From the Archives
Almost a year has passed, and we are actually planning another trip to Yellowstone in May. We're hoping to see more animals this time, less with the geothermal features.
I will start with the additional pictures.
In day 1 and 2 I mentioned the forest fires of Yellowstone which burned thousands of acres of land. My previous post mentioned an upcoming photo. including original text for reference.
Thursday morning we woke up and headed towards the lower loop of Yellowstone. Passed through the newly growing forest of Madison. In 1988 there was a huge fire that devastated much of Yellowstone. Last time I was there, there were solid hills, mountain sides, and fields of nothing but black earth. 5 years later all the new trees have started coming in, and yes, it is actually very fascinating to see the re-growth of the forest. Some places the trees are 2 feet tall, some they have gotten as high as 10 feet. I have no explanation for the difference of height. Yellowstone being the great experiment of determining how best to let nature do it's thing, while letting humans roam about as well, decided in 1970 to let fires put themselves out. Well, the great fire of 88 they had to step in because it was out of control. Anyway, long story short, it really is fascinating to see such a large portion of forests start from scratch. My mom is really upsetthey let this fire go as long as it did, I feel they did the right thing of letting mother nature do what it does best. The fire was naturally caused, and actually one of the species of trees cannot reproduce without fire. (really cool useless fact) I think it is a perfectly natural process of a forest to burn, recycle the materials and start over.
As you can see this forest is rapidly... well it seems that way, really slowly, recovering from the fire. Here the trees are about 6 feet tall, and you can make out a few of the trees that remain standing after the original fire. Not black earth anymore, in fact a vibrant beautiful landscape of young lodgepole pines.
Also in the day 1 and 2 blog, for the life of me I could not get my darn photo of Fishing Bridge to post, I don't know what the deal was so here is the original picture I tempted...
Really cool bridge isn't it?
The infamous Moose story (with better pictures)
We we're mostly through Dunraven pass when we got stuck in one of the all too common animal jams along Yellowstones roads. Due to the area, and the size of the jam we all thought it was a bear of some sort. So we pulled over, I hopped out with my camera, and walked down the road quite a ways to find this moose.
I snapped a few pictures and went back towards the car. Almost there My mom is ambling down the hill with my dads camera. She hollers down the road (we are about 50-100 feet apart at this point)
"WAS IT A BEAR???" (She’s shouting so the caps is appropriate.)
"NO, MOOSE!" I shout back
"NO MOM, MOOSE, MOOSE!!!!"
"NO! MOOSE!!!" I put my thumbs against my head fingers up to represent the antlers of a moose "MOOSE!!! MOOSE!!!!"
"THERES TWO OF EM!???!?!?!" At this point we're about 10-15 feet apart, I shake my head and keep walking.
"Moose mom. Its a moose. Big rack though"
"OOOOH,” she exclaims. “I thought you said two of em. Big rack you say?" Handing me the camera "Dad wants a picture of a Moose with a rack, last moose we saw didn't have one." Great. So I grab the camera and head back DOWN the hill to snap more pictures of a moose chewing its cud. This is where I managed to get the rangers ear for a minute to ask about Fossil Ridge so that at least was good. Upon returning to the car I look at my mom, put my thumbs against my head and say:
"Mom. MOOOOOOOOOSEEEEE" while waiving my fingers wildly back and forth.
"Well I can't see you that far away!" We have a good laugh the rest of the way down Dunraven Pass. My mom has since had the at the time unknown cataracts fixed and can see quite clearly now. In fact no longer requires the glasses. All the better to give her grief about the (thumbs against head, fingers in the air) MOOOOOSEEE story. hehe. I love my Mom.
And here are a few pictures of us infront of some of the sites.
Landis and I at Mammoth Hot Springs
Large Buffalo on the road.
Towards the end of my vacation I was starting to think this was the same buffalo every time. This is where we passed the First buffalo ambling down the road, like it is his own personal path. Then there was the one we almost hit, heading strait down the road. Then there was one crossing fishing bridge, and of course the one in mammoth. All 4 instances the buffalo was heading down the road, not across it. The above picture my dad leaned out the window and snapped as he idled by. Seriously I don't think the car stopped moving, luckily neither had traffic.
While in West Yellowstone, I did a lot of gift shopping. I picked up several unique shot glasses.
these are the ones I picked up during my trip.
I also got some beer steins I picked up one for me, and a few for friends. Apparently a berry named Huckleberry only grows in this area so after trying the huckleberry ice cream (awesome try it) I picked up some Huckleberry Honey/Jam and Huckleberry Vinaigrette. The honey/jam is awesome on an English muffin. The vinaigrette... not so much on a salad.
Lastly to summarize the vacation it probably rates the highest on my list for several reasons. The nostalgia, and finding those spots I so vaguely, or so strongly remember as a child. The reconnecting with my parents, and my parents connecting with Landis. The awesome luck we had with the geysers, and the all around relaxing good vacation. I'll say it again, everyone should see Yellowstone during their lifetime. There is so much to see and do, you can go several times and still not see everything. I bet there are people who have lived there for years and have not seen everything.
Coming Up: Andrews Guide to the Yellowstone vacation and... Do You Really need to spend 6 hours in the car to view geothermal features?