Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Montana: 4/17/2010 Yellowstone

Last night Erika and I arrived in Billings, MT and Jesse picked us up from the airport. Since it was such a long day of traveling we pretty much hit the sack as soon as we got to his house. This morning we woke up pretty early and started the 2.5hr drive to Yellowstone National Park. The drive was pretty uneventful but even in the plains it was a nice change of scenery from Florida. Once we got into the little town at the Mammoth Hot Springs entrance we stopped at a small information station and got some information about what roads were still closed and where there had been wildlife sightings. We finally got into the park, which was actually free because this whole week at all National Parks there is no fee to enter as incentive for people to visit. We started driving into the park and were immediately flooded with large mountains, rivers and low running valleys. We decided to go to a waterfall overlook that was pretty close and when we got there it was nice to just sit and listen to the water. We decided that since the weather was looking a bit harsh, we would put off hiking until tomorrow and just drive the park seeing the things that could be easily accessed from the car. We started at the Mammoth Hot Springs which have a wooden trail winding around and through them because the ground is so unstable from the volcanic activity that much of the seemingly stable ground is really just a thin crust and would quickly give way to the weight of a human body. The hot steaming water was flowing from the springs down the side of the rocks and over time has left sulfur deposits that range in shape and color from bright red, round bubbly looking terraces to dark grey, steep ledges that look like stair steps build by a blind man. We walked around for about an hour looking at the variety of shapes, textures and colors that were presented by the flowing sulfur water. We left the hot springs and started making our way to the Old Faithful Geyser which was about a 2 hr drive away. Along the way we stopped at various geysers and hot springs that were accessible from the car, stopping in many areas to take pictures of the plethora of Bison that were roaming the fields, or even roaming the roads. We finally arrived at The Old Faithful Geyser and when we got there they said it was going to be about 30min until she would erupt again so we made our way over to a little cafeteria and got something to eat. We made it back to the area where the great eruption is supposed to occur and sure enough about 2min after we arrived (along with about 150 asians) we saw what many people come to Yellowstone for, but to us it was slightly anticlimactic. I mean, the fact that it has been erupting on a schedule for so long is impressive, but the eruption itself is hardly anything to get excited about. We left that area a little disappointed and made our way to what is known as the “Grand Canyon of Yellowstone”. When we got there it was a pretty big canyon with a large waterfall falling into it. We drove around the top of it and took a few pictures and then made our way back to the entrance of the park. We went to our hotel and checked in where the small town hotel manager asked if Jesse had a genuine credit card, to which Jesse responded… well, he wasn’t exactly sure what the guy was asking so he just gave him the card. We dropped our bags and then went to eat at a bar/pool hall/ casino/restaurant. We had seen so many Bison that they were starting to look yummy, so in good taste we each got a large Bison burger, which was delicious. We headed back to the hotel and crashed.

Jesse and I at the Grand Prismatic Pools
Us at Mammoth Hot Springs


  1. great comments and pics. Thanks wish we could all be there together.

  2. great photos. hope we can take some while you are here too!