This being the epic journey that it is, we couldn't miss Yellowstone National Park! I-photo is not cooperating and refuses to allow the vertical photos, which maybe works for helping me weed through the billions of images of this beautiful place...so here is our trip through Yellowstone, briefly, in the horizontal...
We stayed only two nights, but as you can imagine, we soaked up as much as we could. The "hydrothermal features" really are remarkable. Imagining the world as that hot and raw, microbes the only living thing around, was not hard to do as we walked around the geysers.
There was sign of life - dried bison scat and tracks - but really, how could anything survive the hot, sulfuric air blowing from these pools?
Apparently the animals love the minerals and the warmth of the pools. We saw many bison lounging beside the hot water, and rolling in the dust to clean themselves.
|People! Lots of people at the Prismatic Geyser|
|Grand Prismatic Geyser|
Of course people come to Yellowstone for the animals, and we were on the lookout for all things wild. Our first sighting was a family of yellow-bellied marmots, a Rocky Mountain version of our groundhog. Still, we were excited.
Eventually we realized that we only needed to look for large groups of humans to locate the other large mammals. This crowd below was gathered to watch a large grizzly bear eating a bison carcass!! Yes, we stopped.
|grizzly taking a break from eating to chase off some vultures|
On our way out of our campground on our last day we encountered this guy who apparently had been visiting another loop of the campground the whole time we'd been there! There are abundant signs warning people to stay away from these huge animals, but clearly not everyone is accustomed to reading them...
|Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Lower Falls|
On our last day, we stopped to hike on Mt. Washburn. Dan ran up to the top while the girls and I took our time looking at the flowers and the view.
|Hiking on Mt. Washburn|
We barely scratched the surface of this incredible and immense piece of land, but I feel like we got a good taste of what is there. (Even though the moose were hiding. Blargh.)
Filled with views of wildflowers and mountain air, we headed to Bozeman to visit a friend we hadn't seen in twenty years. Delicious dinner and a dance party - we felt so welcomed!
|Dan and Andrea; room-mates in 1993|