Monday, September 21, 2009

Yellowstone – part 2

For part 2 of my Yellowstone trip, I stayed a couple of days in the park and then the rest of the time at a private campground in Gardiner, MT – just outside of the West Yellowstone entrance.  This side of Yellowstone is very different than where I was last week.  More animals, less geysers. 

When I checked into the private campground they warned me that a grizzly had been seen the last couple of days in the campground, along with some elk.  Well, I never saw the grizzly but I did see the elk.  For the most part they stayed next door on the Mormon church property. 

ys2 cmpgrnd elk

I saw lots of bison and got in several bison jams.  Just after I took the picture below, they started running towards me and it was a bit frightening until just before my car they veered off to the right going within feet of my car. 

ys2 buffalo jam

One day I decided was going to be my wildlife day.  I woke up very early as dawn is one of the best times to see wildlife.  It was a bit foggy, but that burned off quickly   That day, I saw a coyote, 2 wolves (thru a spotting scope), elk, bison, pronghorns and big horn sheep.  I had never seen pronghorn before this trip, they are an interesting animal. 

ys2 lamar valley early morning fog

ys2 pronghorn

I did visit some geysers and hot springs.  I love the colors of the hot springs.  Most of the colors are different types of bacteria. 

ys2 spring colors 2ys2 springs and boardwalkI hiked one trail that was not in Yellowstone National Park.  I hiked in the Tom Miner Basin which is in the Gallatin Petrified forest.  This particular hike is among volcanic cliffs and caves.  In one of the caves, there is a petrified tree in the ceiling.   This is a view of the valley, the trail  and the volcanic cliffs. 

ys2 tom miner basin hike The Mammoth terraces were interesting and quite different from the other things  in the park.   In several places they look like snow and ice. 

ys2 terraces

ys2 terraces2

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