September 28, 2010

New Old Faithful Education & Visitor Center

On our way to see the new visitor center at Old Faithful, we could see what appeared to be a new mountain; actually, it was the smoke from the Antelope Fire.
A bull elk watches over his harem.

One last stop before the visitor center was the Firehole swimming area. Very popular in the summer, there were only a few here today even though it was a nice warm day in the 70s.

The Firehole is warmed by the runoff of distant hot springs and geysers.
Marlon couldn't resist taking this picture of the sun while here.

We finally made it to the NEW Old Faithful Education and Visitor Center which opened on August 25th.

Looks like snow on the roof already. Nope, just a design to make it look that way.

The 26,000 square foot building's price tag was $27 million, funded by both public and private sources.

The large windows provide a direct view of Old Faithful, which will be quite nice when winter arrives.

The building is filled with many different interactive displays providing information about all the natural features and wildlife of the park.
Here at Yellowstone, there are more hot springs and geysers than the rest of the world combined.

In the Young Scientist area geared to kids, you can watch a working model of a geyser build up pressure and erupt.

Here's a view of the new building from the walkway to Old Faithful.

The Old Faithful Observation Point can be reached via a moderate 1/2 mile hike ascending 200 feet above the Old Faithful Geyser Basin. We made it to the top with time to spare.

Doug decides not to get scalded by following the boardwalk since a small geyser was continuously erupting and landing on the walkway.

By the time we finished walking about the Old Faithful Geyser Basin it was getting late. Here's the visitor center at night.
For more pictures, click here or flip through the entire album below by clicking on the small pictures on the right.

To be continued...

September 21, 2010

Fall in Yellowstone National Park

We and Candice went into the park today to see some of the fall colors. This bison (or buffalo) was taking it easy in some of the grass that had changed colors.

This elk tried its best to blend in with its surroundings.

The grass around many of the geysers had already turned from green to yellow (or is that brown?).

The mud pots were still muddy.
Fall is here at Yellowstone National Park, but you have to enjoy it while it lasts.


We stopped by Upper Yellowstone Falls and captured these pictures.



Notice the steps on the other side. Who in their right minds would go down them?

Wildlife was all around us today. To see some of it, we had to keep a sharp eye out.

Well, we found our way to those steps in the prior picture. Uncle Tom's Trail has over 300 steps. Luckily, they removed the extra 200 steps and the rope ladders the trail originally had.

Looking down where the steps begin to the workout that awaits.

You want to hold onto the rails here and imagine that now you had to climb down some rope ladders too.

Down at the bottom, it was time for a snapshot and a brief rest.

We were standing on the platform to the right of the Falls when we snapped the first picture of the steps earlier.

The parking lot for the other side of the Falls is above this ridge.
A longer shot of the Falls.

The only problem going down Uncle Tom's Trail is that you eventually have to go back up Uncle Tom's Trail. Let the huffing and puffing begin!

Buffalo roam...

and wallow in the dirt.

One last look at the Buffalo.

In the distance, you can see the thermal water running into Yellowstone Lake.

I see you!!!

Human feet are bigger than elk feet.

This is the West Thumb Geyser Basin which sits next to Yellowstone Lake.

Time for a picture.

I guess humans use this trail so it must be okay to walk on.
I just want to get to the other side.

We have crossed the Continental Divide many times this summer.

It was getting late. Before heading home, we got these great pictures of Yellowstone in the evening.

For more pictures, click here .

To be continued...

September 20, 2010

Chief Joseph Scenic Highway & Cody, Wyoming

We decided we couldn't spend two summers exploring Yellowstone Park and not at least drive to Cody, Wyoming. So today, we headed that way.

As we drove through the park on our way, we got to see some of the colors of fall.

Someone was attempting to hide from us.

On our way to the northeast entrance, we passed through the Mammoth Hot Springs area and saw some lawn ornaments lounging around.

They were lounging around waiting for the male elks to determine who was head honcho.

Between Mammoth and the turn to Lamar Valley, we spotted a bear down below the road.

Going through Lamar Valley, we spotted a large herd of buffalo off in the distance.
Smoke filled the sky as Yellowstone's Antelope fire burned. It would subsequently grow to more than 3,000 acres by the following weekend. It had closed the Dunraven Pass portion of the Main Loop Road from Tower to Canyon.

Beartooth Scenic Highway and Chief Joseph Scenic Highway both gave more views of the colors of fall.

Look...it's a cow sitting by the side of the road.

When we stopped to take his picture, he decided to cross the street to stand with the other cows.

Chief Joseph has some beautiful views. Here are a few of them.


This pronghorn stopped just long enough for us to snap this shot.
Here is Cody, Wyoming. It's a nice little town with about 8,000 residents. We ate at a nice little place named Wendy's. She had red pigtails.
Next we travelled about 50 miles west on yet another scenic highway...the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway. Highway byway, byway highway.
Marlon took this self-portrait while standing on his stilts.
Here are a few awesome views from the Byway!

We covered more than 300 miles today and, as always, ran out of daylight.
We call this one Buffalo at Night.
For more pictures, click here .

To be continued...