Yellowstone

We agreed to meet at the IMax theatre parking lot in West Yellowstone at 10am. I had driven 4 hours from south of there after driving from California the day before. Al (brother) had driven 6 hours to get there from up north. Amazingly enough we pulled into the parking lot within 5 minutes of one another. Some times things just work out.

We were there to do some biking and fishing, all the while disguising ourselves as tourists. ;-) He has been there numerous times and this was my second visit. Here is a bit of info about this amazing park.

Established on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone National Park is the first and oldest national park in the world. These shots are only sampling of what can be seen at Yellowstone. I would like to spend a month there to get all the shots it deserves. But to really see and capture all that this park has to offer would take several visits in all seasons over a lifetime.

Preserved within Yellowstone are the Old Faithful Geyser and some 10,000 hot springs and geysers, the majority of the planet's total. These geothermal wonders are evidence of one of the world's largest active volcanoes; its last eruption created a crater or caldera that spans almost half of the park.

Yellowstone seems to be recovering from the fire nicely as you can see in this picture. The fire was in 1988 and burned 45% of the park. I was taking a picture of the elk but...don't you think the re-growth is looking good? We ran into the elk on our way to Old Faithful. The last time we were here we stayed a couple of days at the Old Faithful Inn. In front of the Inn is a nature walk that takes you around many geysers and hot springs. Here a geyser flows into a creek near Old Faithful.

On our way back to West Yellowstone we took a side trip to see the Firehole River. There was a waterfall on the river that had me wondering how it might be run in a kayak. This park is overflowing with wildlife compared to parks in California. During our drive we saw buffalo (they are everywhere), a bull elk and a female elk standing in the Madison River. A Trumpeter Swan was foraging in a very quiet section of the Madison, this was quite a treat. The Trumpeter Swan is North America's largest waterfowl and although they are making a remarkable comeback they are still the rarest swan in the world.

The next day we went for a bike ride just out of West Yellowstone. It was overcast and threatening to get us all wet so we didn't venture to far from town. The higher spots on the trail provided a look back down onto West Yellowstone and Hebgen Lake. On our way back we noticed a rock moving in the trail ahead of us. When we got closer we realized it was a young porcupine. It was very shy and didn't like having it's picture taken. It was starting to rain now so it was back to the motel. And what a motel, complete with an in-room bike rack.

Yellowstone River is awesome, here is a look at the upper falls. From there we drove down to a spot that you can look back up river at the lower falls. From there you can see the lower falls from a distance and with the teleconverter lens a closer look. After that we drove around to hike down to the top of the lower falls. This is Al at the top of the falls and a look downstream.

If you haven't you really must go there someday.

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