Yellowstone, Day 2

One of the most important parts of our trip was the Road Scholar staff that set it all up.  I am sure that I would have wondered around the park and seen only a part of the good stuff.  Mary and Catherine had us to where the best stuff was, well fed, well rested and  on the bus as needed.  Dr. Catherine Raven  had been a Ranger, a fire fighter and was book smart and street wise.  Her insights made the bus time all worthwhile and out on the paths told us all about the trees, the geological sights and the animals.  It was clear that she liked the female Bison better than the Males.  Several times she pointed out things that the bulls did that the cows didn't.  The bulls rolled in the dirt, poked their horns into the bark of the trees and generally did a lot of activity "Just because they could."  

Bison Bull just watching the Tourists go by
The area around Mammoth Hot springs is named after the size of the place not the Woolly Mammoth.  There are pools of hot water forced up out of the grounds that look like a field of kiddie wading pools that spill over each other forming the giant pools of water and as the water drains it leaves dissolved minerals in layers.  It was well up the hill from our cabin and Barb and I didn't walk all the way to the top.

This is the pools as the water spills down the hills

This is the layers of minerals close up.
Near the bottom of the pools there is one feature that stands out.  The early travelers thought it looked like the hat worn near the French Revolution.  It was formed by the mineral laden water being forced top shoot through the small home and then deposited.  I am sure that the face profile was erosion and not visible when the feature was first seen.

French Hat


Sink Hole
One of the things you need to be careful about in the park is the sink holes.  The hot water just melts the early rocks and if you get off the wooden paths you just might find yourself swallowed up by a sink hole.   Some of these holes have hot water in the bottom and some of the normal looking ground has hot mud just beneath the surface.

One thing that I thought would be a waste of time was the Stage Coach Ride we went on.  The early travelers got off the train and boarded stagecoaches for the Grand Loop.  They toured from hotel to hotel on the stage coaches.  When the Park Service wanted to set up stage coach rides, they took the old stages out of storage.  An auditor came in and said the original stages were not in good shape for daily use.  He also told the Park that the stages were worth about $100,000 each and now they are in museums around the USA.  The new coaches are a look alike but have a lot of modern things like hydraulic brakes.  It was really neat to see the park from atop a stage like the early travelers did.  Another prejudice proved wrong. 
Boarding the early bus, er Stage
Did I mention that we walked about 12,000 steps each day.  These pictures don't show all the details of our day but rest assured that most of us went to out cabins at the end of day 2 and slept hard and long.  I am sure that Barb stayed awake a little longer than I did to read.  Me, out like a light. 

Just as a side note, Barb and I tried to vary who we ate with.  Day two was Prime Rib steak dinner with our coordinator Mary.  Barb gave me a lot of her steak and I went to bed with a stomach so full that I could have skipped breakfast, lunch and most of dinner the next day (I Didn't)  See you tomorrow for day three.  Did I mention Old Faithful yet?


No comments:

Post a Comment