Saturday, June 5, 2010

YELLOWSTONE PART 4

1. After an enjoyable tour of Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, we continued our journey South. On the way, we made brief stops to see Mud Volcano and West Thumb, before exiting the Park through the South entrance. Must admit that we were already somewhat geyser-fatigue and I was reminded more than once to keep the visits short.

2. As it turned up, Mud Volcano was interestingly different. Unlike earlier clusters, this was more about mud pots and fumaroles (steam vents). Strewn across the area, along a 2/3 mile boardwalk, were turbulent pools of seething and bubbling mud. Bigger ones had colourful names like Dragon's Mouth Spring, Mud Caldron, Grizzly Fumarole and etc. Brochures explains that heat loving microorganisms feed on hydrogen sulfide gas from the ground produces sulfuric acid which then breaks down rock to wet clay.








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3. At West Thumb Geyser Basin, I was surprised to see the rich range of colours of the geysers and hot springs, not inferior to Artist Paint Pots.








4. The journey South took us passed Yellowstone Lake. In late May, it was still covered by a sheet of ice. I would not be surprised that ice-skating may be possible here in winter time.

5. After Grant Village it was a drive uphill to the Pitchstone Plateau before a descent to the South Entrance. It was white everywhere, like winter time. We had seen snow up the hills earlier but that did not prepare us for what we saw up the plateau. Anyway, it was a pleasant scenic drive, though I had to be careful with the wet road condition.

6. After Yellowstone, we entered Grand Teton National Park. Scenery was appealing but we were determined not to be distracted and headed straight for Jackson, a small town of about 6000 just South of the Park, to look for accommodation. After all, we had set aside time the next day to see Grand Teton. Quite quickly we found a motel with a kitchenette in Jackson. After settling in, we went marketing at Whole Grocers and bought the stuff to cook us a home-cooked meal. It was a nice change from eating out, especially when I always had to ask for no-cheese.

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