Many thermophiles are not liking the cold weather. The Crystal Pool was a disappointment. Spring snow melt feeds the hot springs that feed the pools. In the fall with less water, the springs are not as active and the thermophiles suffer. The colorful beds of bacteria that segregate by temperature are muted. The geysers reliably shoot plumes of steam high in the air. Steam can be seen rising high in the are south of Madison. Here we encountered the most traffic we’ve seen in the park. People come for the active geothermal features of the park. Driving through a super-volcano has its charm.
We drove from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful stopping frequently to take in the sights: an expansive meadow here, geysers there. Elk were numerous just outside the park. There were a few bison south of Madison. Today was a ho-hum day for wildlife sighting. It was a warm day reaching 70 with bright sunlight.
Dunraven Pass was closed today. All other roads were open. Patches of shaded roadway facing north were covered in ice. Not smooth black ice, rather ice that had pits and divots affording some traction at reasonable speeds. One particularly dangerous icy curve has a sign posted that reads, “Accident Ahead”. It’s a valuable marker. Each time I see it I think, “Yeah, and that accident could be you!”
We’re staying at Buffalo Crossing RV Park tonight, “four star” rated. It is not that different than Pony Express Worse, the main roads are dirt and muddy in the afternoon thaw. For our site fee, we got a discount to the IMAX theater, a two minute walk away. We saw Ad Astra this evening. Don’t bother seeing it. Brad Pitt does a reasonable job acting, but he cannot rescue the film from a poor plot line. Attempts at drama and suspense fall flat.
We may go back to Pony Express tomorrow, assuming we stay another night. I want to see Hayden Valley. People compare it to Lamar Valley for wildlife viewing. It has the largest herd of Bison in the park (and in the world). That reminds me, while scoping out the Junction Butte pack in Lamar Valley, we were told that two packs got together and took down a bison for the first time in the park. (Who knows if it’s actually the first time …). This is a huge step in the survival of the wolves.
We took panoramic photos, photos of fly fishermen, some of The Beast, a few of Elk and Bison, and some of us tramping through 6 inches of snow. I’ll post some tomorrow. I’m not taking the time to off load photos from five devices. Some quiet time reading before crawling into bed is far more appealing.