Yellowstone National Park

We moved on from Butte to Livingston which was close to the Northern Gate into Yellowstone Park.

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Rest Area on the way to Livingston.
Still “Big Sky” country
We keep meeting these people!! Lewis & Clarke expedition.

Arrived at Osen’s RV Park and got set up.

Our site.

While we were eating we noticed that there were 5 chicks on the ground and the mother trying to feed them all!!

The five chicks huddled together.
Every time the mother turned up there was a rush to get fed first.

Livingston was chosen as it was close (in American terms) to the North entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

After looking at the maps it looked like we would have to make at least 3 visits in order to cover it all.

So we set off on visit one. Even getting there was interesting with the Yellowstone River running alongside the road all the way and numerous trout fishing areas.

Lots of places advertising white water rafting and you can see why.
Yellowstone river valley.
And “Big Sky” was still with us.

And then we were in the Park. I think this is the most magnificent place we have been, but you, the viewer, will have to decide for yourself.

What we can expect to see in Yellowstone Park.
Mountain Ranges from Mammoth Springs.
The remains of a calcified spring in Mammoth Springs.
The runoff from the hot spring above causes the calcification.
This spring has also attracted bacteria that causes the change in colour.
Steps caused by gradual build up of calcium.
Mammoth springs in the background which has huge ranger station.
This is the hot spring above the previous pictures that fed the cascade.
And further up the levels there was this spring.
And then at the top this beautiful pale blue spring, so hot it had steam blowing off it.
Calcium column caused by the spring growing up the middle of the column. More bacteria causing the colouring.
A whole bed of coloured calcium deposits.
The Spark parked on one of the plains on top of the park around 8,000ft up.
Snow still on the mountains in August.
Panorama showing the lake (Swan Lake) and the mountains.
This was called Staircase Rocks. Same basalt configuration of the Needles in Ireland
Another lake formed by hot springs.
And this is the spring that did it!!
Norris geyser basin.
Wherever you looked something was either bubbling, gushing or spouting!!
Small geyser going off.
Very hot steam fumarole.
Yellowstone river cut this valley.
Strata in the rock face that ran alongside the road.
Yellowstone river canyon.
A petrified tree.
And just when we had gone all day without seeing any wildlife I spotted these Sand Cranes.
And while we were stopped for the Cranes this guy/gal turned up. Coyote!!
And he proceeded to catch something right in front of us and here he is chewing on it!!
And when we got back to Mammoth on the way back to Livingston there were Elk feeding on the lovely mown lawns. They obviously know where the best grass is!!

We had a day’s rest and then did the bigger loop to see Old Faithful.

An amazingly coloured Spring that flowed into the river.
And the colours of Anne’s top nearly matched it!! I don’t think!!

A hot spring called Beryl. Temperature is between 188.5F (87C) and 192F (89C) so don’t take a bath!!

Lower Yellowstone Falls
Lower Geyser Basin, a hot spring.
Bacteria causes the beautiful colours.
A deep blue hot spring.
A mud spring, just as hot!!
This is called Leather Spring.
The whole Lower Geyser Basin, it was huge!!
A steam geyser, as you walked past it water droplets hit your skin. Very cooling.
The main hot spring.
This hot spring drained into the Yellowstone River.
And then we arrived at ……
And with brilliant timing it erupted just as we got to the viewing area.
Reached about 50-60ft in the air.
Two old geezers at the geyser!!
Another beautiful multi-coloured spring.
And then we crossed the Continental Divide again at quite a height!!
And there was this beautiful lake full of water lilies right next to the Continental Divide that fed two rivers one going east and the other west.
Yellowstone Lake as with everything in Yellowstone was huge!!

At this point we turned towards Livingston and thought the Jordan curse of seeing no wildlife had hit again and then out of the corner of my eye as we passed a picnic area………

Bison feeding just about 50yds from a family sat at picnic table!!
He had a massive head and horns.
And then it got silly, a massive herd!!
Feeding right next to the road and causing a traffic jam as they crossed it.
You can see how close we were to them here.

So we returned to the campsite after a meal in a cowboy grill in Gardiner just outside the Park.

For our third visit we decided to go along the Lamar valley where we were told we had the best chance of seeing bear.

Yellowstone River again.
Beautifully marked Pronghorn deer.
Better view of the markings.
And massive herds of Bison. One having a dust bath to cool down.
Another two Pronghorns further down the road.
Mother and calf.
While we concentrating on the main herd, this huge bull bison came wandering down behind us, and wandered across the road and then back again holding up traffic. You wouldn’t argue with him he was much bigger than the Spark.
Magnificent scenery at the end of the Lamar Valley road.
Huge mountains either side of the road.

And that was the end of our visits to Yellowstone, still no bear, but lots of other animals and seeing Bison was a treat.

Then we moved on to Billings so I could see the Battle of Liitle Bighorn National Monument.

 

 

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