Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Vacation 2012: Day 7

Thursday was our last full day in Yellowstone. This time, we explored the upper part of the Yellowstone figure 8. We started at our campground (K on the map) and headed north toward Mammoth Hot Springs (Q on the map) and the Roosevelt Arch (R on the map).

We did some more animal sight-seeing along the way.
On our drive, we came across cars pulled over at the side of the road and ranger directing traffic. Everyone was stopped to look at this sleeping black bear. I had to use the full 80x digital zoom on my camera and could still barely see it. It didn't seem worth it to me!
I love the blue in these flowers.


The one on the left is in mid-air.
Mammoth Hot Springs is next to the site of Fort Yellowstone. This is where the military was orginally stationed to guard Yellowstone National Park until the National Park Service took control in 1918. There is a hotel here and several buildings and houses that were a part of the old fort.
One of my favorite parts about Fort Yellowstone is that there were elk everywhere! They didn't care at all about people, which made it hard to observe the law of staying 25 yards away.

Bill and I were walking down the boardwalk when we saw this one.
The grass was greener on the other side and it didn't care if it crossed only a few feet in front of us.
You can see the edge of the boardwalk on the left and how close it was as we passed by.
The formations at Mammoth Hot Springs are created by hot springs depositing layers of calcium carbonate. The different colors are created by different kinds of bacteria. The springs at Mammoth Hot Springs shift and change with the years and seasons.
The white areas are spots where the water has stopped flowing and bacteria has stopped growing.

You can see steam rising at the top from the hot water.

It was very sunny and hot at our first stop at Mammoth Hot Springs, so we decided to take a lunch break and wait until later in the afternoon. 
We stopped in a pretty, grassy spot with a stream.


Rustic Falls
Some really cool cliffs by the falls.

Later in the afternoon, we went back to the hot springs.

Dormant hot springs.
Some of the calcium formations up close.
An active spring.

Some grass that is being covered by calcium deposits.
  So, I was standing here taking pictures when I saw no less than two people stick their fingers in this water after reading this sign...
I love how the grass grows right up to the spring.
The white section in this picture is actually the edge of a cliff.
I feel like a music video should be filmed here.

Another spring. The white part in the middle is where the water is flowing from.
A close up of the bacteria and calcium carbonate formations.
A close up of the hottest part of the spring. According to one of the pamphlets I read, the lighter the area of the spring, the hotter the water.
The top of Canary Spring.
It looks like an infinity pool.
You can see the steam rising.
Canary Spring. Tempurature: 163 degrees Farenheight

Canary Spring was my favorite spot at Mammoth Hot Springs. Quite an outfit I have there lol.
One of the springs bubbling up.
I took some pretty cool videos of Mammoth Hot Springs, but you'll have to wait until Day 8 when I post the Yellowstone video compilation to see them ;P

While the sun was setting, we took a drive to the northwest entrance of the park in Montana.

The Roosevelt Arch was constructed to commemorate the creation of Yellowstone National Park, the first national park, by Teddy Roosevelt.
An elk and an antelope.
When we got back to the Mammoth Hot Springs area, we found this herd of elk grazing on the grass.
On our drive back to our campsite, we suddenly came upon four buffalo walking side by side and blocking the whole road. They had no intention of moving for us and seemed very inconvenienced when we finally were able squeeze by them. It was a little scary since they will ram vehicles if they feel threatened. My Honda Fit felt very small next to them! Unfortunately, it was dark and I wasn't able to get a clear picture.

Check back for Day 8!

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