The first white explorers of the Yellowstone region (fur-trappers & mountain men) were called liars and fools for making up such laughable stories about bubbling mud, colorful pools and steaming geysers. Six decades later, a geologist, a photographer, and a painter, returned from a successful expedition with visual proof.
People began to take notice. Only under the impression that this rugged, boiling, unstable land held no use for farmland or economical development, congress agreed to set it aside as a public "pleasuring ground." In 1872 President Grant signed the bill, creating the first National Park in the history of the world.
We hiked to Fairy Falls...
...continued on to the Imperial Geyser (no boardwalks here!)
...then turned around and headed back through the meadow and past Fairy Falls again...
...where we sat in the shade and had lunch. It was like sitting at the foot of an altar. Except that we were harassed by this fat chipmunk the whole time.
Then we climbed up a hill/mountain on an unmarked trail to be rewarded with this fantastic view of the Grand Prismatic Pool. Just incredible! Nothing like it in the world!
We met some nice people up at the top - what a place to make friends! One of the women must have been a professional photographer, she took this fantastic picture for us. Great memories :)
Splendid Geyser with her splendid rainbow
Punch Bowl Spring
Morning Glory Pool.
EVERY YEAR park personnel remove hundreds of rocks, coins, and other objects from Morning Glory Pool.
All thermal features are at risk. Hot springs and geysers have fragile, complex plumbing that takes centuries to develop. Morning Glory's future is uncertain; you can help by immediately reporting any vandalism."
Ignorance indeed. So infuriating. We decided that we'd put our bear spray to good use if we ever witnessed vandalism.
The park is ever-changing. This section of the Artemisia Trail was swallowed up by the thermal pools! The sign says "unsafe trail, new trail about 20 yards --> stay on trail, thank you!"