Western Road Trip, Part Two: Yellowstone National Park - August 2016

There are really no words for this park.  So many busloads of Asian tourists and SUVs full of Midwesterners in matching shirts, and yet it's still a must see.  
Mesmerizing.  Also: often stinky.  

Driving in the night before our two days we would spend exploring the park...

...and we saw a bunch of elk!  This actually happened a lot, but I still got a kick out of it each time.  

It was always females and calves though, never saw any bucks with the giant antlers.  

Our first stop the next day was Firehole Falls.  Insert diarrhea joke here.  

This guy was just trucking down the road in the opposite direction as us.  Off to work I guess!

This coyote was stalking around in the grass looking for his breakfast...I never got a better shot of him than this unfortunately.  

Woodpeckers gonna woodpeck.  

The lower geyser basin.  In olden times these lower geysers would work as servants for the moneyed aristocratic geysers.  

Blue pools of scalding hot water.  

Ladies love a good steam bath.  

The Midway Geyser Basin - not only the site of a famous WWII battle, but home to the amazing Grand Prismatic Spring!  This is the runoff from that.  

And this is the busloads of tourists looking at the spring.  

And this is me taking photos of the spring.  Note: see that sorta flatish area halfway up the left side of the treeline?  They're building an overlook so you can get
a full look at the spring.  Guess I gotta come back!

More posing in front of steam.

The one and only Old Faithful, located in the Upper Geyser Basin.  It went off almost exactly at the predicted time...faithful indeed.

The eruption.  I pronounce gif with a hard g, as any civilized person would.  

Lola waiting patiently for the eruption.  Wasn't terribly impressed.  Was way into crawling all over the giant fireplace in the lodge though.  

We came across a buffalo herd camped out at the Mud Volcano area...I wasn't quite as close as the picture infers, but it was still awesome.  

They seemed to enjoy warming themselves next to the hot springs despite it being 80 degrees plus that day.

Dragon's Mouth Spring.  As I have no working knowledge of dragons, it reminded me more of the tide coming in and out of a sea cave.  

This bird don't give a fuck how warm the water is.  

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  It was hazy from a nearby fire and a little overcast so the colors didn't pop like I had hoped, but it was still insanely
impressive.  It was like staring into a real life painting.  

The end of a long day of touristing.  

The next day we caught a few more parts of the park  - this is Gibbon Falls.  

This view reminded me of the Smokies.  

Tower Falls.

I'm running out of things to say about posed photos of this pair.  

Our next (and final) stop: Mammoth Springs.  This is Liberty Cap - a former hot spring, now dry.  Chelsea brilliantly referred to it as a "wenis."

Minerva Terrace - this collection of deposits might look impressive...

...Until you see this.  I don't have the words to desribe how great this was in person.  

Orange Spring Mound.  Fittingly named.  

A close up reveals little tiny terraces.  

Sneering fat-armed devil child.  

Back in the horse riding days, this cabin served as a nightly stopover for the postmen that rode the northern Yellowstone route between Gardiner and Cooke
City, a 100 mile trip.  Half of that felt like a long way in the car, doing it on a horse seems like the stupidest thing ever.  

The view out back.  A nice view to ride out of the park on...