Yellowstone

 

Yellowstone 7/22

This is certainly a big park with a lot going on. There are hundreds of geothermal features – it is really a volcano.

Volcano

Volcano

 Some of the old eruptions here have dwarfed Mount St. Helens. It is one of the major geothermal hot spots in the world.

It is home to a lot of animals, some buffalo that you can get real close to.  They are actually dangerous - can run 33mph and can weigh 2000 pounds.  Some visitors get gored every year.

Buffalo

Buffalo

Also  elk, bear, deer, etc.

Bear

Bear

There were even pelicans.

Pelican

Pelican

 

 We crossed the continental divide in 3 places while driving around. There are many tourists everywhere too. We did find campgrounds for 3 nights in 3 places – two of which we reserved a day or two ahead.

One of the things I hadn’t realized is the number of great streams and lakes in the park, and there is good fishing, some of it catch and release.

nice river

nice river

 

Yellowstone Lake is large and the home of cutthroat trout and whitefish. Somehow Lake trout got into lake and they are thriving there. It is a great trout – but they eat a lot of the cutthroat trout, so they are trying to control them by gill netting them as well as having no limits on the catch. They consider them a non-native species. You can even hire park guides to go catch them. They have 23′ boats and charge $83/hour. This time of year, the lake trout are about 20′ deep and they use down riggers to catch them. Later they get down to 50′ Saw one party come back with 6 nice ones about 20” each, didn’t ask how long they were out.. You have to release any cutthroats you catch and you have to kill the Lake trout you catch. They have caught Lake trout up to 30 pounds. So far this year they have gill netted or otherwise caught and killed about 54,000 Lake trout. You can bring in your own boat or even get dock space there for a week or a season. There are some hot springs in the lake in some places. The marina rents rowboats and small outboards. I didn’t see canoe or kayak rentals. I asked, they don’t rent sailboats anyplace. With all their talk about saving energy, you would think sailboats would be an environmentally friendly option.

 

We watched Old Faithful erupt, along with about 1000 other people. We did see a lesser known one erupt just by chance, because it isn’t as well publicized or regular. The number of mud pots, hot springs, sulfur springs, boiling cauldrons, etc is amazing. Some are almost as acid as car batteries. There is a law about using the geothermal energy in the Yellowstone region.

 

Thar she blows

Thar she blows

Many photos later.