2014 Trip Journal travel blog

Terrace at Mammoth Hot Springs. Photo by Mary Anne.

On and around the Terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs. Photo by Josiah.

For hundreds of years, Shoshone and Bannock people collected minerals from this...

Limestone deposits, along with heat, created the beautiful terrace structures. Photo by...

 

 

 

On the Lower Terrace area. Photo by Josiah.

Photo by Josiah.

Can you see the face? Photo by Josiah.

Lunch time in Fort Yellowstone.

The fort once housed soldiers of the U.S. Army Cavalry.

On the Upper Terrace. Photo by Josiah.

Looking down on Upper Terrace, overlooking the village of Mammoth Hot Springs....

Photo by Josiah.

Photo by Mary Anne.

Photo by Josiah.

Photo by Josiah.

Driving around Upper Terraces, we came upon Orange Spring Mound.

...and took a few pictures...

 

 

Next, we passed the White Elephant Back Terrace......

Yep....it was white.

 

Back on lower level, Liberty Cap is 37' tall. It was created...

Liberty Cap was named in 1871 because it looked liked the peaked...

Palette Spring. Water flows in crossing patterns down a steep ridge creating...

Here I am with Kyle, Keri, and their family.

Palette Spring. Photo by Josiah.

Getting close-ups of Palette Spring. Photo by Josiah.

Photo by Josiah.

Prong horn. Photo by Mary Anne.

In a parking lot in Canyon Village we saw this well-decorated van....

Another view. Photo by Mary Anne.

A deer near the highway. Photo by Mary Anne.

Photo by Mary Anne.

Another traffic back-up. Do you think Bison were up the road?

Shaggy old bull. Photo by Mary Anne.

Another herd down in the valley. Photo by Mary Anne.

Bison herd along the Yellowstone River. Photo by Mary Anne.


Day 16

August 9, 2014

The next day we backtracked through Canyon Village and planned to stop at the Norris Geyser Basin. However, we missed the entrance to Norris at the intersection with the Grand Loop Road. And with that we were headed north to Mammoth Hot Springs!

Soon the traffic on the highway stopped. Eventually we saw a brown bear walking along the other side of the road-- that is we saw it until it disappeared behind a huge tour bus! But I got a short video clip of the bear once we'd cleared the bus.

The terrain around Mammoth Hot Springs is quite different from what it looks like further south in Yellowstone. There aren’t as many trees. It’s rather arid. While we’d seen a lot of thermal activity the previous day, Mammoth Hot Springs is much more “minimalistic.” The graceful terraces are beautifully colored. They seemed delicate.

Mary Anne and I commented what we remembered seeing here in 1989. Our recollections were of large, wet terraces with lots of flowing cascades. This time we were struck by how dry the terraces were.

Even though Mammoth Hot Springs aren’t as “vigorous” as other places in Yellowstone, there were plenty of tour buses filled with tourists from overseas. At the Overlook to the Main Terrace, Kyle had a humorous conversation with a German tourist. Kyle was asked if Americans traveled very much. The tourist said, “It seems like ninety percent of us here in Yellowstone are from China, Japan, and Europe!” And that was an interesting observation.

Leaving Mammoth Hot Springs, we followed Kyle and headed easterly on the Grand Loop Road. There the terrain began looking quite alpine. We drove through large open meadows fringed with trees. It reminded us of areas in the Rocky Mountain area of Estes Park, Colorado.

Then Kyle turned off the paved roadway onto Blacktail Plateau Drive. It was 10-15 miles of one-lane gravel roadway. Top speed was 25 mph. We saw hunting birds. We also saw, up on a mountain-side, a mamma grizzly with her two cubs. Priceless.

Back in Canyon Village we attended mass in the amphitheater of the campground. The officiating Jesuit priest was from a college in Pennsylvania. He delighted in telling us of the fine fish he had caught and released that morning!

Then, once again on the highway between Canyon Village and Bay Bridge Campground, we encountered buffalo. This time we saw several swimming across the Yellowstone River. Priceless!

Go here for: YouTube video of Bison

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