Yellowstone was one of my “must see” parks so I had made reservations well in advance and ended up staying 10 days and still barely saw everything the park has to offer. I stayed at Canyon Village and had my routes all mapped out into different sections so as to not miss anything and cut down on doubling back to save gas. I began my first day with a hike to Ice Lake. As I walked through the Lodgepole pines I felt as though I was a giant in the Land of Lilliput with new born pines no taller than me. There were a few elders scattered around, a reminder that what was once can become again.
At the lake I found a pair of Barrows Golden Eye Ducks that seemed to be the sole proprietors. As they swam in my direction I felt welcome.
At Norris I walked the Porcelain trail where I saw my first geyser explode when a killdeer landed in the distance.
Cistern Spring is one of many hot springs here. The brown, orange, and green colors represent species of visible algae and bacteria, each requiring a different temperature. As water gradually cools—by flowing away from its source—it creates lower temperature environments ideal for these colorful species.
"It is a place where the center of the earth finds and exit and gives us a glimpse of its soul."
--Ann Coe, painter 1998
"It is probably the greatest laboratory that nature furnishes on the surface of the globe."
--Gustarus C. Doane, military escort to the 1870 Washburn-Langford-Doan Expidetion.
In 1829 Joe Meek, a trapper wrote, “—and behold! the whole country beyond was smoking with the vapor from boiling springs, and burning with gasses issuing from small craters, each of which was emitting a sharp whistling sound…Out of craters issued blue flames and molten brimstone.”
On my way to Steamboat Geyser the wind picked up and I reached to tighten the strap on my cowboy hat when a man coming towards me said, "You need to snug up that stampede strap." I was in a whole new world with new expressions.
Emerald Spring is a 27-foot-deep clear blue pool, where the water is absorbing all the colors of sunlight except one—blue, which is reflected back. The yellow color from the sulfur combines with the reflected blue light, to make the hot spring appear emerald green.
As I drove on to the Artist Paintpots I passed a small heard of bison with their cinnamon colored caves.
I think the Artist Paintpots site was one of my favorites. It was a little smelly at the top but what a beautiful sight to behold.