Yellowstone 5th day
We started the day at 47 degrees. Wow! The heat wave persists.
We pass a short drive up to an overlook each time we drive into the park. Most days we did not think it was worth driving up because of the smoke. Today, the air was much clearer.
Today, we took another hike. Big surprise!
The trail head is at Artist Point on the south side of the canyon. The hike follows the canyon for a half a mile and then turns to the south.
Along the path, we got a really good view of the canyon.
Well, it is pretty rare that we walk an entire hike without some amount of rain and this one was no exception.
Our first lake was pretty. It did have a few areas we could see bubbles meaning there is thermal activity under the surface.
Next was the area of thermal features which included a big mud pot.
I got as close as I could but the ground temperature got over 100 degrees so I knew I was as close as I dared. Just a few feet in front of me the ground temperature is 120 degrees. The pool reads as over 160 degrees. We have been using a little laser thermometer to check the temperature of hot areas just to be safe.
There were several other steam vents and mud pots. I get the impression that we are walking around on a volcano.
Next was a green lake. Really green. Pretty I guess. Along the shoreline we did see some huge prints. We are guessing elk.
We walked up to a hillside where we could take pictures of the valley.
Hiked back across to the canyon for some spectacular views of the falls and the canyon.
It was a nice hike but tiring. In total 3.8 miles with an elevation change of 600 feet up and down.
Time to head back to the RV.
We did have three wildlife encounters before getting home. The first was a group of swans in the river.
The second was a huge bighorn male who was looking down on us from a hillside about 50 feet above the road.
Next was one of the loner buffalo that we frequently see on our drives in and out of the park. He was walking down the road in the east bound lane in an area where there was a shear drop to the south and a steep hillside to the north. We are not sure how far he will need to walk before finding a safe place to walk away from the road. Being late in the day there was very little traffic so we just passed on the other lane. At our closest, we were no more than 5 feet from him.
The next afternoon, we saw him in the field at the east entrance gate.
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We are a couple who have started on a new adventure...