Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yellowstone National Park, June 2012

 I always heard about Yellowstone National Park and it's Natural Wonders. And I knew that it was big and one of the favorite National Parks in the USA. The fact that it was the first protected National Park in the whole World fascinated me. And now I know why it's so special. This Place on earth is the most wonderful place I've ever seen! It's like an other world...a paradise of wonders and surprises. everywhere you look there is Nature in it's most beautiful way. We arrived on a cold and snowy day. When we went over the pass on the east side. We went through a snow blizzard!
But right after that the winding road went down to Yellowstone Lake. The first thing I noticed was the forest... it was all burned. It was crazy to see all the dead wood. Or how my son started to mention..roasted trees.

On our way to Wyoming
Look a Choo choo!!!!
 But down at the Lake the green started again and we met our first Bison's! They were crossing the road. That was cool...but the most interesting thing to see was the steaming hot springs along the lake shore. because it was such a cold day we saw the steam from far off. At first you would think something was burning in the distance, but when we came closer to those hissing places we realized it was hot boiling water!
It was already evening when we arrived at the Fishing Bridge Campground. We set up camp and went to sleep.
Our first wild Bison!!!!
 It was still very cold the next day, and there was even snow on our FJ cruiser. I was glad I had enough warm clothes for the kids.
The first thing we wanted to see was the Old Faithful geyser. The one Geyser you just know from Pictures and stories. On the way west we stopped a couple of times to take in the scenic lake shore of Yellowstone lake. How big it was !!! it somehow reminded us of "Vier wald St├Ątter See" in Switzerland. also because of the snowy mountains in the distance
 The  road let us around the lake to our first hot springs and geysers that we stopped and looked at. Wow! how incredible it was! the sound of the bubbling ground. the steam that was rising from those water holes. It was very cold and we just went a bit around it on those board walks. when we got into our car again I started to get the feeling that I stepped in to an other world. I was  in total awwwwww about what I just saw. I wanted to see more. I specially wanted to see more of the colors that stroke me the most.
Look at the color! Isn't that beautiful?!
So we came to Old Faithful and found a bench to sit and wait for the Geyser to go off. all around this aria there was steam raising from the ground. Old Faithful got it's name because you can always count on his water fountain to go up in the air. and that like every 1 -1 1/2 hours. A lot of people gathered around it to see this natural wonder. And it really was a neat thing to see when the Water started to go up in the air. 
 back on the road we made many other stops at different hot spots. specially one place I really liked. The hot pools there were turkois blue! the first one I saw was milky color and the next bigger pool was a clear glowing blue! and with all the steam that came of it, you really felt like you were looking at Magic waters. the water that runs off at those pools colored the rock Yellow, Orange, Red and brown! so the color contrast of it was something incredible to see! I really tried to capture this but of coarse I was not able to get it on Camera how I wanted it. those places are those things that you need to see yourself to really understand the power of it. We made a lot more stops like that that day and came home in the evening in total amazement of the beauty of this Park.
Steam from a hot Spring pool. I just loved how the people sometimes disappeared in it!
Hot and Cold! I always wanted to see something like this! It looked so cool!
Just amazing!!! So Beautiful to feel the Power that was all around us!!!
The first Bison that I was able to capture like that! Little did I know that there will be sooooo many more on our journey to see. But this one was probably the biggest we saw!
The next day we went to look at some more Bison's in a more grassy aria. the day was a bit warmer and the sun was shining. We looked at Dragons Mouth Geyser and went on a short hike around those bubbling mud holes. The kids had fun imagine Dragons that were in the roaring steaming cave and dragon tracks and mud baths that the dragons had to bath in.
Dragon's Mouth. This was sooo cool! The sound of it was like a deep roaring rumble! It sounded like a dragon living in this cave rather this was his Mouth :-)
That is where the Dragons take a bath.
Sour Lake
Looking for something to spot :-)
yes I got it!!!
 That day we also visited the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. We had an other WOW experience there. Oz really liked the Water falls. this canyon made me very nervous though. OMG this Canyon was steep.! I tried to capture the high of it but it was imposable! An other thing you just have to experience yourself to really get how high it is.
You would not expect to have a view like that anywhere else then Grand Canyon national park. It did reminded me a bit of that. I also didn't expect it to be this powerful for the eyes! It was so big! There were many spots that we stopped at and looked at the Canyon. I even spotted an Bold Eagle's nest up on a high rock! There was a young one in it and waited for it's Mom to bring food. I would have loved to stay longer like all the other Photographers and just wait for the Bold Eagle to fly to it's baby. But it would have taken a long time and the kids were not so patient to just look at a nest all the time. so we went on.
upper Fall
Lower Fall
This is on top of the upper fall that we saw first. there is a short walk way to a small terrasse where you can look down to the water falling over the cliff.
Lower Fall from the over side
This is a Bold Eagles nest. There is a Baby inside :-)
 We were heading back home to our RV. We stopped at a place that we drove by in the Morning and the day before and I really wanted to take Pictures of this view. I loved how the creek below was winding itself through the grass. It looked very cute!
The next day we wanted to head up north to look at the Hot springs there. It's the only place in the park were the hot water came up in the ground through granite stone and there for was building up terraces and other build up sculptures on the surface of the ground. We went on a short hike at the place and let some people walk by us with mentioned to them...go first so you will be first eaten by a bear. ;-) the people laughed and went on with their hike up the high hill through the beautiful forest. It was magical this forest! and on that point I want to mention all the Forests in Yellowstone were magical! even those where the new young pine trees were growing and replaced the  burned old trees from the big fire that happened in 1988. specially those woods were magical and special...because it showed us that even after something tragical like this big fire there will be new life! beautiful life! just an other thing I was in awwwww with and more then ones said WOW about those young proud trees ready for their take on life!
This was called "Roaring Mountain"
an other cool Water fall!
I love this Photo!
This was once a spring and building up itself. is now dried up but the tower still stands.
 we were looking at those hot springs with it's terraces and then went on with our Yellowstone journey. On the way east we stopped at a petrified tree. It was a red wood tree that was burned in volcanic ash million years ago! very cool!!! and it was still standing!!! Just amazing!!
Can you see the Black Bear? we were not able to stop with our Car and look. so I took this Pictures from the car window when we drove by. this Mommy Bear was walking right behind a bush right then. There was a Bear Cup too!
 So tower fall was next on our list to see. It was higher then the others that we've seen before. there is a path that goes down to the to the bottom of it. but it would have bin too much of a walk for the kids so I put this on the to do list when we visit Yellowstone again in the future, we just looked at it from above.
I like this Photo of my Boys from above. you can get the idea how high it was!
 What we really wanted to do that day with the kids was going on a cook out stage coach wagon tour. It was a cool experience to ride on a wagon and the Horses pulling it in front. The kids enjoyed the half hour trip to the valley where there was good food prepared and cowboy music. It was very cool! the trip back was better then going to the cook out. we met some Bison's that where rolling into the dirt right by the road. So we all made a loud Yiiihaaaa noise to tell them to stay away from us. and they did. We had a great time! The kids enjoyed the bison's all wild and I enjoyed listening to the Story's that the one tour guide was telling on this ride. She was telling about the early travelers that were here at Yellowstone. the expeditions that were made at this amazing place. I found those story's very fascinating. But did thought that some of the things that the guide was telling us were false. there were things that just sounded really fiction. But still I was sooo fascinated by the fact that the early time tales of this place with its wonders was told to be fantasy story's by the mountain men that went hunting Beavers in the mid 1800ts. the people that came to Yellowstone  knew nothing about all the things that were here. So when they went back home they told about it and all the people said those men were nuts...those story's are not true. But after awhile and that was some time later. there was one expedition on it's way through this place to really see what it was all about. One Man of this expedition got lost in the woods and without horse nor food, in the bitter cold, burned by a hot spring...wild fire and trying to make fire...and frost bite all over survived Yellowstone for over  a Month! Incredible I thought when this tour guide was telling his story and what came next. I just wanted to know more about it. I wanted to read about the men that came here and wrote about the things they had seen here. the same things I had seen. So I bought a book about the early travelers in Yellowstone. Really cool to read about their experiences. And it was great to read the real stories about those men. That survivor story is the one I really like the most. He explained a lot of things on his trip that I've thing I thought was cool. He was telling about Yellowstone lake...He was cold and he took off his broken boots to walk through the warm sand on a sandy beach. I did the same thing just days before I bought the book. The sand on The lake is a dark gray color and takes up the warmth of the sun very well. We went to a beach on a cold day and felt the warm pleasant sand under our feet. But this survivor was alone and had to go through so much hurt and fear and loss. I just was amazed when I read those things...It just made my struggles so much less important. I mean we went on a trail and were hopping not to meet any Bear. I was even concerned of the thought of it.
..laughable to the fact that some men in the early days got in a lot more danger.
yiiiiiiihaaaaaaa...get out of the way!!!!!
our rest of the stay was nice. We went to old faithful again to look at it at a sunny day. I also wanted to see those turkois waters again in the sun. I thought the blue color must be more bright in the sunshine. But I was wrong! those smaller pools that were that milky color were not that interesting anymore! I was very surprised and glad at the same time that I got to see everything on that first day when the weather was so cold and cloudy. But the bigger pool was as bright as the first day and the yellow and orange color came better on Camera. We made some other stops that day where I was able to see things that we did not the first day.
This is Isa Lake! Today my favorite lake in the world. Because it's uniqueness was so special!

this spring is more beautiful in person then on this Picture. It was boiling and bubbling and looked so cute!

This Picture came out very cool! The sun was shining but it was also cloudy. there was rain coming.
Our last day was nice. We stayed at Yellowstone lake and did that trail hike that I was mentioning before. it was short, but perfect for the kids. it went to a sandy beach where we ate our lunch and let the kids play.
He added some stones to the Names.
 and here a collection of the old Faithful Geyser.
We were leaving Yellowstone with already thinking on coming back. Oz even said He will miss it. and I left Yellowstone with the feeling I've seen the most beautiful things in the world. I've learned so much and was in awwwww the whole time. I've seen many national parks before and was in love with them all. Some have carved many impressive images of their beauty in my mind and all have something special. But Yellowstone stole my heart. No wonder it was the first protected nature Park in the whole world. The people that discovered it the first recognized it's unusual character and just knew it was unique and very special. I'm thankful of those Men that went on that expedition. They recognized the importance of making sure to make it a protected National Park.