Pictures: Day 8

Day 8 / Friday, September 4, 2009

Heading north towards Tower Falls.

Looking east in the morning sun.

Fun mountain roads.

The thin shadows of lodgepole pine.

Expansive valley views looking towards Specimen Ridge.

Exposed columnar basalt lava rocks, near Tower Falls, which formed as huge floods of basalt from under the earth preceding the last mega-eruption.

Volcaniclastic sandstone canyon - the more porous sandstone erodes leaving behind the harder lava columns.

At the northern main entrance to the park, which was the first national park in the world, established in 1872, giving credence to the concept of habitat conservation.

I've been as close as possible to the North Pole and now, time to head south 45 degrees of latitude to the equator.

A beautiful buck across the river.

Close up of the buck.

Area Closed near an administration building at Mammoth Hot Springs...

The resident elk resting in the shade. One male bull and his large harem of females. They've grown used to the human presence over the years and rangers are always around when the elk show up on the lawns.

Canary Spring area of Mammoth Hot Springs. Hot water is bringing up dissolved limestone and as the pressure reduces near the surface, it releases carbon dioxide and forms travertine, making up the terraces.

The Canary name for this spring coming from the yellow filamentous algae growing just under the water surface.

Caustic pools with thriving microorganisms.

Water flowing off the terrace edge resembling an eternity pool.

A long dead tree slowing being entombed by the travertine.

Bacteria giving color to the travertine.

Heading south towards Norris Geyser Basin.

Looking out across the Porcelain Landscape at Norris Geyser Basin, shaped by hydrothermal activity. Click image for high resolution of the panorama.

Norris Info board.

Emerald Spring, looking green to our eyes as the sulfur and blue color due to minerals mix.

Emerald Spring info board.

Steamboat Geyser, the current tallest and largest geyser in the world, with eruptions reaching 300 ft, all though it doesn't happen too frequently and chances of witnessing it are low.

Steamboat Geyser info board.

She was constantly spewing out small spurts of hot water and steam.

Bison enjoying the warmth of the tarmac.

Soft shoulder... hard head.

The park ranger barreling down on the animal with siren blaring and lights flashing...

...driving the bull off the road, as we don't want to hold up our park guests.

Even around mid-day, bison were out in huge numbers. It really is a joy to see so much wildlife in their element.

The Grand Tetons from Colter Bay.

Taking the paved route towards Lander, WY on US-287.

Crossing the divide.

Rocky vistas of the Teton National Forest.

Twisting road heading into Dubois.

Heading south towards Lander.

Riding the beautiful Red Rock Highway.

The red rock canyons reminding me of Capitol Reef in southern Utah.

Mr. Shadow, showing up as the sun sets on remote roads.

The clouds doing a dance around the setting sun.

Looking back towards the setting sun, near Atlantic City, WY.

Next: Day 9, Great Divide Basin into Colorado

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