Yellowstone National Park
In its waning days, the Bush/Cheney Administration is moving once again to eliminate life-saving protections for wolves and again allow states to kill these magnificent animals. Limpy -- the celebrity wolf from Yellowstone that had an injured leg and was long admired for his courage and tenacity was among the wolves gunned down. Over a hundred wolves were killed the last time the Bush Administration lifted federal protections for wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies this past Spring. Take action to spread the word or help support these vital wolf-saving efforts with your emergency, tax-deductible contribution here.
Welcome to my Yellowstone National Park page. The park was amazing from the magnificent, stinky, steaming geysers to the great herds of wildlife grazing, bathing, and wandering throughout the fertile countryside. We saw Roosevelt elk, deer, bison, pronghorns (that was on the way to and from Yellowstone, though), and more geysers than it was possible to remember. Unfortunately we didn't see any coyotes, wolves or bear, but we did see a bull fight between two young male bison! I was grateful for getting to see that... apparently, it was mating season. The wild flowers were in bloom in certain areas and we saw a gorgeous orange sunset blanketing the canyon wall. The animals will come right onto the road which is good for shooting photos but you have to watch carefully all the time... and be sure to keep your distance, especially from the bison! Remember that these are wild animals and we need to respect their space and interfere as little as possible. Some sobering stats: Over 100 large mammals are killed by vehicle mortality each year at Yellowstone. Sadly, in 2003 a favored female grizzly "#264 Obsidian" who was known for her good nature and tolerance of tourists, was killed by a careless motorist. If you ever do make it to Yellowstone, please be extra cautious when driving in the park at dawn, dusk, nighttime, or anytime for that matter.
The geysers, vents, and geothermal springs at Yellowstone were very colorful, fascinating and beautiful. Many of them had hot, brightly colored layers of algae covering their wet surrounding soil in elagant formations. Numbering around 10,000, some of the geysers make loud noises like car engines and others are just silent and bubbly like hot, stinky, chalky milk. We saw Old Faithful which erupts every half hour, I think. The earth's crust under Yellowstone is under 40 miles thick, unlike most other land areas which sit on 90 miles of crust. Magma, underground molton rock, is the engine that drives the geysers to erupt and they couldn't exist without the hard minerals and rocks under the thermal basins that withstand intense heat and pressure. Earthquakes also play a major role in upsetting the delicate balance of geysers. Near midnight on August 17, 1959 an earthquake, epicentered twelve miles north of West Yellowstone near Hebgen Lake, shook eight surrounding states. It measured 7.1 on the Richter scale, formed a twenty foot displacement, and carved a slab from a mountain side which dammed the Madison River. In Yellowstone the thermal activity increased. Geysers began to erupt, some with new vigor. Dormant geysers awoke and hot pools surged with excess water. The earthquake also caused some geysers to decrease in activity and shut others off completely.
We had a terrific time touring the park ...which was enormous. We ate dinner at this steak house in West Yellowstone one evening and check out all the bugs we saw in the street lights! It was unreal! After we left Yellowstone we continued on down to Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole, Wyoming for his company trip where we stayed at The Four Seasons for a few days. The Grand Teton Sawtooth range was really something. We were going to do a hot air balloon trip there but high winds put a stop to that.
These beautiful environments are at very real risk of being permanently ruined by the effects of global warming. Here's a good place to learn about ways to change your lifestyle habits that contribute to global warming: Green Living Online or you can click here to contact your elected officials and be annoyingly persistent in pressuring them to support green power, higher mileage standards for vehicles, and other environmental causes. Photos are below. Just click on any image to make it larger.
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