Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Yellowstone National Park

The first week of September we visited Yellowstone National Park, the oldest and first national park of the United States. It was one of those trips that we had always wanted to do but just hadn't gotten around to. To say that Yellowstone is huge would be an understatement. The Grand Loop which is about 150 miles of road covers only 1/5th of the park. The region is diverse - meandering rivers, waterfalls, canyons etc.

What it is most famous for, though, is that it is one of the most thermally active regions in US and probably the world. The place has a huge history of volcanic eruptions. And there are numerous hot springs, geysers, fumaroles, mud pots all across the park.

Its not just the fuming earth that one sees. There is mud throwing up with fumes, looking like paint pots going plop, plop. There are rainbow colored hot water springs because of the silica deposits and thermophiles at the bottom of the springs. There are also the numerous geysers throwing up water hundreds of feet up in the air at different times of day. Some are regular like the famous Old Faithful while others are irregular, they blow up whenever they feel like it, once in a few days, months or sometimes even years.

There is plenty of wildlife too. Elk, deer, bison, beaver, bear and numerous birds are all in plenty. We saw "Bears" allright, loads of them at close quarters, at the IMAX in West Yellowstone. So much for it being called bear country. But we saw numerous elk and bison. They were everywhere. There is no way one can visit Yellowstone and not see these. "Wildlife jams" are common early morning and in the evening. Either its a bison on the road slowing traffic down or its a bull elk bugling about near a river, attracting so much attention that people stop their cars right on the road to see whats happening.

This one particular bull elk that we saw near Madison River was notorious for causing jams. We saw it cause a jam each of the 5 days we were in the Park. The first couple of days we actually stopped, but later our main aim was to sneak our car through the jam as quickly as possible.

More (selected) pictures from the trip to Yellowstone can be viewed at this link

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lake Yellowstone

I have been absent for a while but thats because we were moving and travelling more and there was just so much to do. Well I am back... and hopefully will be regular, because there is so much to catch up on.

And for those who have been bugging me about pictures from my Yellowstone trip, here's a teaser...with more to follow soon.