7.18.2017

Page 13 | Western Road Trip 2017

A few rivers in Yellowstone.


Except for one or two of the photos below, these are not exactly “river” images.  Mostly they are landscapes which I think composed nicely with a bit of river in the foreground or background. Nevertheless I thought I’d make a collection of them by posting them together here.

The Firehole

The Gibbon River

The Gibbon River

The Gallatin

Bison on the Lamar River

The Madison

The Madison

7.17.2017

Page 12 | Western Road Trip 2017

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake is the largest lake in North America above 7,000 feet elevation.  It is 24 miles long and 10 miles wide. At it’s greatest depth it is 390 feet.  I’ve read that average water temperature is 41 degrees, but I don’t know what this means for summer water temperatures. The fact that swimming is not recommended suggests that it remains very cold!

Yellowstone Lake is at an elevation of 7,700.  The snow capped mountain in the distance is Mount Sheridan at 10,300 feet.








7.16.2017

Page 11 | Western Road Trip 2017

Bison at Yellowstone

The National Park Service (NPS) estimates that there are over 5,500 bison in Yellowstone.  There are two sub-populations.  About 2/3 of the animals live in the northern area where these photos were taken, and 1/3 in the central area.

Yellowstone is the only area in the lower 48 states where there has been a constant population since prehistoric times.  Nevertheless, we almost lost them.  It is well-known that the bison almost went extinct.  Even in the park, due to poaching, there were only two dozen bison remaining in 1902.
  
The NPS recommends that you stay 25 yards away from a bison (100 yards for a bear).   They can be aggressive, though they appear docile, and can run up to 30 miles per hour. The male can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and the female up to 1,000 pounds. You don't want to annoy one of these guys. There are many incidents of visitors being injured, and just last year a visitor was fatally gored.

Up Close and Personal

Calving was in May

Traffic Jam


Yellowstone is the only spot in the lower 48 states where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times. Unfortunately their numbers reached a low of just a couple of dozen in 1902, before the army was able to stop the poaching. Now there are more than 5,000. 



Below: We watched this herd of bison congregate in the open area and eventually down by the river. What a morning we had. I actually brewed a pot of coffee in the RV as we watched the bison come from several directions to assemble here. We were the first vehicle on the scene but soon both sides of the road were lined with parked vehicles. By the way, Yellowstone is the only spot in the lower 48 states where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times. Unfortunately their numbers reached a low of just a couple of dozen in 1900, before the army was able to stop the poaching. Now there are a few over 5,000. 


7.15.2017

Page 10 | Western Road Trip 2017

Two of many waterfalls at Yellowstone


Yellowstone is full of waterfalls. Two of the most popular and accessible are the Upper and Lower Falls on the Yellowstone River.  The Yellowstone River flows over Upper Falls and then Lower Falls before channeling through the Grand Canyon of  the Yellowstone. Lower Falls is the tallest waterfall in the park, at over 300 feet.  That’s twice as tall as Niagara Falls.   It is quite a site and can be seen from both the north and south rims.

Upper Falls with a long lens from the parking lot:


Lower Falls.  Three images from three different angles.  
All views are easily accessible:




The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone:


7.14.2017

Page 9 | Western Road Trip 2017

Yellowstone Forest Fires

Evidence of forest fires was nearly everywhere as we traveled throughout the park.

I am not sure how many of the images below show the result of the historic Yellowstone fires of 1988.  I think a few of the landscapes must be of more recent fires, as only grass has grown back.

The fires of 1988 started as many small fires whose flames spread out of control due to unusually hot and dry weather.  Eventually the fires merged into one massive fire which burned for many months.

A total of 36% of the park was effected by the fires (over 790,000 acres).  At the peak of the firefighting effort over 9,000 firefighters were working in the park and they were supported by over 4,000 military personnel.