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Yellowstone National Park
Wyoming [Days 7, 8, & 9]

Mirror Plateau

Yellowstone at Dawn

Bull Elk

Mammoth Hot Springs

[ Travelogue ]
[ Thumbnails ]
[ Travel Map ]

It's hard to imagine a place that overflows with more variety of natural wonder and wildlife than Yellowstone National Park. In an area larger than Rhode Island or Delaware, Yellowstone is refuge to thousands of species of flora and fauna. It can take hours to drive the winding park roads from one attraction to another. There are four main areas of the park: The mountains and valleys in the north, the canyon and falls in the east, the geothermals in the west, and the lake in the southeast. The three days I spent in the park wasn't nearly enough.

Day 7: I arrived at Park, and set up camp at the first campground I came to in the northeast corner of the park. It was incredibly far and inconvenient, but it was peaceful, and I found a nice spot for my tent right next to a little stream. I started driving into the park, but progress was slow. I was continually held up by traffic, and by my own need to constantly stop the car and admire the view. Every five minutes I found myself pulling over and making photographs as each vista was more breathtaking than the last.

Day 8: I woke to a dawn blanketed by fog. Early morning was quickly becoming my favorite park of the day. Not only is the light beautiful, but it is the one time you can really commune one on one with nature. After spending a glorious morning photographing fog covered fields and mountains, I headed for the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and Yellowstone Falls. Once again I found myself held up by traffic. At the sign of any critter cars would pull over, to point and take pictures. In the photograph of the elk what you can't see are the 20 tourists behind me snapping pictures of the poor beast.

Day 9: I pulled up camp around 4am, in order to make the 2 hour drive to Mammoth Hot Springs, and arrive before sunrise. Around the hot springs the air is filled with clouds of steam and the smells of sulpher. The cold morning emphasized the effect. I had plenty of time to visit the main geyser basin in the west part of the park, including the tourist's favorite: Old Faithful. Erupting approximately every 75 minutes give or take 15 minutes Old Faithful is one of the more regular geysers in the park.

NEXT STOP: Craters of the Moon National Monument


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