20 August 2009

Yellowstone National Park: a quick day trip

It's been awhile since Mrs ER & I have been to Jellystone during "peak season." We prefer to visit for a mid-winter ski trip and for bugling elk/howling wolves in the fall. With or without crowds, the park is a beautiful and special place. Emily brought her boyfriend Evan home to see Montana, and so we jumped at a kind invitation to have us along on their trip to the park:

Yellowstone's animals are very well trained. At the West Entrance, we met a yearling cow elk. It's Elvira. She likes to sleep late in the morning. Note her radio collar--it cues her when to wake up in the morning and get to work greeting visitors:

Though wildlife is abundant and is now a big drawing card, it's historically interesting to note that the park was preserved as a "pleasuring ground" because of its geological wonders. The park area consists of a large caldera (exploded & collapsed supervolcano) that is still volcanically active with many geothermal features, including hot pools:

Mud pots:

And geysers:

It can be a dangerous place to amble around off trail, as this warning sign tells us:

The crowd at Old Faithful geyser is a good indication of how busy the park is on a given day:

The Raven People find human crowds amusing, but still they remember their park visitor etiquette training an pose for a nice photo:

Meanwhile, a buffalo bull commutes to work:


You're on the clock, guys, get out there and eat grass:

On our way out of the park, we stopped at the Boiling River for a good soak:

Even among the crowds, Mrs ER and I found a quiet place where, over the course of an hour, we chatted with a Japanese family and some folks from back East:

Descending from the Mammoth Terrace, we found a herd of bighorn sheep ewes & kids grazing along the road:

And, at the Gardiner exit, a buck pronghorn antelope was on shift to say, "Goodbye, drive safely, and come again!"

18 comments:

JOE TODD said...

Great photos. Looks like you had a great time. I've visited the area but only by internet so far

Deer Passion said...

Ahh.. Looks like fun! I haven't been there since I was a little girl.. but I remember it as beautiful.

Janie said...

An entertaining trip through the park, viewing all of the "trained" animals. Yellowstone is such a unique place. We try to go at least once every year.

gone to the dogs said...

It a pretty impressive place! I've never seen elk ( we have caribou... are they related?).

Carol said...

Great photos and fun commentary...enjoyed the trip through yellowstone with you all...I hope to get there and see it in person one day..I have traveled all through Glacier National Park in MT and it was pretty awesome...

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Great photos. I can't wait to visit there someday. You made me want to go even more.

Judy said...

Great photos, and lovely commentary!!!

Eric said...

The first geyser picture is stunning, love it, great post!!

Have a nice SWF

troutbirder said...

I don't think we'll make Yellowstone this fall so thanks for the vicarious trip. Did someone take down those "this water is polluted" signs on the boiling river?

MJ said...

I've never been, but your wonderful photos have convinced me that we must finally make Yellowstone our vacation destination for next summer!

Quiet Paths said...

Great photos! That sculpture --- hmm, I think I've seen some of his work around. It was fun to visit Yellowstone this way; thus avoiding the crowds. Look at the people!

secret agent woman said...

Sometimes I'm just stunned by the great variety of beauty un this ountry.

By the way, whenever you say Mrs. ER I always think of emergency room.

karey mcglynn said...

what a sweet story. nice photos. looks like fun.

Lisa Wilson said...

I haven't been there since I was 8. We really want to take a trip there and camp, but it would have to be a July or August trip. I hope we can get into the backcountry and see as few people as possible! I know that's hard to do in any national park.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Some really beautiful and fantastic shots !! This National Park is really amazing..Great post..Unseen Rajasthan

tsduff said...

Enchanted with the raven :)

yellowstone national park said...

Nice post. Yellowstone National Park is famous for wide-ranging natural wonders. Tourists can experience its charm and magnificence. In Yellowstone National Park there are many animals like bison, mooses, elks, grizzly bears and wolves. Experience the sounds of Elk bulls in Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, they will become part of unforgettable memories of your lifetime. Sounds create a most enchanting and commemorating experiences. Book your tickets quickly to enjoy the exotic destination.

Lori Shyba said...

Beautiful shots. Reminds me I need to get out more.