Day Eight- Kirk and his traveling companions tour Yellowstone and see wonders from geysers to canyons, bison to elk. He continues his description of their adventures.
We got an early start with a step-on guide to the park and rode east to enter the West Entrance.
Among the thermal features that we have seen are the Madison basin. Here hot water pools, mud pots and geysers are heated from below when water and steam from the magma just a few miles below continue to heat it up.
We drove through Firecreek canyon, site of an earthquake collapse in 1959, which changed the route of the main road to the north half of the park. Now, it’s a one-way side feature of dramatic cliffs and sites.
The noon-hour found us at Old Faithful, noted because of it’s regular eruptions every 90 minutes or so. We shopped in the gift shop and looked at the old Yellowstone Inn (basically a giant log cabin) to kill the time. With a ten minute leeway either side, we found the eruption to be only about four minutes late, and lasted about four minutes. Hundreds had gather ed in a large semi-circle, far back from the opening. Though some said the eruption was only fair, it’s height was impressive to us. And we weren’t going to wait for another 90 minutes to compare.
The noon meal was at the Canyon Welcoming Center, and from there, we viewed the lower falls and the magnificent Yellowstone Canyon. Water colors of yellow, orange, rust and cream flowed down the walls to great the surging waters that pounded over the falls. The views were amazing, and many, many photos were taken from as many angles as possible. Selfies were snapped, and one won guest even posed with an inflatable whale as a joke for his facebook page!
We continued south and found Yellowstone Lake and several bison and an elk along side the roadway or at a distance in a field. But we never saw an actual bear, in all of our tours.
Leaving the park, we traveled south into Grand Teton National Park, and watched the large herds of bison roll past on one side, with the sharp Teton Range along the other.
We paused at the Welcome Center and arrived in Jackson Hole just in time for the dinner hour.
This high plains cowboy town is a mecca for the rich as well as the ski set, and many movie stars have property in the region. An international population are walking the streets in search of a meal and entertainment, and this evening, a shoot out was staged for the public just prior to our arrival here.
As we prepare to tour this resort town, we note how dry and clear the skies are, and remember that we are at high elevation, where the nights are chilly, the days are sunny and the water evaporates quickly. As a result, we must stay hydrated and not exert ourselves unnecessarily…until we adapt to high altitude, which could take four weeks or more.
But we will spend two days here before moving on to Salt Lake City and preparing to return.
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