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.