Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is an amazing place – it really is.  People have written books about it and I can only scratch the surface in this blog.

Here are just a few thoughts to be going on with;

– visit yourself if you can

– in the very early days two tourists were killed by hostile native Americans – you probably won’t face that problem if you visit

– the Old Faithful Inn is quite possibly more impressive than the Old Faithful Geyser – an amazing high-ceilinged wooden building that looks as if it were built by elves

– the Great Prismatic Spring is amazing and well worth a look

– don’t bother looking too hard for Moose as you are more likely to see them in adjacent Grand Teton National Park (I did)

– while waiting for Old Faithful to do his stuff keep an eye open for Black Rosy Finches – that’s when I saw one

– avoid the summer masses – my first impressions of Yellowstone were ‘Yuk – loads of people’ but the Park is big and people spread out, but in summer it must be crowded

– all the really good mammals I saw (Black Bear, Grizzly Bear, Wolf and Moose were found by seeing large numbers of cars stopped in the same place and people pointing in the same direction.  Bit of a shame, but true.  My heartfelt thanks to those who first spotted this wildlife for us all.

Artists’ Point and the view from it are, again, well worth a visit

And so I said farewell to Yellowstone National Park and headed through Grand Teton with quite breathtaking views of the mountains across the lake (and a Bald Eagle flying across this vista too).

As I headed away from Old Faithful Inn I crossed the Great Divide (several times) which is the boundary between where falling rain ends up in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

And this seemed to mark a watershed for my journey too.  The first part of my trip took me from Washington DC to nearby New York City via Charleston, SC, the Great Smoky Mountains and Ithaca, NY.  Stage Two was all about heading West to Yellowstone via some remarkable scenery of South Dakota and Montana and leaving behind Eastern birds and switching to Western ones.  As I leave Yellowstone the road takes me further West but mostly South and it is not long until this fantastic journey will be over.  But there is Utah and California to come – and the final route is not yet planned.  I still have the Pacific Ocean to see – and plenty more birds, but certainly rather fewer exciting mammals.

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2 Replies to “Yellowstone”

  1. Great account of your trip Mark, enjoyed your bear encounter. you could still get some amazing mammals in the Pacific ocean. from cute sea otters to the splendor of whales. but lots more to see before then. Enjoy.

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  2. Hi Mark,

    Good to bump into you at Magee Marsh. I'm following your journey with envy! Sounds a bit like the Peterson Fisher trip in the 1950's: I wonder what they would think of the changes since then! Still can't get the Magee Marsh experience out of my mind.

    Natural Environment White Paper is a good thing, but must have teeth. The one we are producing for Wales looks like ending up as an Environment Bill in 2013.

    Finally signed up to Twitter (Coffeewarblers) and am following your words of wisdom!

    Check out DyfiOspreys on Twitter: great news there!

    Best wishes

    Derek

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