We stayed in West Yellowstone, MT the night of the 26th so as to save some gas and get an early start the next day. Cute place, I recommend the Hibernation Station if you need to stay there. A little spendy for sure but actually a LOT better than some of the generic hotels. Of course being afflicted with the "can't sleep in hotels" curse, I think I was significantly less than perky the next morning. Sorry... And it was B's birthday no less!
The morning started out with a lot of hot springs. I'm not exactly sure what this first one is. Looking at the map I am guessing Terrace Hot Springs, but I didn't make a note of it at the time. These thermal areas are all over the place up there, I had no idea how many there were! Some of them have little trails and overlooks and whatnot for the tourists but I wonder if the ones that are off the beaten path are just left as is? Probably. They post lots of signs warning people not to do stupid things like, you know, jump in them. Hey, survival of the fittest. That goes for petting bison too. Some kid got tossed around while we were up there because he was posing a few feet away from a bison. I mean hello! Anyway, I digress. Here are some thermal pools:
And then we stopped at Norris Geyser Basin, which has LOTS and lots of pools and geysers and steam and sulfur and all that fun stuff. It's so prehistoric looking, just amazing.
I don't know the names of all the specific geysers, but I do remember this one is Steamboat Geyser.
And this is some water flowing over interesting looking mineral (?) deposits. Edit! If you don't read the comments, B clarified the nifty colors for me. Yeah, I guess I do remember reading that: "All of those colors that the water is running over are micro organisms. All of the different colors have a specific heat range in which they live and have different basis for life; the green ones deriving their energy and color from chlorophyl and living in the "cooler" temperatures, and the reddish ones get their energy and color from iron and live in the relatively "hotter" temperatures." Thanks. :-)
Lots of interesting colors in a place like this. Don't you think there ought to be a pterodactyl flying around there?
Next up: you guessed it, more Yellowstone! Including some big ole elk!