Uprooted Magnolia

Yellowstone: Living Landscapes

Posted in Nature, Photography, Travel by leahyetter on June 13, 2016

We stayed in Gardiner Montana, just near the  north entrance of the park. Located about 5 miles from the entrance is the Mammoth Hot Springs, our first stop in Yellowstone.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Mammoth Hot Springs is a large complex of hot springs on a hill of travertine, a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

“It was created over thousands of years as hot water from the spring cooled and deposited calcium carbonate (over two tons flow into Mammoth each day in a solution). Because of the huge amount of geothermal vents, travertine flourishes. Although these springs lie outside the caldera boundary, their energy has been attributed to the same magmatic system that fuels other Yellowstone geothermal areas”- Thank you, Wikipedia

©Leah Yetter Photographer

It was a cool morning but the steam coming from the springs warmed us right up.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Detail shots of mineral build up.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

It’s quite a hike touring these hot springs and fortunately there is a boardwalk to steer us in the right direction.
Just look at those two.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We sat for a bit to take it all in then took to the road to make our way to Old Faithful, one of the most predictable geographical features on earth. It erupts every 35 to 120 minutes. Our plan was to have lunch at the Old Faithful Lodge and sit out and watch this geyser shoot boiling water up to 185 ft in the air .

©Leah Yetter Photographer

But it’s so hard not to stop at every turnout to admire the great scenery.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Here, we stopped at Roaring Mountain. Roaring Mountain is full of microscopic organisms wearing away at the mountain amid the sulfur rich gases. It is inhospitable to humans but is the perfect home for heat-loving microbes.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We loaded back into the van and headed south. We came upon a long line of cars about 10 miles or so from the Old Faithful Historic District. We sat for a while and waited. And waited. You expect long lines and a lot of traffic through the park but we felt something bigger was going on. Plus, at the time of year that we were there, the crowds hadn’t made it to the park yet. Surprisingly so far, the crowds were not that big. So we flagged down a driver coming the other direction and in her thick and kind British accent, she told us that a large herd of Bison had parked themselves in the road and weren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. So, we turned around and made a different plan. We found lunch and happened upon some wildlife along the way and finished out the day admiring the gorgeous landscapes. More on that tomorrow. 🙂