River at Yellowstone

My husband and I are from long line of people from Quebec and New England.  Our bodies are bred for sea level.  Once a year we try to take a Western vacation.  This year we took a trip to Salt Lake City Utah with a trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

Not only did I go to two new National Parks, but I also visited three new States: Idaho, Montana and Wyoming (I had been to Southern Utah after college graduation).

Our first day consisted mostly of driving.  Lots and lots of driving.  We started in Salt Lake City where we killed time by driving through Big Cottonwood Canyon.   We were in Utah for a race and he wanted me to see where one of the handler stations would be. (On a side note, my first wildlife sighting was a coyote.  Who was doing his business on the side of the road.  I did not get a picture) Before we could head North Hubby had to go to REI (we don’t have any in New Hampshire) to buy supplies and backpacker meals.

We carried on by driving through Idaho and a corner of Montana to Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.  I was actually surprised by Idaho.  It’s actually a beautiful state.  The fields were a gorgeous gold with Mountains in the distance.  I also couldn’t get over how many horses were all over the place.

I didn’t get to spend much time in Montana before we entered Yellowstone park.  But boy was I happy to be in Montana.  I really need to take a real vacation there someday.

Tree at Yellowstone

Part of me expected Yellowstone to be an oasis of wildlife.  So at first I was a little disappointed when we didn’t see many animals.  All of a sudden we saw a flock of tourists on the side of the road.  It was a sure wildlife sign and sure enough there were some elk on the other side of the river.

As we approached the campground we also saw a lone bison.  I got a picture from the car, people really don’t mind causing traffic jams to take pictures of wildlife, and I find it inconsiderate.

After setting up camp, we headed off to explore a bit.  We did the drive along the Firehole River.  It brings you to the spectacular Firehole Falls.  I really loved how the river had cut a deep winding canyon with a beautiful waterfall at the head.  I guess that there is a swimming hole upsteam when the water level is lower.  I wouldn’t want to imagine anyone being swept over those falls.

We also went to see the Fountain Paint Pots thermal area.  It was a wonderful look at a cross-section of the features we would see in the rest of the park (mud pots, hot springs, fumerols and geysers).  I took some pictures I am proud of in the dying light.

Trees in Madison Campground

Before heading back to the tent we took one last drive.  I don’t remember the name of the road, but we found a crowd gathering for the Giant Fountain Geyser eruption.  We didn’t have anything else to do so we waited for the eruption.  And we waited and waited.  Geyser eruptions are really a test of patience.  At least we got to watch a beautiful sunset. When Giant Fountain finally erupted it was worth while.  The geyser was like a fireworks display. Fits, starts and big explosions.

As the eruption was dying down, and the light quickly fading, the geyser closest to giant fountain also went off.  We saw it shooting water straight in the air from a distance.  Yellowstone’s thermal features are really worth seeing in person.

I reuploaded the pictures from smaller images and for some reason the pictures got all mixed up.  I decided this view might be more practical for my readers though.

The original gallery I uploaded (if anyone is interested).  I also uploaded the pictures to Sometimes I Veg’s Facebook page.


Picture 1 of 40

That was my day 1, I can’t wait to share more adventures with you.

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2 Responses to Meet the geysers, day 1 of vacation 2011

  1. Christine says:

    It’s crazy how stupid some tourists are when it comes to wild animals. I remember someone telling me about how they came across a bunch of people taking pictures of an elk or moose and how he told everyone to back away as the animal was getting agitated and one person commented “well, it’s not like it’s wild or anything” as they passed him. Duh.

    Great photos! I would love to head down and see the geysers – they look so neat especially at dusk!

    • Miriam says:

      At least in National Parks they seem a little more tolerant than they would in less populated areas. I’m pretty sure elk would not tolerate people within a 50 foot radius in the open wild. And Bison are wicked dangerous and will snap without warning. The geyser under cool lighting was amazing! I wish I had a better camera/knowledge.

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