We ordered the alternator for the bus as soon as the parts store opened the morning after our adventure from Bozeman. We didn’t want to sit in town waiting for the part to arrive, so we unloaded Boober and headed into the park to see what we could explore. Our time here was limited by my need to be in North Dakota at the beet harvest as soon as possible, so we wanted to see as much of the park as we could.
I did not keep records of what the different features were, so you will have to go check it out for yourself if you want to know the names of the different features.
We headed in the West Yellowstone entrance and drove to the loop through the park. Taking a right turn, this pool next to a river was the first geothermal feature we encountered. It happened to work out that our first view of bison occurred here too. There were no great herds to be seen, but seeing a few individuals got us all ready to see more.
The clouds rolling overhead made for some beautiful scenery as we drove around the park. You can see steam rising from the bubbling vents in the background of the first image. I tried to imagine what the first explorers thought when they came upon these crazy vents in the earth. The variety of colors, smells, sounds, and textures found in the park is an amazing thing to experience. The looks on the girls faces as they experienced each new thing was a great thing to witness first hand.
The drive around Yellowstone Lake was an awesome sight, the clouds reflecting off the water caused the view to constantly change. I used the panoramic option on our camera to capture a few of these images, and I don’t think they turned out too bad for a point-and-shoot digital camera. Driving through the park, you had to be on the lookout for wildlife all the time. The easiest way by far to spot wildlife, look for other gawking visitors that are hurriedly pulled off the side of the road and standing around with cameras. We just joined in the events along with everyone else when these spots occurred. We were able to spot a coyote and an elk using this method on this particular drive through.
When the drive opens up into the Hayden Valley, following the Yellowstone River, it is hard to believe you are really there. Everything you are taking in with your eyes seems like it should be on canvass in a museum somewhere. To think views like this only occur once with the ever changing clouds, and we were the only people to have that exact view, it will never be duplicated. We could see small herds of bison in the distance, and I tried to imagine what it would have been like to see the great herds that extended to the horizon.
Driving along on the curvy roads, you never knew when an obscure geothermal feature would be hiding. This one is one of the most interesting looking things from our entire trip. It was hidden on the other side of the river, I actually had to turn around to go check it out since we passed it.
Our first day in the park was a long one, but well worth the early start and lots of curvy road driving. We made it back to the bus after dark and slept good with lots of new memories to add to our trip.
We did manage to go to Old Faithful on our first day, but I don’t have any pictures. My next post will be mostly videos of our first day in the park as soon as I have time to edit and upload them. Stay Tuned….