|Old Faithful, the icon of Yellowstone|
We did a tour of the volcano mud pots with a park ranger, a retired biology teacher who works during the summer and goes home to Virginia at the end of the season. We learned the four different types of geothermal activity in the park: geysers, fumeroles, hot springs, and mud pots. The colors are amazing and in one area called the Porcelain Basin the rich turquoise, orange, copper, and yellow reminded me of Indian pottery – beautiful! There’s one area called the paint pots, but we didn’t stop to tour that area. There just wasn’t time to do it all.
|Simmering pool in the Porcelain Geyser Basin|
Speaking of wildlife we saw quite a bit. Buffalo were all over. We were stopped by a group in the road on our way in from the east entrance when we arrived. One night in the dark we almost hit a large bull sauntering along in the road. He obligingly moved over to the other side to let us pass. We saw elk, but I can’t claim they were in the wild. One group was lounging around next to the parking lot at a visitor center. Another group were in the grass around the lodge in Mammoth. They apparently have no fear of people, but the park emphasizes with signs everywhere to keep your distance. They have many more injuries from charging buffalo than from bears.