Thursday, September 24, 2009

Part 2 - Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

All photos will enlarge when clicked on.

Part One of our Yellowstone trip can be seen at this link.

This is the beautiful North entrance to Yellowstone National Park located in Gardiner, Montana. It was the first major entrance for Yellowstone, and is also known as the Roosevelt Arch. The architect Robert Reamer designed the immense stone arch for coaches to travel through on their way into the park. At the time of the arch's construction in 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt was visiting the park and placed its cornerstone, and the arch became known by his name. In the early years of Yellowstone National Park, most visitors came through the North entrance, and visitation increased in 1903 when the Northern Pacific Railroad reached the adjacent town of Gardiner.

The top of the Roosevelt Arch is inscribed with the phrase: "For the benefit and enjoyment of the people." This phrase was taken from the Yellowstone National Park Act of 1872.

Here we are standing underneath the arch on the second morning of our park visit, excited to have another full day of exploration ahead!

The 45th parallel of latitude sign, It was nice to know where we were in relation to the rest of the world!

Undine Falls in Yellowstone National Park, are located a few miles east of Mammoth Springs. They are 60 feet in height.

The Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins

Information from the lodge website:

"Named for Yellowstone enthusiast Theodore Roosevelt who regularly visited the park, this rustic log lodge and cabin facility was built in an area of the park that was a favorite of Theodore Roosevelt.The rustic cabins and family style dining are a favorite of families and fisherman alike. From the front porch guests can rock their stress to sleep and awaken their "Old West spirit." A large corral operation offers horseback trail rides, stagecoach adventures and our popular Old West Dinner Cookout, where the steaks are tender, the wranglers are friendly, and the scenery is breathtaking. Park accommodations are non-smoking, televisions, radios, air conditioning, and Internet hook-ups are not available. In-room phones are not available at all locations. Cell phone coverage is very limited throughout the park and swimming pools are not available. "


A view of the Roosevelt cabins from the lodge's front porch. It was no frills and very rustic, but I think I'd like to stay in one of these cabins for a night or two if I am ever lucky enough to visit Yellowstone again. It would be the closest to camping that I'd be willing to experience.

The Tower Falls are 132 feet in height. There is a long winding trail that leads from the viewing area down to the Yellowstone River at the bottom of the falls. Yellowstone has almost 300 waterfalls in total! Many magnificent falls can be found in the back country, well off the major roads, and therefore only reached by walking trails.

Herds of bison were seen in so many areas of the park. The ones above were roaming in the beautiful Lamar Valley. It was good to see so many of these animals that were once almost driven out of existence by over hunting and poaching, returning to grace the land again. The average amount of bison in Yellowstone numbers around 3,500.


An adult bull bison may be six feet tall at the shoulder and weigh 2,000 pounds. They can run up to 30 miles per hour. Yellowstone visitors are gored every year, because they venture too near to them in attempts to get photographs. It is very important to treat all animals in Yellowstone as wild and dangerous animals!

Members of The Yellowstone Association Institute conducts wilderness lessons and seminars. Members can be seen in the photo above on a ridge observing animal behavior. I was fortunate to be able to observe a black wolf family from one of their high powered telescopes.

Pronghorns along a ridge of wild sage. The Pronghorn is the fastest North American land animal, capable of reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. Up to 40 million of these graceful animals used to roam North America, but hunting and the settlement of the West reduced their numbers to as few as 20,000 near the turn of the century. There are about 5,000 present in the Yellowstone area today.

A pronghorn enjoying the sunshine.

Fly fishing for trout in the Lamar River

Such beautiful scenery wherever you go in the park!

The roads in Yellowstone are very well maintained. Much of Yellowstone, however, is truly a wilderness, only able to be explored by foot.

In winter many of the roads are closed to car traffic; snowmobiles and sleds are the main source of transportation.



We were lucky to see a female moose and her calf feeding in the Mount Washburn region. They are normally very reclusive animals so it is hard to view them from the road.

A cow moose protecting its young can be a very dangerous animal, so this was an occasion when I was fortunate to have a zoom lens! I was really hoping to see a male with his distinctive antlers, but I felt fortunate at least to see this wonderful hungry pair!

Do you notice the thick blanket of new trees growing among the dead tree trunks in the photo above? Yellowstone survived a devastating fire season in 1988. The summer of that year had less precipitation than normal and more than 793,000 acres (36% of the park) were affected by fire. Over $120 million was spent and 25,000 people participated in the firefighting effort, the largest in U.S. history. It was rainfall and early snowfall that finally put the fires out in September. Although the aftermath of the fires can be upsetting to see, fires can actually be good for the ecosystem of a forest. The ash releases many nutrients into the soil and Lodgepole pines, the predominant tree in Yellowstone, actually needs temperatures above 113 degree Fahrenheit in order for their pine cones to open. Most of the wildlife population showed no effect or rebounded quickly from the fire. The fire of 1988 helped scientists learn how ecosystems recover. More than 250 fire-related research projects have been conducted in the past two decades, examining the fire's impact on wildlife, water and vegetation.

I am adding this post to the "Theme Thursday" blog event -- today's theme is "Wild" Thank goodness the National Parks are preserving the wildness for future generations! Click on the link to see other blogs participating into today's "wild" theme.

In my next and last in this series of Yellowstone blog posts I'll show you Old Faithful and the beautiful Old Faithful Inn, plus many of the other amazing hydrothermal features. This was our favorite area in the park!

25 comments:

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wow, this vacation gets better and better. lucky you to have seen that moose family.

cherie said...

very beautiful shots!

Karen said...

Fantastic pictures of your wonderful vacation.
I've been there too and though pictures are fantastic there is nothing like seeing it all in person. It would be nice if everyone could a have a chance go there.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

First let me say that I am in love with your recent travel posts!! I was watching CBS Sunday Morning (my fave) and they interviewed Ken Burns about his new National Parks docu-series for PBS. You totally should have been on the production team! :-) The series looks like your posts...and I am sure you will be glued to the tele. :-)

Thank you for taking me on vacation with you. Aside from the Grand Canyon this year, I really haven't seen a lot of the National Parks in the U.S. Yellowstone and Grand Tetons...here I come!

xo, Laura

RNSANE said...

I haven't seen Yellowstone yet though I have been to the Grand Canyon. It is wonderful to view breathtaking "wide, open spaces" in our country. We actually have buffalo in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco but not like the herds running free at Yellowstone!

Thanks for this nice vacation, Pat.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Your pictures are amazing. This is a trip that I would love to take. I especially like the shots you got of the bison, waterfall and moose.
♥, Susan

Queenmothermamaw said...

I know you had a great trip and you have done an amazing job of photographing and describing the area. I would love to go there. I have never been further west than Austin Tx, which looked just like the south I live in. There is a buffalo herd south of me on I 65 near the Mammoth Cave area. My daughter lived in a southern town near there for many years and we always enjoyed trying to spot them. She moved so we haven't seen them lately.
QMM

Claudia said...

This brought back such sweet memories of a family road trip to the great Park. I will be glued to Ken Burns documentary on the parks next week! It is definitely one of America's best ideas!

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Pat, these are fabulous pictures. I especially loved the waterfalls. You seem to have had the most incredible trip. Wyoming is beautiful!

Junie Moon said...

What a great vacation you had. I so want to go to Yellowstone and when I do I'll remember your posts about it.

Juliana said...

Love the pictures...bring back memories from our vacation in Yellowstone a few years ago...thank you for sharing it!

Betsy said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time! Welcome back to blog land! :)

Cynthia said...

You are always doing such fun things!

I'm so glad that you like the cobbler, makes me wish I could have some right now :)

Tom said...

would love to visit someday... i saw somewhere that they discover new waterfalls in Yellowstone every few years...much of the interior is still very hard to explore....

...mmm... said...

Wow, those pictures are lovely s are the amazing waterfalls. not really my cup of tea mind you--well not if I have to drive that far to go see it, but nice to see here anyway. I am lucky though that i have the splendour of colorado sunsets form the comfort of the highway here.

Maggie's garden said...

Oh give a home...where the buffalo roam! =) Fantastic photos. Looks like a fun time.

Megan said...

Ha! My brother took my son along on their trip to Montana this year and they took a side trip over to Yellowstone. I've got pictures of them standing at some of (almost) the exact same spots!

Did you have a wonderful time? It sure looks like it!

Gracie said...

Thank you for making me feel as I was in the setting of "How The West Was Won".........

Baino said...

Thank you . . beautiful photos and those waterfalls are very reminiscent of some we have here but deer, bison, totally alien. . .but totally wonderful.

Paz said...

What a wonderful place to visit. I love all the animal shots. ;-)

Paz

Melanie said...

What a beautiful place. I like how they are re introducing grazing animals into the area so the landscape can be kept just as it used to be.

Patrice said...

spectacular. Wish I could go there too. And by the by - Buddy Bo is a charmer.!

GMG said...

Would definitely love to get back!

Oliag said...

wonderful, informative posts on Yellowstone Pat! Thanks!

Vee said...

Beautiful indeed. Beautiful, gorgeous, well words fail, don't they? Loved seeing the photo of the two of you tucked by the gate.