Thursday, June 26, 2014


We’ve written about our previous visit to the nation’s first national park on our first trip of this odyssey, so I won’t add a lot here, just some observations and differences from previous visits.


Since reading a lot about the fact that Yellowstone is actually one of the biggest volcano calderas in the world, driving through this wonderful park takes on a new meaning, and a little fear. Just a little because, although there are small earthquakes here all the time, the last major eruption was more than 600,ooo years ago. This image is of mud volcano, which is one of the many vents pushing up smelly steam from deep in the earth. Will there be another major eruption? Sure, but not likely in the lifetime of anyone reading this nor their great, great, great, great, great grandchildren. But, one never knows.


The waterfalls haven’t changed much, but there seems to be a lot more water.  That’s probably because there’s been a lot of snow this winter, so the Yellowstone river falls are looking quite spectacular.

The biggest change that Penny and I noticed relates to the wildlife seen along the park roads.


We first visited Yellowstone in 1970. At that time the predominant animals seen along the road were black bears. You could hardly drive two miles without being stopped at a “bear jam” with brilliant tourists getting out of their cars to hand Yogi or Boo-Boo a sandwich. During our 2009 visit we saw nary a bruin. We were told the Park Rangers had started a bear re-education program to keep the bears and tourist separate. It was obvious that trying to education the tourists about the danger of treating a 300 pound wild animal like a house pet wasn’t working out too well. This year we saw just two bear jams, and only a few geniuses got out of their cars.


The predominant animal now is clearly the American bison, and based on the numbers of baby bison we saw, they are multiplying like rabbits. And there were bison jams—miles of bison jams.

In addition to bears and bison, we spotted elk, mule deer, andDSC_0359 ground squirrels. We kept looking for moose, but didn’t find any. Perhaps if we actually got out of the truck and walked along some trails we would have found a moose or two, but then again, there’s grizzly bears on them there trails, so who needs moose?


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