Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yellowstone Part II

Continued from Yellowstone Part I, January 2012.

Within a mile of entering the park we were greeted by these happy campers from high above. They were giving quite a show and seemed content on their rocky cliffs. Some head butting, jumping and chasing, and tricky foot-work had us both laughing and holding our breath at the same time. Mountain Goats are abundant throughout the Gardner and Mammoth areas with it's many cliffs and outcroppings. We ended up watching their antics for the better part of half an hour. They were in no hurry, but we had things to do!The next stop was the Mammoth Hot Springs area. The springs themselves are very active from all the thermal activity and the entire area belches smoke like a witch's cauldron. Rising well above the valley floor, the terraces are eerie in the winter landscape, but full of beautiful colors and icicle laden trees. The boardwalk provides a great stroll "through" the many pools and bubbling streams. It was interesting to note the depth of the snow as much as two to three feet while water too hot to touch was merely inches away. The vapor turning to ice and clinging to gnarly tree branches sparkled and reflected light and the yellows and blues of the mineral deposits.

View from the terraces across Mammoth Village to the northeast. The Absoroka range in the distance.

"Falls" and deposits. This whole thing is a massive "bulge" from the surrounding valley and hillside. Elaborate deposits of blue, yellow, green and brown.

Despite the beauty of this "alien" landscape, the Lamar Valley and it's wildlife beckoned. With thoughts of wolves, grizzlies, buffalo and elk, we put the steaming springs behind us and into the valley we went.

Images are "clickable"

to be continued......