Thursday, January 2, 2014

Oregon Bound: pt.10

Picking right back up where we left off, the last image we saw was of a bison chilling out in a field in the sunlight. And that is where he stayed... until we left to move on. I get the feeling that bison don't exactly move much. Which would be why I think that they'd be a much better source to become the American burger. Seriously. Bison > Cows. And taste better. And honestly, look cooler too. Horns over udders, giants beards over whatever you want to call a cow's face. Anyways...

We continued our drive through Yellowstone. By this point, we had seen more or less the big things that we wanted to see. The cool thing is, there are often little hidden treasures just a hop skip and a jump off the beaten path -- if only you know where to look. Of course, you may also run into these things out of pure dumb luck as well, which is what happened in the case of the river. I decided that I wanted to stop at a random pull off (one of what had to be hundreds in the park) and I'm so glad I did. What we saw next was a neat little section of rapids where you could literally go out almost over the water as it cascaded down through the rocks.

eh, kinda cool... what happens if we walk a little further... 
looking down the river, where my dad found an outcropping of his own
It was well worth the careful walk out onto the rocks. And it is here where a humorous anecdote arises. I had chosen this spot, the one where all of these photos were taken from. In the second photo, looking down the river, was my dad (somewhere). I don't think he's visible in that photo, but he ended up somewhere down there, next to a few other folks who had walked a little further down the road. They saw me, as I was perched right above the water, and the guy said to my dad, "Hey, look at that guy out there in the pink shirt." Sure enough, that was me. My dad replied, "I see him; that's my son!" I'm sure I made you proud, Dad. He eventually came out for a look of his own.
there i am, being artsy above the river (pic courtesy of dad)
We then diverged from the main road, and ended upon a road that took us right alongside a huge gorge. The pictures don't really do it justice. The roads in Yellowstone, more or less, follow the river, and it just so happens this often yields some of the most picturesque photos. These were no different, and after parking the car in generously sized pull off  that thankfully was not on the side of the gorge, we walked across the road to take a gander.
capturing the bend
 We headed to one more potentially interesting location that I'm pretty sure was named the Painted Pots. There are several spots like this, where the exhausted steam sort of combines with muddy areas and creates awesome colors. Apparently though, these are a lot more interesting in the spring when there is more water to sort of hold the structures that are created by geothermal activity together. It's always cool to see the geothermal activity, but this one didn't impress us too much. Always nice to get out of the car though, and this one spot included a nice little walk through the woods from the car. Note in the second picture that the trees look quite young. Forest fires are not only common, but necessary. It helps prune back old growth and allow for new growth to come in. You can sort of tell the age of the surrounding forest from the height of the trees! Pretty cool.
painted pots? artists pots? who knows
a perfect day
 We then headed back to the geyser basin we had barely been able to catch before dusk hit the night before, and it was well worth the trip back. It was totally different seeing it during the day rather than at dusk. One thing that always amazed me is that you walk across all this geothermal activity on these dinky little boardwalks. There are warnings galore about not setting foot on the ground and how everything is unstable and you never know what's going to happen. Kinda makes me antsy that I'm basically walking across wooden planks on top of all this nonsense. But, that's just what they do! Also I'm aware that the picture of me is pretty washed out. But it's kinda like I'm molding into a part of the landscape, no?

geyser basins galore
that trademark pink shirt again
liked the sky in this one

perhaps too many pictures of geysers now...
 The highlight of the second day in Yellowstone happened on our way back to the cabin for our last night there. We had seen about all we wanted to see, and were chewing up the pavement en route to the Lake Lodge and our place of residence for the past two days. It's often common for traffic to back up in places where something exciting is happening, and sometimes that is when someone sees a wild animal. Out of nowhere we came to a dead halt, and had no idea what the deal was. After a long day of driving, a traffic jam was the last thing I wanted. Instead we got a real treat. As I poked my head out the window, I saw was all the hubbub was about: a herd of bison, lazily trotting down the road. Big ones, small ones, calfs, and more! Seeing them walk right by your car window (I wasn't about to get out of the car now) really gives you an idea of how huge these guys are!
we can use the roads too, you know
what you looking at
 After some priceless pictures, we got ready to end the night with dinner and good night's sleep, feeling totally fulfilled at all we had seen in the park. It's one of the most beautiful places in the country hands down, and going there is something that everyone should do in their lifetime. If you haven't been, GO. More to come!
a herd of bison in the valley


  1. hahaha,
    i'd like to go with the idea of bison for burger. though i'm not sure if they're taste better than cows. and you're right. they look like a group of badass who drive harley. led by mickey rourke. ha!

    at least if you lost, it won't be hard to describe. 'you see the guy in the pink shirt?' ;)

    1. I've had both and I think the bison burg was far better!


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