Yellowstone, Part Two. The Mammoth Hot Springs

It’s mid-afternoon and we have gotten through the road work and finally arrive at the upper north area of Yellowstone where the Mammoth Hot Springs are located. THIS is why I wanted to come back.

We start with a drive around the loop at the lower pools.  I don’t even see one of the pools that have been the iconic picture most have seen in photographs taken of Yellowstone, surely taken and shown as often as Old Faithful.  The scenery is stunning however.

This killdeer, a member of the plover family, isn’t about to give up his footbath when I look down on him wading in the bit of warm water. I was a s surprised to see him there as he was to see me up above.

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Around a bend in the narrow one-way 0ne-lane road we come to this …

With the vibrant mule’s ears growing right across the roadway.

Once we come to the end of this loop road, we come to the blue pools. The pools that beckoned me back to Yellowstone, the Mammoth Hot Springs pools with their  blue waters held in shallow, flat bowls of white.

There’s only one that I could see at this lower pool area. We head around the bend and down the mountain in search of the upper pools.

I eagerly walk the wooden paths seeking those gorgeous blue pools I’ve seen in photos advertising Yellowstone in all its glory.  There are no blue pools to be found.  Each and every higher board walk has a sign saying the path is closed. As disappointing as it is, I am grateful that I got photos of the lower pools.

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As we leave the area, heading toward the north entrance/exit the busy, busy, busy little Yellowstone village is dotted with elk walking the streets.  I am so in awe that it doesn’t even occur to me to pick up my camera! We head out and follow the flooded Yellowstone River to the Arch at Gardiner signifying the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

Another exhausting day, and the laundry will once again have to wait!
Our back yard for tonight ends up being at the Carbella BLM campground along the Yellowstone River on Hwy 89.

Thanks for coming along with The Chiweenie Brothers and I on our tour of the “top of the 8”, northern Yellowstone.  Hugs, Shawna

North Yellowstone

June 7, 2018 we are again up early., dogs fed, a quick walk, and we head to West Yellowstone, the little town outside Yellowstone National Park.  I get in the looong drive thru line at McDonalds to grab a coffee. Soooo looking forward to that large coffee after last night with poor little Fries shaking in terror as the thunder and lightning boomed right over the top of us.

I’ve never had a bad cup of coffee from McDs. Until this morning. Worst coffee I have ever tasted; like maybe it was leftover and warmed up from yesterday. Thick, nasty stuff.  But considering the line was long and the wait longer I wasn’t about to ask for some fresh brew. I’ll just make do and get on the road through Yellowstone.  The Mammoth Hot Springs is my ultimate goal for this second trip through this gorgeous park.

For a ways we are on one of the same roads we were on last fall, and I try to get in to see the Norris geysers. They are supposed to be even more impressive than Old Faithful, but like last year the parking lot is jammed packed and there’s not a spot to be had.  *sigh*.  Gee, I hope the rest of the day doesn’t continue on like this!

Soon I begin to notice scenery that I haven’t seen before.  The Chiweenie Brothers perk right up when they see large brown-black beasties in the lush green meadow on our right.

These pools are so lovely, and I even got a shot of a bluebird surveying his territory

 

Dang, I can’t remember what they call this mountain, but it’s pretty spectacular when you considering all that steam and pressure underneath.

The landscape begins to change.  Rugged mountains are the backdrop behind sweet green meadows, clear blue pools and cold lakes.  The vistas are unbelievable.

Then in the blink of an eye yet another change. Boulders are the focus in the forefront of vast vistas spread out before us.

Just beyond this interesting area the road work begins. It’s quite a delay, but I think we arrived just about the right time as I know it wasn’t a 30 minute wait.  It’s quite a project they are working on; looks like not only complete road replacement but adding culverts (perhaps bigger and better).

Even with the traffic, the road work delay, and a muddy mess to drive through in places, it is worth the drive.

Mammoth Hot Springs coming up tomorrow.  Hugs, Shawna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BRYCE CANYON!

May 4, 2018 –  after spending two nights in a great camp in the Dixie National Forest off of Hwy 12 we are up early to go through Bryce Canyon today!

Bryce is a fairyland of walls/fins, holes/windows, and hoodoos all eroded out of the limestone cliffs from cold weather, rain, and snow.  Frost-wedging (where moisture freezes, expands, and forces pieces of the walls or fins to fall away) enlarges cracks in the fins creating holes or windows. As the windows grow their tops eventually collapse which leaves a column. Rain further dissolves the limestone pillars into spires called hoodoos.  Who do? We do!! It’s a fascinating glimpse into the ever-changing landscape of this national park.

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After soaking up Bryce we head out, going north (on 89 again!!) toward Circleville. We need to find a camp. It’s been a long day!

Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs, Shawna.  The Chiweenie brothers would say hello, but they are fast asleep.  Lizard patrol is a serious business, and they need a nap.