Visitor's Center in the town of West Yellowstone, which is the gateway to the west entrance of the park. We did that--got our piles of brochures and fliers to read. Then, Eldo says, "Let's go check out Old Faithful and that will probably be enough for today, whaddya think?" Sounded good to me, so off we went.....

First thing we saw after coming into the park within 10 minutes
WELL! You can't just go straight to the Old Faithful brand new multi-million dollar visitor center, bypass all the geysers and wildlife that you start to see once you are in the park, just to see one of the coolest and oldest tourist attractions in the park---NOPE!  The minute we drove inside the park, we started seeing stuff, starting with the lone bison by the side of the road (that's the ONLY one we saw all day), chewing his cud (They DO do that, right? asks Sparky) blowing the dust off himself occasionally with great big SNORTS! and SNUFFS! and HUFFS! and PUFFS! causing clouds of dust to roll off his hide and head.....Two coyotes, tons of geysers and roiling, boiling waterfalls cascading down river banks, hitting the icy water with steamy hiss, all kinds of fantastic and surreal pools of water with the most incredible colors, mud pots, fumeroles and colorful bacterial mats, one cascading waterfall, three elk "jams" and one bear "jam", two movies in the new Old Faithful visitor center later, we were REALLY tripping into the park!
Coyote hunting for grasshoppers
Sign Sparky saw when she ventured down closer to the river to get the coyote shot: (Geez, I gotta watch this woman all the time on these photo opps! worries E.) Eldy was waiting in the car, so I figured just a little bit further past the sign and I can get this coyote.....and I did!

Unbelievable what we saw! We've never seen such a strange and wonderful environment of all different landscapes in one place. Fascinating! Thanks to Sherry who gave us all her literature that she paid for, those .50 a booklet information packets which tell you all about what you are seeing when you come across these amazing sights. They are available at the information centers and are a huge help to understanding what you are seeing in the way of geological stuff....The booklets are wonderful for explaining why the colors are the way they are (bacteria!), how the geysers make their way to the surface of the earth, the differences between various formations and when and how often you might expect to see the geysers erupt, and lots of other cool stuff!
A River Runs Through It (the park) This is where we saw the two coyotes hunting
Did you know Yellowstone sits on an active volcano and hot, molten magma lies just a few miles underground? And "Old Faithful" is NOT the largest or the most regular geyser in the park? However, it does expel 3,700-8400 gallons of boiling water in 1 1/2-5 minutes. If you visit Yellowstone, be sure to watch the movies inside the brand spankin' new Old Faithful Visitor Center.
One of the first pools we saw around a bend coming into the geyser area, we just had to stop!
And this was only day 1...........We've got so many beautiful photos from our first day in the park, we're going to take several days to show you and tell you what we saw in one day. For now, just know there is LOTS to see!  Stay tuned for our elk jam, bear jam, and the most incredible pool views of a different kind.....See you later!


  1. I've followed several couples thru Yellowstone, and so far from your first post, your views are the best. You seem so genuinely excited. I like that. Keep it going.

  2. It is a great park. The pictures brought memories of out trip there last fall. Enjoy!

  3. I agree with Merikay. Your take on Yellowstone made it sound more exciting than I remember from many many years ago...hmmmm....maybe 1971? Guess I need to go back.

  4. And just think ... we voluntarily go in and explore that volcanic area :-)))

  5. Even after having spent two months there last year, the place is still amazing to me. :)