Animal Magic

Trip Start Jun 05, 2009
1
12
28
Trip End Jul 03, 2009


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Flag of United States  , Montana
Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We finally made it to Yellowstone today, entering through Roosevelt gateway, an impressive stone arch. There is a whole administrative town (originally a military base) just inside the gates, with a grand post office, Victorian houses and converted barracks and golden-age-of-travel hotels. Today we drove around the upper loop in the park, starting with the beautiful travertine terraces of Mammoth Springs. We were hugely lucky to see elk, and buffalo right up close on the verge – they barely flicker an eyelid at the dozens of cars pulling over to look at them. Incredibly we also saw a black bear, right at the edge of the road, happily chomping away on the grass and ignoring all the cars. Short detours took in the grand canyon of Yellowstone with its powerful upper and lower falls, twice the height of Niagara and we also saw our first fumaroles and mud pots, running a gauntlet of mosquitoes to walk the boardwalk to the Artists Paint Pots – red, orange, yellow and green mud and geyser pools. We also kept up our wildflower spotting. There are loads in the lower areas but in a week or so's time they’ll be out everywhere. There are still quite large patches of snow around which serve as a reminder that much of Yellowstone is at least 2000m above sea level – the same as some of the higher European ski resorts. On our way out of the park to West Yellowstone, traffic was halted for a bald eagle posing on a dead tree – He probably settles there at about 6 o’clock every evening!
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Comments

jh1506
jh1506 on

Following you all the way........
Yellowstone park sounds awesome! You were so lucky to see a bear. I went to Yosemite last year and was so disappointed I didn't see one, even though there were loads of road signs warning you that they were in the area! They must have been hiding in the trees! I was amazed to find out that they are vegetarians and need to eat a vast ammount of food to make up the required calorie intake!

We were lucky the mountain pass road was open (it was early Oct), but I know the snow is still around until June, which is incredible. It sounds like it's the same deal in Yellowstone.

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