Friday, September 14, 2007

Road Trip - Yellowstone National Park

I have to use the word AWESOME to describe this day! We entered Yellowstone at the south entrance. Rather than take the west road through the geyser country, we opted to travel the east road along the Yellowstone River. As you can see, some of the views were breathtaking. We saw herds of bison (some of them up close and personal), elk, mud volcanos, sulphur springs, waterfalls and streams. We hiked up and down about 5 short hikes. We left Yellowstone at the north end and drove to Livingston Montana to spend the night. We were tired when we got there, but still excited about all we had done and seen. Our only regret is that we could not spend more time in Yellowstone. We only saw a small portion of it and there are definitely several distinctly different areas that you can visit, depending on which route you take through the park.


Yellowstone River


Sulphur Springs. Note the little puffs of white "smoke" in the river. You could really smell the sulphur!

Melanie overlooking the Yellowstone River

Mud volcanos - they bubbled and boiled. The Dragon's Mouth really acted and sounded like a dragon. You could hear the water "roar" before it came snapping out of the "mouth". As the water came out, smoke came out too. Thus the name....

River Rapids

7 x 6 Elk (sorry about the photo quality--but trust me--he was big!!!)

Another large elk. You have to look closely and you can just see his antlers. He would not cooperate and stand up for a picture. A ranger came by and told us that we wouldn't want him to stand up, as he was a tagged elk and they kept a close eye on him. He can cover a lot of ground in a short time and was known to be rather "unfriendly" to people.

Yellowstone Scenery

We saw lots of areas like this. The trees just look like matchsticks. The are the results of fires in the park.

Herds of Bison

We saw some traffic congestion ahead and then saw that bison were crossing the road. I got out my trusty camera, zoomed in and started taking photos as Melanie slowly drove the car up to the spot where we finally had to stop, as we were surrounded by bison. Park rules say they have the right to do whatever they please. They do not look both ways before crossing the road. They act like the cars and the people are not even there.

The bison started crossing in front and behind us. I was so amazed that they were SO close and SO big that I couldn't even get them in my viewfinder. I finally figured out that (in my excitement) I had forgotten to zoom back (remember when I told you that I zoomed in)? That's why you are only seeing a portion of this big fella.

So I am sure I missed some good shots, but here are a few I did get.