bison grazing near a thermal pool
I kept asking myself if I had completely lost my mind...planning a vacation just a little over 2 weeks before International Quilt Market and Festival. For those who don't know, IQM and IQF are the biggest events of the year for anyone in the quilt industry. But sometimes you just have to go...so go we did. Middle son, Scott had to work so it was just hubby and youngest son Mike. Good thing too since the cottage we rented was just barely larger than my kitchen...and I don't have a big kitchen! We listened to Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth on the drive up. Chosen by chance but certainly appropriate subject matter.
the river leading into Yellowstone lake
October is a dicey time of year to visit Yellowstone...they close most stuff down by Oct 11 for good reason. However, the weather was on our side and even the one morning of rain was not enough to keep us inside. Of course being wet was preferable to being in the tiny cottage but it was only a light rain alternating with mist so we hiked through it. Our weather risk taking was rewarded with few other visitors and plenty of wildlife to see. The most amazing animal we saw was a wolf. We have read a lot about wolves in our homeschooling adventures so we knew that a wolf sighting would be pretty rare. But, a couple of wolves had been hunting an old or sick bison for a couple of days and had her cornered not that far off the road. We stopped at the viewing area just after a single wolf had finally killed the bison. It wasn't a bloody battlefield thank goodness. We spent about an hour watching the wolf. We were too far away to get a good photo but I was able to get this one through a spotting scope one of the rangers had. I was also amazed at the incredible array of cameras everyone was toting. We were definitely outclassed! Evidently the serious wildlife photographers go to Yellowstone in Oct.
wolf and bison through a spotting scope
We saw plenty of elk and bison, fox and coyote, mountain goats, deer, 4 grizzly bears, one black bear and 3 otters. The word for the week was weird!.
I really didn't know what to expect in the topography of Yellowstone. It is...well...weird. Weird to know you are walking on top of a volcano...one that is still active no less. Weird to watch geysers spouting water hundreds of feet into the air. Weird to see boiling water bubbling in a pool. Weird to see steam rising up all over the landscape. Weird mud pots where the acidic water is dissolving the rock and creating hot bubbling mud pools in a multitude of colors. Weird rock formations everywhere and stands of dead burnt trees rising above new forest growth.
Norris geyser basin
Yellowstone is incredibly inspiring as well. I took dozen's of photos of interesting textures and color combinations. The waterfalls in the canyon are amazing. Have I used the word amazing too much? If you haven't been it is definitely a destination to put on your travel list. To be told of its wonders and look at photos just isn't the same. It is a wild, weird and wonderful place! Go there...you will be glad you did.
I am headed back to the studio to get packing for IQF but here are some more photos of our trip for you.
amazing pool-hard to imagine it is boiling hot
pool images were difficult because of the steam-this one is very deep
the roots of this tree look like an eagle!
Yellowstone canyon falls
Yellowstone sunset with moon