2022 · Days of The Week · Wildlife Wednesday

Western Raven (Corvus corax sinuatus)

“Hello! Welcome to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park! I hope you have had a great trip so far?!”

Common ravens have coexisted with humans for thousands of years and have been so numerous in some areas that people have regarded them as pests. Part of their success as a species is due to their omnivorous diet: they are extremely versatile and opportunistic in finding sources of nutrition, feeding on carrion, insects, cereal grains, berries, fruit, small animals, nesting birds, and food waste. Some notable feats of problem-solving provide evidence that the common raven is unusually intelligent. Over the centuries, it has been the subject of mythology, folklore, art, and literature. In many cultures, including the indigenous cultures of Scandinavia, ancient Ireland, and Wales, Bhutan, the northwest coast of North America, and Siberia and northeast Asia, the common raven has been revered as a spiritual figure or godlike creature.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_raven

2022 · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · South Dakota · Travel Tuesday · USA

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota 2010

Leaving Wyoming, we entered the Black Hill National Forest, where we made our way to Mount Rushmore. But first, we drove through Custer, passed Crazy Horse, and looked at some interesting stone formations, while driving on US 385 and US 244.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial & Keystone, South Dakota

After visiting South Dakota, Kevin, the kids and I made it to Nebraska for the night. That night, they had a lot of tornado warnings. So, we tried to find a motel as soon as possible. The following day, all the storms were out of the area. And we could make our way all the way back to Dallas, Texas. We were happy to be back home.

~ THE END ~

2022 · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA · Wyoming

Along US Highway 14, Wyoming 2010

It was time to leave Yellowstone National Park. We still had quite a way to drive to South Dakota. But in the meantime, we enjoyed the landscape along US Hwy 14. There were some cool mountain peaks and stone formations. We passed the Buffalo Bill Reservoir before we arrived in Cody. Cody had only one room left, due to a famous rodeo in that area. But we were not willing to pay over $200 for a tiny room. So, we had dinner and moved on. We made it through the Bighorn National Forest before we got into a motel close to Sheridan.

The following morning, we all cleaned up, had breakfast, and were ready to drive the next leg to South Dakota. All these years, I still wish we made it to the Devils Tower. But due to a time crunch, it was either the Devils Tower in Wyoming or Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. We chose the latter. It’s another reason to visit Wyoming again. ūüėČ

… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA · Wyoming

Along The Lake & The River In Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 2010

Once we left the campgrounds, we were on our way to drive along Yellowstone Lake and Yellowstone River. It was pretty smoky in some areas due to the fact of a wildfire in the park. The helicopters were frantically working on keeping the fire under control. However, it wasn’t bad enough that we had to evacuate Yellowstone National Park. Before we arrived at the Upper Falls of Yellowstone River, we saw lots of bison in the meadows and close to these vent holes. These bison are used for the sulfur stench. As long as they are warm, they didn’t seem to mind the smell of “rotten eggs”.

The Upper Falls are very interesting. But the famous Lower Falls don’t disappoint with a height of 308 feet (94 meters), while the Upper Falls are only a third as high with 109 feet (33 meters). The Lower Falls are nearly twice as high as Niagara Falls in New York/Ontario. Since the Yellowstone River bends in this area, the Upper and Lower Falls can not be viewed on the ground at the same time. Katelynn didn’t mind “modeling” in front of the Lower Falls back then. Now, she’s happy she has photos to show of her trip to Yellowstone National Park.

When Kevin turned around to exit the park at the East Entrance, we still could see a lot of wildlife: more bison, elk, ravens, and a young grizzly bear. We didn’t know, if the bear was already old enough to be on its own or Momma Bear is hiding out behind the treeline. Nope! I didn’t want to chance it. I told Kevin to keep his window up, and I photograph through the glass. In the early evening, we finally exited Yellowstone and drove US Highway 14 towards Cody, Wyoming.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowstone_Falls: Video of the Lower Falls 2019

Lower Falls

… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA · Wyoming

Midway Geyser Basin In Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 2010

Midway Geyser Basin: Exelsior Geyser Crater – Grand Prismatic Spring

The next stop was Midway Geyser Basin at the Firehole River. The Midway Geyser Basin is very famous for being the home of the Grand Prismatic Spring. The Grand Prismatic Spring is famous for its size and colors. With being deeper than a 10-story building and larger than a football field, it is the thrid largest hot spring in the world. The Grand Prismatic Spring gets its rainbow colors from the bacteria that lives in progressively cooler water. And the water scatters the blue wavelenght of light, and therefore the center reflects blue back to our eyes.

The Excelsior Geyser Crater is a dormant geyser, but a steamy blue spring. It is so hot, that the runoff water is still boiling, when it hits the surface of the Firehole River. The last time the geyser erupted about 80 feet (25 meters) high for two days was in 1985. Back in the 1800s it could reach a height up to 300 feet (90 meters).

When we visited, we also could see wildlife and wildflowers across the river. We’ve seen a big male bison grassing in the meadow, a relaxing female elk, a couple of ravens, and a big Flame Skimmer dragonfly. There were also wild roses and beautiful pine trees in the area. After the Midway Geyser basin visit, Kevin and I called it a day. We all were hungry and tired for walking around. Sara needed a small nap, before we had dinner at the camp ground. That night, we went to bed early to have an early start the following morning.

… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA · Wyoming

Lower Geyser Basin In Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 2010

From the Norris Geyser Basin, we’ve traveled up to the Lower Geyser Basin, which is inside the Caldera Boundary and the largest geyser basin in the area of Yellowstone National Park. There we looked at the beautiful Silex Spring, the Fountain Paint Pot and watched the Great Fountain Geyser erupt. It was windy in that basin. so, we felt the water from the geyser hitting us like raindrops. Katelynn seemed to enjoy it. Along the walk from the car to the boardwalk we noticed some beautiful flowers like Variable Groundsel and Blue Penstemon.

… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA · Wyoming

Norris Geyser Basin In Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 2010

When Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I left the Mammoth Hot Springs, we passed the Antler Peak to get to the Norris Geyser Basin. At the Norris Geyser we saw Steamboat Geyser and Emerald Spring. Unfortunately, we missed out on the Artist’s Paint Pots, Monument Geyser Basin and Beryl Spring. This means we need to go back to Yellowstone National Park again. ūüėČ

Steamboat Geyser is the world’s tallest active geyser. It’s located in the Norris Back Basin. It has unpredictable, infrequent major eruptions of more than 300 feet, and frequent minor eruptions of 10 to 40 feet. As comparison, Old Faithful can vary in heights from 100 – 180 feet.

… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA · Wyoming

Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces In Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 2010

Once Kevin, the girls and I crossed the state border back into Wyoming, our next destination was the Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces. There are some interesting facts about the springs:

At Yellowstone each year, the rain and melted snow seeps into the earth. Cold to begin with, the water is quickly warmed by heat radiating from a partially molten magma chamber deep underground, the remnant of a cataclysmic volcanic explosion that occurred 600,000 years ago.

After moving throughout this underwater ‚Äúplumbing‚ÄĚ system, the hot water rises up through a system of small fissures. Here it also interacts with hot gases charged with carbon dioxide rising up from the magma chamber. As some of the carbon dioxide is dissolved in the hot water, a weak, carbonic acid solution is formed.

In the Mammoth area, the hot, acidic solution dissolves large quantities of limestone on its way up through the rock layers to the hot springs on the surface. Above ground and exposed to the air, some of the carbon dioxide escapes from the solution. Without it, the dissolved limestone can’t remain in the solution, so it reforms into a solid mineral. This white, chalky mineral is deposited as the travertine that forms the terraces.

Resource: https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do/geysers-hot-springs/mammoth-hots-springs-inside-cave/

… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · Montana · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA · Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming & The Roosevelt Arch In Gardiner, Montana 2010

The following morning, we were ready for our first trip through Yellowstone National Park. Since our campground was in West Thumb, west of Yellowstone Lake, we had to drive all the way up north from US 191 & US 89 to make it to Roosevelt Arch in Gardiner, Montana, which is also the North Entrance of the park. That’s where we wanted to begin our journey. On the way up there, we saw our first Grizzly in the wild. The bear was making his way up the hill, before it disappeared behind the tree line.

In Gardiner, we enjoyed lunch at Rosie’s, before we looked at Roosevelt Arch and made our way back into the National Park. The distance from the arch and the Montana/Wyoming state border is exactly 3 miles.

… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA · Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming 2010

Since Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I still had to wait for our camping site to be ready in Yellowstone, we visited Grand Teton National Park. We’ve entered from the Moran Entrance Station and drove north on US Hwy. 191. Along the way, we’ve made several stops and walked around to enjoy the view. One of the ladies in the Souvenir Cabin mentioned to us, when we visit next time to make Grand Teton our priority. Everyone wants to go to Yellowstone National Park, because it is more famous for its hot springs and geysers. But the real beauty is in Grand Teton National Park. I’ve heard that before about Australia and New Zealand. Most people want to go to Australia; but New Zealand has the real beauty. I have to keep that in mind, before I plan another trip to Wyoming.

… to be continued …

Happy National Wyoming Day!

2022 · Colorado · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA

Denver & Fort Collins, Colorado 2010

Denver, The Mile High City

In July 2010 we went on a trip to Yellowstone National Park. Sara was nine months old. And it was her first trip outside of Texas. We drove from Texas through Oklahoma and Kansas, where we spent the night in the car, before moving on to Colorado to get to Wyoming. In Colorado, we bypassed Denver and made a stop in Fort Collins to get out of the car and move around for a while. Katelynn was happy to walk and get her legs stretched out. And Sara needed another diaper change. Kevin and I were surprised that Sara handled the ride very well. And she was barely fuzzing. A full tummy, frequent diaper changes and a goofy older sister seemed to help a lot during the trip.

… to be continued …