Nov 24, 2014

Yellowstone part 2

"There is something in the wild scenery of this valley which I cannot describe: but the impressions made upon my mind while gazing from a high eminence on the surrounding landscape one evening as the sun was gently gliding behind the western mountain and casting its gigantic shadows across the vale were such as time can never efface.  For my own part I almost wished I could spend the remainder of my days in a place like this where happiness and contentment seemed to reign in wild romantic splendor" - Lamar Valley, Osborne Russell 1835

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.
"Morning Glory Pool is losing its brilliant color. Through ignorance and vandalism, people have tossed objects into the hot spring, clogging it's vent and lowering the temperature. Brown, orange, and yellow algae-like bacteria thrive in the cooler water, gradually turning the vivid aqua-blue to a murkier greenish-brown.
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!"

More Yellowstone to come!

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