Road Trip East ~ Yellowstone WY, August 2012 Part #1

Summer 2012 had a lot of adventures and new experiences. During July, I was in Anchorage, Alaska house-sitting for the Gardners. Played with dogs all day, hiked and generally enjoyed Alaska stuff. River and I arrived back in Seattle at the end of July, and within 24 hours had the car packed with different types of gear for the next month or so. Reuben was part of this trip, driving east to Tennessee via Yellowstone, Wyoming. Our final destination was the Farm in Tennessee before heading north to New Jersey for Tracker classes. We drove through the night, only stopping for fuel and River breaks. The drive through Eastern Washington, Idaho and Montana is quite scenic and I even managed some out-the-window pictures.  We slept in the car at a pull off before the entrance to Yellowstone, and started exploring fairly early the next morning.

*Click on pictures to view them full size*

Montana Sunset. Scattered storms created stunning clouds and light as the Sun descended.

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We entered Yellowstone after scarfing down some apples and yogurt we kept in the cooler. Our first stop was at the clear, cold creek to wash the night off and let River out (on leash of course, per park rules).

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This big boulder was in the middle of the creek; there were too many cars to really stop and investigate, but I felt that there must an interesting event that lead to the placement of this rock! – Reuben was less interested in said rock, so we cruised by and I took a picture.

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A rather flat top hill.

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Pretty quick into the park we spotted a herd of Elk grazing!

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More Elk along the road – these guys were obviously not in fear of hunters.

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The impressive wetlands.

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Fire Hole Canyon Falls.

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Fire Hole Canyon River.

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Reuben snapped this cool picture of me! Man does my hair look red (eh orange) here…

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Sighted the first Hot Spring!!! They all have names but I don’t remember them – I mean, Yellowstone contains approximately one-half of the world’s hydrothermal features and there are over 10,000 hydrothermal features. Yeah no names remembered here.

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The Hot Spring was right alongside the creek and flowed into it.  Every now and then it bubbled up.

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Dragonflies zipping around. There were a good deal of them swooping and dipping into the water. They were quite hard to get on camera.. afraid this is one of the better shots.

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Ah classic me, photograph of me photographing.

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Nice closeup of same Hot Spring that I was photographing in the previous picture.

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Next stop was a whole slew of Hot Springs, Pools and even a few geysers. River stayed in the car since there were so many people milling about and it was clearly posted ‘NO DOGS’. She didn’t understand and barked at everyone, which they heard loud and clear since the windows were open.

Steaming Pools and small geysers. If I remember correctly, this was in the Midway Geyser Basin (or close by).

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And a little geyser blows! Okay not that impressive but it was our first one. Got us a little wet 🙂

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The steaming plans. It looked to me like an apocalyptic movie or the ‘real’ end of the world. At one point I was just standing, gazing out over the land thinking about the reactions of the first People who sighted the steaming pools and what sorts of thoughts they might have had. I would think fear and concern followed by ‘HOT WATER FOR ALL! We shall never leave, no more ice melt baths!’ Well that would have been my thoughts, anyway.

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Artfully carved by hot water for hundred of thousands of years.

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LOOK at that COLOR!!! Poor Reuben wandered around while I stood and took picture after picture.

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Me checking out one of the bigger pools at the Fountain Paint Pots area.

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Gives a whole new meaning to ‘steampits.’ Hot air being vented out through ‘cracks’. Hisses and spits when there’s a surge, I kept thinking and now something explodes…

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Bubbling boiling mud! What is known as ‘the Fountain Paint Pots’. Or just ‘mudpots’.

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And I suddenly wanted a video camera…

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A gorgeous blue pool. I cannot recall the name. You can see the ‘boil’ in the middle, this one seemed to have a steady bubble to it which was hard catch with all the steam fogging up the camera.

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Interesting mud and sediment patterns and colors.

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Hot mini waterfall running into the river. I believe it is the sulfur that causes such distinct colors on the rock along with certain species of bacteria and algae.

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Closeup of Hot Spring water meeting cold river.

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The top of overflow area that runs down into the river. Lots of orange and yellow algae.

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The Hot Spring pools here were more like ponds.

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The vivid blues and teals were some of the most impressive things to me about all the thermal pools.

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The view from the knoll of Hot Springs.

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The Grand Prismatic (if I have the location correct) Spring.

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More of the Grand Prismatic Spring. Note: I’d just like to add that this photo is 100% untouched. No photoshop or contrast added or anything. Just a less than ideal camera and myself! I’m pretty thrilled with it.

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Closeups! Again, photos are not touched up – all colors are as the camera took.

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The wide range of algae hues scattered in the same pool/overflow was just out of this world.

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Super closeup of the algae.

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Further along the trail the patterns and colors change. I believe the ‘edges’ are sediment build up. Either way it’s freaking amazing.

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Closeup of the patterns.

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Next stop was none other than ‘Old Faithful’. We had about an hour and a half to cruise around before it ‘blew’. I calmly explained to Reuben who was starting to get a little less enthused about ‘geysers’ at this point, that we were not leaving Yellowstone without seeing Old Faithful. So we got a snack and brought River out to enjoy the beautiful day. Below: Old Faithful steaming but not ready to burst yet.

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Wyoming Blue Sky

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Impressive all timber lodge – the Old Faithful Inn. Built during the winter of 1903-04, it has a 65 ft ceiling in the lobby and is 7 stories!

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Inside of the Inn, lobby looking up.

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Cute little wildflowers. Thus far I have yet to positively identify them.. bad Joannie.

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River taking a break in the shade.

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Reuben and I ~ Self portrait! At least we both are in focus…

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A short path wound its way around the Fire Hole River and more thermal spots next to the Old Faithful area, so we cruised around a bit before heading back to find some space in the viewing area. I always thought these looked a little menacing..

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Little ‘cauldrons’ as I thought of them. I really like the colors and the way the mud shaped around it.

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Closeup of the exquisite colors.

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The crowd at the viewing area… I really didn’t want to know how many freaking people were there. Was almost enough to make me say forget it! But I prevailed and River got many compliments (as usual). And note that more than half of the viewing area and crowd did not fit in the picture!

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And she starts!!!

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There she goes!!!

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There is her peak! Minutes of water gushing thousands of hot gallons straight up into the sky. Pretty cool. A must see – Reuben was impressed and glad we stayed – he took more pictures of Old Faithful in her Glory than I did! The darker cloud is actually the steam from the hot water.

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We got the heck out of that crowded place just as soon as the show was over!

Hang in there! Part two of the Wyoming portion of the Road Trip East will be posted soon. The pictures tend to take a lot of time but I’ll try to get it churned out as quickly as possible.

River seeing Yellowstone in style ♥

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~ Joannie

2 thoughts on “Road Trip East ~ Yellowstone WY, August 2012 Part #1

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