Today is the big day! I have been looking forward to my first visit to Yellowstone for about six years now.
Dodging the surrounding newly-sprouted water features, we pack up and roll out while most other RVers are still comfy in their Walmart parking lot beds.
To my mountain-starved eyes, each bend in the road is more beautiful than the last and Hubs has to remind me to save some pictures for the park.
We pass this oddity on the hill in Wapiti Valley, and past research tells me that it is the house of a man now deceased who built the mansion for the sheer joy of it. The house is not open to the public, otherwise we probably would stop.
We enter Yellowstone National Park through the eastern gate and drive northward to Tower Fall campground. More mountain driving means I am edgy, and the combination of dogs barking and whining in the back seat and the discovery that our intended campground is full makes for a stressful hour or two.
We continue our drive, now heading southwest toward Mammoth campground, another first-come-first-serve site. What a relief! They have just a few spots left and we are assigned a level pull-through.
Within minutes we spot our first elk just a few paces from our site.
The big attraction near Mammoth are the hot springs, a startling jolt of color in an otherwise gray backdrop of extinct springs.
The bright colors are bacterial colonies, each specie thriving at a specific temperature.
Steaming sulfuric water pours out of the top of the hill and slides down travertine terraces, creating an infinite variety of electric pools.
|Wildlife beside the trail|
Wooden boardwalks groan under the weight of tourists tromping happily through this steaming wonderland.
We begin to notice that we hardly hear English spoken. Most of the tourists are from other countries and I think we are both glad that this is the part of America they are seeing.