We decided to return to Norris Basin since when we were there earlier in the week it was rainy and we were unable to walk the entire pool and geysers. The boardwalk has since been repaired and reopened and returning today was a great idea. The view from the top of the visitors center and museum is dramatic but as we walked the boardwalk, the colors are phenomenal and more sereal than seeing them from a far. I have taken photos of most of the signs because each hot spring has a name and after you see one, the tendancy is to say they all look alike but that is not true. Here are a few photos from this first stop and the best is yet to come. It is really hard to see in the photo but the boardwalk curves around the entire basin and the walk is a little over a mile. Sure getting our hikes in each day.
Next stop would be the hightlight of our trip. We headed for a repeat visit to the Canyon area to see a site called Artist Point, so heading East toward the main road that would eventually take us to the South Rim turnoff. But boy were we ever in for a treat today. As we crossed over the Norris road turn where by the way, they had closed the road because there was no more parking in the lot. So we headed across the road and were commenting that other than the two Bison we saw when we started out this morning and they were way off in the field, we hadn’t seen anything. All of a sudden, right in front of us were so many rangers with the road traffic pulled off on both sides of the road. I asked the ranger what it was and he said a grizzly had downed an elk and was off in the woods in full view. He said just drive up and pull off safely onto the side of the road. We drove up for a bit and parked and then walked back. When we got to the spot you could see pretty well the bear at work making a great meal for himself. Then I spotted a coyote looking for scraps but the grizzly was having none of it and the coyote circled to the left. Tom pulled out the binoculars and I pulled out the Nikon with my great lens and went to work just shooting photos. The bear was not nervous despite the fact that over 200 people had now gathered to watch the ordeal. It must have started early because there were people with folding chairs just sitting by the road watching and having lunch. I cracked up thinking that maybe some of the bears friends who could smell a tasty meal 18 miles away, would want to share a great picnic basket. Ha! So the following photos are those of the coyote and bear. I was able to telephoto the bear then crop the photo and zoom in even more with the iPad mini. BTW, best investment in an Apple product ever made. So enjoy my pics before I move on to Artist Point. This day has been fabulous.
Check out this license plate. Everyone who know how much I love wolves will appreciate this plate. I couldn’t resist and we have not seen any wolves. We were all very safe watching at about 150 yards away. The Park Rangers here are awesome.
Moving on to the Canyon Road, we went south to the turn off for Artist Point for a view of the Lower Falls along the Yellowstone River. When I say that this is a photographers paradise, I really mean it however, as good as a photo may be you cannot replace seeing it in the flesh. There is a whole story about the painter who took some liberties with the painting and of course I took photos of the signs because I would never remember all this information. At Artist Point the Yellowstone River thunders more than 308 ft over the Lower Falls. Many birds make the cliffs their home and a birder had his telescope like device (yes Paul forgot the name of it) trained on an osprey nest. But we were told that eagles, swallows and ravens also live in the area. We asked this morning after seeing the one legged Osprey yesterday and learned that they fly south for the winter. We wondered how he would servive with just one leg especially since they live on fish and food they dive for to eat.
While at Artist Point there was a Ranger talk which we stayed to hear. We have heard all week about the Caldera and the huge volcanic eruption that occured 640K years ago in Yellowstone, emptying a large underground chamber of magma (partially molten rock). In minutes the debris spread for thousands of miles. The roof collapsed forming the giant caldera 30 miles across, 45 miles long and several thousand feet deep. When you look at the official Yellowstone map, the caldera is outlined and it is scary to think that we are due for another huge explosion. It it blows again, the ash and destruction will spread over have the US. All of this information comes from the small brochure I got from the visitor center. You could spend months if not years learning everything about the park. We are so ignorant when it comes to knowledge of this area of the country.
Ending our stay in the park with a rootbeer float and then seeing our resident Bison on the way out. This was a fabulous vacation and I am happy to share the experience with all of you.
So here are some photos from today. This is our last day in Yellowstone and it was so sad to leave. Who knows when we will come back. Tomorrow we venture down to Salt Lake City for the weekend to attend a wedding. Making a short stop along the way to see a friend in the northern part of Utah.
Hope you all have enjoyed seeing the park from my perspective. Since the photo parts have been so easy, I am hoping that the wifi will be as good in Spain next month.