Thursday, July 03, 2008

West Thumb & Waterfalls

The first day in Yellowstone took us to the Canyon area via the West Thumb. Our first stop was the geyser basin at West Thumb. I was surprised by the number of beautiful hot water features, geysers, springs, pots and by their color. The sulfur smell was just part of the fun.

After that we headed to the Yellowstone Hotel, which had recently been updated. The yellow color was unexpected, we thought it would be a log lodge instead. The lobby was an inviting place to enjoy a cool beverage and watch the scenery.

As we headed north, there was more and more open terrain and bison. We stopped along the Yellowstone River for lovely lunch of BBQ turkey burgers. Bill got his first opportunity to fish.

The upper and lower falls were, of course, much more spectacular than the pictures we all grew up with. We stopped across from the upper falls for a photo op, then hiked along the south rim to the lower falls. Bill was elected to drive the car and hiked back to meet us.

One of the highlights was the brink of the upper falls. There's a viewpoint just where the waterfall plummets. The volume of water during this spring runoff was unbelievable. Just standing there as the water rushed by created a bit of vertigo. We took tons of pictures and I posted only a few here.

On the way back to camp, we stopped at another geyser basin and took a hike. Lots of bubbling pools and 'evidence' that bison hang out in the area.

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