Sunday, December 29, 2013

Oregon Bound: pt.8

Hey Blog World, it has been quite a long time! Since my trip out to Oregon I have made it through the first term of grad school at UO. Needless to say... it kept me pretty damn busy. That means that I didn't really have time to blog... and it would probably be safe to say that I didn't really have time to blink either! Anyways, here I am on Christmas break and finally getting back to blogging. So without further ado, the journey continues...

We pick back up in Yellowstone Park, probably the greatest national park in the entirety of this country. Around every corner lay a new exciting view, around every bend lay a new vista.

As I think I may have mentioned before, Yellowstone truly has it all: the mountains, the valleys, the forests, the plains. Even on a cloudy day, it's beautiful.

Dad with camera at the ready... sporting that America jacket
At one point we saw a small dirt road in passing along the main road, and I seem to remember it had Blackhawk somewhere in the name. I looked at my Dad and said, "Wanna try it?" There was a sign that warned that certain vehicles shouldn't traverse this terrain. But shit, this was the reason I got a truck with four wheel drive, right? We went for it. Unlike the main paved roads, this one was dirt, with more potholes from erosion that you could count. But the views that you got were pretty cool. We may have hit a lot of bumps and blown a lot of gas, but shit, when you're driving across the country, why not? Check it out:

out here, you're truly on your own... no traffic, no cars, just silence and nature

the infamous one-way dirt road
 On our way across the country, we had been trying to hit as many states as we could on the way, and since Yellowstone's borders spill over into Montana, naturally we had to go out the northern exit to check it out. We found a huge gate there that my Dad had seen once before when he traveled west after his college days had ended, and this was by far the coolest entrance to the park. The Xterra parked off the road on the right side was our chariot for the journey!

Upon reentering the park, the daylight was beginning to get sparse and we didn't have much time left. However, as we passed back through the gates to Yellowstone, passing through the main headquarters, there was one more thing yet to see before daylight ran out: Mammoth Hot Springs. The pictures here truly do not do it justice, as it is the largest hot springs in the country. Normally, there are many vibrant colors all around the springs, but since there was less water during this time (it was fall instead of spring) the effect was lessened, and also the sun was absent more or less, contributing to a (slightly) less spectacular sight. From the top of the hot springs, you can see down the valley into the depths of Montana, mountain ranges flanking both sides, the town of Gardiner, MT, basically the gateway "city" to the park.

the view from the top -- you can see the buildings of headquarters of the park in the distance

you can see some colors, but normally this is much more colorful and active because of the melted snow in the spring!

yours truly standing on one of the boardwalks around mammoth hot springs
On the way back to our cabin we stopped on a whim to see a geyser basin before we ran out of sunlight. It was so spectacular that we decided that we would definitely come back here the next day. It's so amazing that Yellowstone contains such geothermally active areas, and this is one of the biggest! Steam, constantly exploding out of the earth, with a roar and a putrid stench. Ah yes, the sights of Yellowstone. More to come!

dad admiring the geyser basin


  1. I was getting worried that you decided to stay in Ystone and be a hermit. Glad to hear all is well.


    1. Hahah alas I did make it to Oregon. Thanks for the concern Steve!

  2. when i come to the state, i'll make sure to go to yellowstone. i think i need to plan a road trip with my dad too.

    p.s : good luck with grad school! sounds like you work so hard for it. have a relaxing holidays! happy new year!!!

    1. Thanks Niken! definitely plan a road trip. Totally worth it. Happy new year and hope you are enjoying the holidays yourself!

  3. Nice to see you back, Greg. Your adventures to Yellowstone will for sure stay with you forever. Hey - it's almost 2014!

    1. Thanks Angie! Now I just need to catch up on reading everyone else's blog posts...


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