Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Roadtrip Day 034

Roadtrip Day 034

8/11 Tuesday

Note from yesterday: I forgot to mention that we saw two bison on the drive to the falls. That was excellent. Ok, moving on to today…

Got up and got moving early to hike the Lower Terraces before crowding and heat. Perfect. Lots of photos and videos of spectacular formations. Truly otherworldly.

Then, some time at the Visitor Center to do wifi stuff. Loaded days 30-33 on the blog, returned and checked out several library e-books, checked e-mail, and a brief check-in on Facebook. Slow connection makes all that more cumbersome than it needs to be but it’s still magical future stuff. Consider, I returned books to and checked out books from my local library while I’m at Yellowstone NP. I’m living the sci-fi novels of my youth here in the sci-fi scenery of extremophiles and boiling waterfalls which spew steam clouds above noxious pools of sulfur-smelling water. Cool!

Anyway, after that, we drove South to Norris where there are lots of geysers, including “Steamboat” whose claim to fame is “tallest” when having a major eruption. We hiked the Steamboat loop and watched Steamboat spew quite a lot of water but no major spew. The last was September ’14, then next is unknown. The loop contains many fascinating discrete formations and the whole area is a bizarre landscape covering a while lotta ground. Our mutual favorite was Vixen. Not a monster like Steamboat but a friendly, human-scale hole which erupts reliably every 5-10 minutes.

When we finished the loop, we thought about the other loop there, to Porcelain Basin but we were ired and decided to put it on the agenda for tomorrow.

From Norris, we turned East and followed the “Norther loop” of Yellowstone roads, the first section of which took us to 8900 feet and spectacular views (to the South) of the approximate caldera of the supervolvano which underlies Yellowstone.  Magnificent vistas of meadows, forests, valley, and mountains.

The second section took us past scenery which was animal-friendly but we saw nothing on this day. Maybe tomorrow.

A beautiful and tiring day.

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