The Beauty that is YellowStone and the Grand Tetons
Grand Canyon of YellowStone
YellowStone National Park
I have been struggling for the right words to describe our visit to Yellow Stone National park and its neighbor, the Grand Tetons. Maybe thats part of the reason it has taken me so long to get this post out. How do you take what has taken nature thousands of years to create, and in a few words convey the majesty that is this part of the American west?
It is my hope that using the pictures Jan was able to capture, and my poor attempt to describe them as you look at this landscape, that at once looks so pristine, and at times looks like an alien planet, will do it some justice.
Our journey starts out in Cody Wyoming where we made our base camp at the Cody KOA. We decided to stay here because it's location lies 45 minutes from the east entrance to the park. What we did not know was that just 15 minutes east of our base, was a large expanse of BLM land that is the home of a wild horse herd that still, to this day, roams free on the range as they did 200 years ago.
As you can see, these magnificent animals are beautiful, and as for this one, they also have attitude. Jan took many pictures of them, but for some reason this one is my favorite. I'm so glad we got our jeep as it took some off road 4 wheeling to get out to them, but so worth it. We went back to see them several times between driving up to Yellowstone.
One of the reasons we had this trip on our Bucket list was the chance to see nature and wildlife up close in their natural environment. Well we did not even get into the park before we came across these two yearling cubs.
Jan really did a great job with this shot. These two first year cubs where by a stream and just out for a stroll. Unfortunately there is some sadness to this shot. The east entrance road to Yellowstone is winding and has many spots where you round a bend and you don't know what is out there. It's why they have a low speed limit. Well, people being what they are, not everyone obeys it.
As we watched these two, we kept an eye out for the mama bear, as Grizzlies spend their first two years with mom. But we did not see her. We later read in the Cody news that a female Grizzly had been hit and killed on that road, the thinking was these were her cubs.
This winter will be hard for them to survive as they would be learning from their mom how to hunt and prepare for hibernation. While we may never know if they made it, I hope they do, we do know it's all because someone was in a hurry to be somewhere, and that hurry impacted 3 bears lives.
Grand Prismatic Springs
Heres the part where YellowStone looks like an alien world. I'm sure you guys have heard that YellowStone sits in the caldera of an active ancient super volcano. All around you while you're in the park, you are reminded of this as the ground around you vents the super hot gasses that escapes out through vents and heats water to a point where if you were to fall in, you're toast, or maybe stew would describe it better. The rangers warn people to stay on the path all the time, yet every year a few folks don't listen, and end up loosing their lives.
But if you listen to the rules, stay on the paths, it's really an awesome view.
Steam and geysers are everywhere in this park, even YellowStone lake, at the center of the park, is the bowl of the super volcano. But of course, this one is the most famous.
And she was, I knew what to expect but it was still incredible. And all around her where others that would go off at random times. A walk around this area is worth the time, but remember stay on the path. While we where there a buffalo decided to walk around it too. The rangers did a good job keeping us out of its way. Again, Jans photos really captured it well.
Wildlife of YellowStone and Grand Tetons
So, Jan has a moose thing, she has wanted to see one like forever, well Grand Tetons had a bunch.
As I said earlier, we really wanted to see the wildlife of these sister parks. And man did we see wildlife, Bears, and Moose, and Bison oh my!
And thats only a small fraction of what we saw. As I look at these pictures, I can't wait to go back.
And last but not least, the scenery
Some random guy with a stick grin, oh, and the Grand Tetons
Thanks again to Jan for her amazing pictures
Well, I hope you enjoyed sharing our travels this year. It's been an amazing year, our trip, a new grand baby (hi Hazel), and my retirement. We look to 2022 with great promise and hope as we prepare for our trip to Alaska and hopefully seeing many of our friends.
Until we see each other again, please be safe, and Jan and I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very happy 2022.
Frank and Jan