Yellowstone National Park
Unlike anything else in nature, Yellowstone National Park stands as a must see on any bucket list. Karen and I were able to spend multiple days on the ground and one amazing morning in the air to see the park. It is evidence of how violent the earth can be. Yellowstone is essentially a thin layer covering molten earth. Any crack or crevice forms pools, geysers, mud pits that are both beautiful and deadly. Add in the abundance of wildlife (which carefully hid from us for most of our adventures) and it is a truly amazing place.
Many people have been to Yellowstone and there are pictures available in hundreds of places. So this blog post will attempt to focus on things that would be difficult for most people to see. Perhaps the most iconic is the aerial picture of the Grand Prismatic Spring. From the ground this phenomenon is not that impressive. From the air the colors of the microbial animals living in the molten heat become spectacular.
Lets start with a video that will combine aerial views with those from the ground. It runs about 8 minutes and is well worth the time to see even if you have been to Yellowstone. Maybe especially if you have been to Yellowstone.
We stayed in the Henry's Lake area west of Yellowstone. There is a grass strip airport there that is run by the state of Utah. It was a fantastic base to work from. We stayed at two RV parks, Red Rock and Valley View that were about 5 miles apart. It is remote, but easily accessible to Yellowstone. A person was attacked by a Grizzly bear in the area a month before we arrived, so we carried bear spray everywhere we went.
The ranching community surrounded the airport. I was treated to a small cattle drive while packing up the plane. Sailors would blush from the language. I talked to the owner for a few minutes about the trailer and plane. He was from New Jersey.
We took three drives through the park. While in the Tetons we found a great iPhone app that provides a guided tour that plays through your car audio system and used it in Yellowstone. It triggers when reaching certain GPS waypoints and is downloaded prior to travel so cell coverage is not necessary. We used GyPSy guide. The app will suggest stops and explain them in addition to background information about the area. It really transformed our travels and we will look to use them in other parks.
And lets finish this post with some images of Yellowstone.
Our next post will include the Flathead Lake area and Glacier National Park in Montana.