Saturday, May 26, 2012

Yellowstone National Park, WY (Day Two)

We started Day Two at the West Yellowstone visitor center so the kids could turn in their Jr. Ranger workbooks and become Yellowstone Junior Rangers:

Well done kids!

The bison welcoming committee was out again this morning and really showing off!  These two were butting heads.  They must be brothers :)

Then we were blessed with an extra special treat... a momma and her brand new calf!  We were there very early in the season and we didn't think we'd see any calves yet.  The Lord was so sweet to let us see this one!

The bison continue to charm us throughout the day, as they joined us on the road...

Surprises are around every corner in Yellowstone!  You just never know who is going to be
meandering down the road :)
Monty, are you eyeing me????

Sometimes they come in herds and they block the whole road!  We followed these guys for quite awhile before we finally got around them.  I can't imagine how bad traffic must be in the middle of summer when the bison take over the roads!  The traffic jams must be terrible!


Um...this is *MY* park!
More friends around the park...
Our male grizzly bear from yesterday was up walking around today!  
Our lunch time Elk companions...hanging out next to our picnic table!
(There are 5 or so in the shade, too!)
Our first stop for the day was Mammoth Hot Springs at the north end of the park.  We hiked around the terrace trails...It was interesting, but not our favorite spot.  Yellowstone NP the world's largest collection of geysers and thermal activity.  This means that there are lots of interesting features and lots of smelly sections. :) 


Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces



I think the sulfur smells were going to our heads :)

This was the most exciting find in the Mammoth area:
Any guesses as to the animal these bones belong?
We headed back down into the park to explore a new area...the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone!  Since we didn't make it to the real Grand Canyon on this journey, we enjoyed this area.  The view from the North Rim...



I love seeing a rainbow over my kids...ALL of God's promises are yes and amen!



The kids loved throwing snowballs over the rail...it's amazing how far they fly when they also have a HUGE vertical drop!

We have more park to explore, so we started heading to Yellowstone Lake.  However, we had a HUGE distraction on our way:

A momma grizzly and her two cubs!  What an amazing surprise treat!!!
We stopped and enjoyed watching this little group walk across the hillside:
Yes mom, we were a safe distance away ;)

They went from snow patch to snow patch.

They were so fun to watch.  Just before I took the picture below, the bear on the bottom of the snowbank slid down it, just like in nature movies.  :)
Can you see where the bear on the bottom slid down?  :)  The other two bears learned from him
and they walked around.

See all the bear tracks in the snow?  We set out to find some where they started near the road.   And the kids found some!

Fresh tracks!

What other exciting things await?
Mud volcano:


Yellowstone Lake from Fishing Bridge:

I think this is so funny...Fishing Bridge:  Closed to fishing!
There are little geysers or hot springs at the edges of this lake that keep that area from freezing.
We had a great two days in Yellowstone.  It was a treat seeing all the wild animals.  It was fun finding them!   The park wore us out, so we took the next day off and rejuvenated at the camper.  We needed our rest to get ready for our jaunt down to the Grand Tetons!

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