Thursday, October 6, 2011

Yellowstone Diary (August 2, 2011)

In contrast to the sun, heat and dust of the Tetons base camp the rain, hail and cold moved in after we pitched tents and tarps at Yellowstone's Grant Village on 4unday. But while most of the troop made the pilgimage to Old Faithful (20 miles away), Surja cooked up an delicious chicken curry and rice supper and Chris McCormick scooped up Dominic and me from the Jackson Hole Airport.

Monday's forecast of thunderstorms, hail and winds gusting to 70 MPH forced us to postpone our back-country backpacking excursions. Spirits undampened, we piled into the cars and headed out for a circuit trip starting with a hot lunch at the Old Faithful Inn and another on-time spouting of the tirless geyser. Fifty miles north through the steaming heart of the Yellowstone caldera we landed at Mamouth Hot Springs where the thermal sulfuric waters burst through limestone layers to create staicase deposits of tricalate stone in oranges, yellows, blue, greens, and browns. The colors are produced by microbes unique to this delicate ecosystem and studied by NASA for hints of what primative life may be like on other planets,

Our next stop was the Towers Falls where the Yellowstone River plunges several hundred feet at the. North end of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The vistas are amazing.

Yellowstone then more than lived up to its reputation as the Serangeti of North America. We spotted a lone adult grizzly ambling across a canyon, a black bear run across the highway and swim across the river, dozens of majestic buffalo, and a handful of elk.

Got to run (hike) now as we just reached the trailhead for our overnight backpacking trip. Fourteen guys will be on the trail tonight while the other push through a series of day hike adventures.
Mr. Campion

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