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Thursday, June 23, 2011

We beat our record!

Today we beat our record from yesterday.  If you recall yesterday, it took us 3 hours to go 14 miles.  Today we did it in 2 hours!  We improved by 33.3%!  We were better prepared for the traffic and had brought along Carol’s IPOD with some podcasts for us to help pass the time.  And that really worked well.

The same stretch of road (West Yellowstone to Madison Junction) had traffic for the same reason – bison on the roadway.  Except today the traffic never really stopped, just went about 5mph at its slowest.  The bison were still at the same places and pretty much doing the same thing.  And the humans were too!  Unfortunately most drivers just stop in the middle of the road to take pictures.  Not smart!

Turns out that the bison are always in this area in May and June and so this is no surprise.  But everyone always hears how there are so many animals in Yellowstone and that they are so easy to see, I think when they first see these bison, they stop driving wherever they are and start staring and snapping pictures.


They really are all over the park.  Today we drove the southern loop of the park.


This loop first took us past Old Faithful again, though we didn’t stop.  Then we went down to Grant Village and West Thumb, so named because the lake seems to have a thumb on this part of the coast.  We had lunch at a picnic spot in Grant Village.


Yes, there is still some snow here!

The road between Old Faithful and Grant Village crosses the Continental Divide at an altitude of over 8,500 feet.  It crosses again a few miles further and a few hundred feet lower.  So I guess it is no surprise that there is still some snow in this area.

West Thumb had some thermal vents and geysers for us to see:


This was really a pretty day – better than forecast!


You can see the ramps they built to go over the thermal areas.


This was a really interesting “behive” geyser


This is a hot thermal pool but the water is really pretty


This pool is clear, but colored differently – not sure why


Some pools are full of dirty water like this one


You can see clouds beginning to grow

It did rain a bit on us while we were in this area and there was also some thunder from the dark clouds.


I’m going to save the rest of my pictures for a day when I don’t have anything else to say and show.

On the health side of things, last night I slept well and when I woke up about 3:30, my O2 reading was 94% which is great.  I did sleep with my window open which I think helped by allowing fresh air to come in and the already breathed CO2 to leave.

Tomorrow we plan to do the north loop and will try getting up earlier to see if we can beat some of the traffic. 


Donna K said...

Great pictures...glad you made better time today too!

Russ Krecklow said...

Good luck on beating the traffic. I know what you mean about people just stopping on the roads to take pictures. Happens all the time.

Those bison love to walk down the highways, because it's so easy for them. They are not good at sharing the roads with vehicles, however. They are very much single minded, and don't seem to worry about vehicles on the road.

You take care of yourself at that altitude, and don't over do things. I'm glad your oxygen level is looking better. You had me worried there.

Thanks for sharing the great pictures. If you find a good buffet there, let us know!

John and Ellen said...

Dave we have been enjoying both yours and Carols posts from Yellowstone. I wonder how the traffic would be late summer or early fall?