Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yellowstone the Jewel of the National Parks - part 3

The next morning brings clearing skies but it is still cold and a little windy in the morning. Today I further explore the thermal areas drawn by the bright colors and elaborate patterns I am reminded of how nature is the master of abstraction. Unique forms of algi with the capability to survive in extreme temperatures form crusty patterns in the shallows.

This eye shaped pool seemed to be looking at me. Could this be the eye of Yellowstone?

Boiling water, steam and red mud.

Pools of azure blue and white ash.

Algi forms abstract patterns in rust colors and unique textures.
Terraces of mineral deposits created over hundreds of years of time untouched by humans. I am taken back in time to a world before humans. I can understand the need to preserve these places for future generations. They are pure.

Long into the day I shoot and travel the roads that are open. It is still early here so many roads are closed and snow covered.  I will need some special permission if I am going to go into the closed part of the parks. I will look into that tomorrow.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Yellowstone the Jewel of the National Parks - part 2

The journey into the park beacons me ever deeper with the raw power and beauty of a vast natural wilderness. I am now clearly entering the path less traveled. They say you should not come to Yellowstone until you are old, because once you have seen it you will no longer need to seek out any other beauty for Yellowstone will fill you to overflowing with it's many fabulous environments and it's grand wild animals.


 Soon I am confronted by the great volcanic environment as I come upon this sign. There are elevated walking paths designed to protect visitors from falling through the thin crusted thermal layer into boiling pits that are scattered throughout the park. I for one am grateful for the work done here by the park services.  Clearly it has taken decades to do all that has been done to make the park an enjoyable experience for all who come to bask in it's wonder.
The pools of hot water look inviting on this cold Spring day but I am told that there are no bathing areas because they are more acidic then battery acid. So I won't be jumping in to any of the clear blue pools no matter how inviting they look. This becomes clear as soon as the wind changed and blew the steam in my face. The acrid smell made me realize that I should not breathe it and from that moment on I am careful to avoid the clouds of gas that are blown about by the changing winds.

It is spring, but no one told Yellowstone as I am caught in a fast moving sleet storm, thankful for my rain poncho, I keep my camera dry but I am soaked from the waist to my feet. The rest of the day was marked by strong wind and rain with temperatures in the low 30's. Tomorrow I am hoping the skies will clear. I pack it in for the day and head to the camp ground.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Yellowstone the Jewel of the National Parks - part 1

When you enter the gate you feel something different about this park, something about it is grander and more magnificent then most other parks. As I drive the road in from the south wast entrance it all seems normal then the river appears to my left and there are buffalo grazing on the far shore, an eagle soars overhead letting out a cry as it lands in a nest atop a tall tree. An elk darts across the road a hundred yards ahead, I sit up in my seat now straining to see the next great spectacle.

I don't have long to wait though as I round a turn a group of bison are on the road, I break and slow to a crawl. There are 4 or 5 of them just walking along without a care in the world, I slowly pass and I am given a glance by a large bull with big horns. I drive up to the next pullout and get out my camera gear to set up for the approaching herd.  I feel like a kid again, my hart races with excitement and a touch of apprehension as I will be out of the car as these 400lb plus beasts pass by me.  I have now been in the park less then a half hour and I am thrown back in time when wild animals roamed free upon the land.

The drive into the park opens to wide vistas of unspoiled landscapes, herds of Bison and elk range free in the fields. I begin to relax into a feeling that I have arrived at a pinnacle of my long journey through the National Parks. Yellowstone was the first and it is easy to see why. From the vistas to the thermal activity to the animals there is so much to take in. I will spend the next three week in the park and camp in my car a good part of the time.

Yellowstone is so big that I will present it in several parts over the next weeks and months. More to come!