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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Our Adventures in Yellowstone

What words can I possibly use to describe Yellowstone? The most incredible place I have ever seen. An absolute wonderland of mountains, plains, hydro-thermal features and wildlife. I feel like there is so much that could be said about this natural Wonderland. I could talk about the debate on conservation (I can see both sides after visiting this park and experiencing both the wonders of the earth and the restrictions on visitors), I could talk about the absurdity of those who choose to endanger their lives to get an up close encounter with a wild animal or get too close to a hydro thermal feature. Really, I could say an awful lot about Yellowstone, but I will mostly say that we loved it.


Yellowstone - June 2016
Setting up camp at Madison campground

We spent three nights camping there, one on the West side of the park at Madison Campground and two in the east at Fishing Bridge RV campground. The second spot was restricted solely to hard-sided camping vehicles (no tents or tent trailers) as the area is frequented by bears. Did I luck out to see a bear? Nope... still no bears. 

After setting up camp on our first day we headed straight south to see Old Faithful. Our timing was pretty impeccable and we only had to wait about 20 minutes to see the geyser erupt. I think it was a little anti-climactic for Halle who of course doesn't understand all of the science behind it, or the fact that they can predict it's eruptions to within 20 minutes. For us, I felt pretty thankful to be there as we were sat next to a couple in their 80's who were just visiting the park together for the very first time. If we hadn't taken this opportunity to travel, who knows if or when we would have witnessed this majestic place.


Yellowstone - June 2016
Waiting patiently for Old Faithful to erupt

After leaving Old Faithful Village, we began driving back towards our campground stopping as often as we could to check out the different hydrothermal features. Though I had some idea of what to expect here after doing research on Yellowstone, no words could ever accurately prepare you to see everything first hand. The steaming pools of water and the vibrant colours created by different bacteria and organisms. As I said to Brett one afternoon, Yellowstone is a nature lover's amusement park!


Yellowstone - June 2016Yellowstone - June 2016

Yellowstone - June 2016

Yellowstone - June 2016

Yellowstone - June 2016

Yellowstone - June 2016

Yellowstone - June 2016

We ambled along boardwalks staring into "stink water" as Halle liked to call it (many of the features smell of sulfur), but I was most taken by the colours that appeared in the hot pools of water. The sounds and the sites were like nothing I had ever experienced. What we were most in awe of was the fact that we were standing inside of a Volcano! If you're not familiar with the history of the park, Yellowstone was once a supervolcano that was transformed into a caldera over the course of three eruptions - the most recent taking place 630,000 years ago. Most of the southwestern area of the huge park is the massive caldera and we were constantly reminded that at any time that whole area could change drastically, taking us with it!

Some of the features Halle was more interested in than others. Of course, any that smelt of sulfur or other strong mineral odours were far less enjoyable. I totally understand, the smell of rotten eggs is not high on my list of things to endure even if a super cool hot spring or fumarole is involved. 


Yellowstone - June 2016

Yellowstone - June 2016

Yellowstone - June 2016

Yellowstone - June 2016
This picture of Halle gazing into one of the hot pools is one of my favourites from our time in Yellowstone. 

Yellowstone - June 2016Yellowstone - June 2016

I'm so happy that we had bright blue skies for most of our time in the park. The brilliance of the sky made the most perfect back drop to the green hills and the striking hydro thermal features. As we've travelled I have found a passion for capturing nature and landscapes. It may have to do with my constant and growing love of nature and the outdoors, but either way capturing the perfect landscape photo has become my mission.


Yellowstone - June 2016

Yellowstone - June 2016Yellowstone - June 2016

Yellowstone - June 2016

The textures and colours of everything make it that much more interesting. Especially once you learn that all of those shapes and colours inside of these ultra hot waters are actually living organisms. Science and Nature are surely the stars of the show in Yellowstone!

There is so much to see and do in this park that is over 2 million acres, that we barely scratched the surface. I have so much more to share, including our wildlife encounters and more of the unique features this park has to offer. 

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