Thursday, July 6, 2023

Mud pots and fumaroles and geysers and hot springs, oh my!

The Grand Canyon of  The Yellowstone River.

We arrived at Fishing Bridge RV Park, a concessionaire run campground in Yellowstone National Park, last Monday, June 26. Our eldest son, Josh, his wife Zia, and their two children, Cyrus and Samira flew in from Boston that evening. We were so happy to have them with us! They survived our small quarters and, despite a bug that circulated among 5 of us, I think we all had a great time. 

Yellowstone became a National Park in1872. It is the oldest park in not just the US, but in the world. It contains half of the world's hydrothermal features. One of the world's largest volcanoes lies beneath Yellowstone, and although it's still active, it hasn't errupted for 70,000 years. A major erruption 700,000 years ago created the Yellowstone Caldera where the mouth of the volcano collapsed.

All National Parks have great beauty. I must say that Yellowstone is beyond what description and photographs can show or depict. Its a feeling of awe. There is so much to see and it's all stunning! It's amazing that people are allowed to walk around these various hydrothermal features. More amazing? There is so little trash, and if travelers spotted that rare piece, they picked it up. 

Don't get me started on those beautiful animals. Between the 6 of us we saw bison, deer, elk, wolves, black bears (not necessarily black in color), maybe a grisly (not necessarily brown), birds, including an osprey in it's nest, chipmunks, a red squirrel and more. 

Unfortunately, although definitely in the minority, we saw what our niece told us is referred to on an instragram account as the "Tourons of Yellowstone." These are the people that can't keep their distance from animals, 100 yards (football field) from bears and wolves, and 25 yards (two school bus lengths) from all other animals. That term also includes the people that go off trail, those that have to touch the features, stand on the edge of cliffs, etc. Did you know that, besides being hot and some VERY hot, depending on the area they're in some of the hydrothermal water is alkaline but some is VERY acidic, as in it will destroy skin and whole bodies. People recieve injuries and die doing things they shouldn't.

We spent 6 days walking and hiking Yellowstone, 106,000 steps to be exact. We didn't even explore the north and east areas. Tuesday we started with Mud Volcano with several of the hydrothermal features. We spent the afternoon hiking portions of the North Rim Trail. Several waterfalls and finished with views of The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.

Boiling Mud Pot

Fumarole--listen for the hiss

Dragon's Mouth Spring


The Upper Falls

Crystal Falls

The Lower Falls

Dish Jenga
Where are the Piepers now? Montrose, C0

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