Monday, September 15, 2014

Yellowstone National Park - A Place Like No Other

Yellowstone. Wow. Spectacular scenery, interesting geysers, snowy mountains, grassy meadows, wildlife. Plus rivers and lakes. Awesome! The days were cold but sunny, and the nights hovered around 21 degrees. Koka and I stayed cozy and warm in camp with a little space heater, and there were friendly group campfires in the evenings.

A display of a coyote - Koka's blond cousin. They sure look alike!

It's cold here - isn't it time for these duckies to fly south?

Waiting for Old Faithful to put on a show.

According to one of the Rangers, Old faithful is becoming less and less faithful. She blows her top about every 90 minutes, give or take 20 - 30 minutes. And the number of "big blows" is becoming fewer. After waiting with the crowds, I saw her put on a mediocre show. But it was fun to talk with the alumni group from Princeton, who were eating sack lunches while they waited.

More geyser pictures - geysers are everywhere. Along the road side, in the forests, at the edges of lakes.

From the Yellowstone web site -
Geysers are hot springs with constrictions in their plumbing, usually near the surface, that prevent water from circulating freely to the surface where heat would escape. The deepest circulating water can exceed the surface boiling point (199°F/93°C). Surrounding pressure also increases with depth, much as it does with depth in the ocean. Increased pressure exerted by the enormous weight of the overlying water prevents the water from boiling. As the water rises, steam forms. Bubbling upward, the steam expands as it nears the top of the water column. At a critical point, the confined bubbles actually lift the water above, causing the geyser to splash or overflow. This decreases pressure on the system, and violent boiling results. Tremendous amounts of steam force water out of the vent, and an eruption begins. Water is expelled faster than it can enter the geyser's plumbing system, and the heat and pressure gradually decrease. The eruption stops when the water reservoir is depleted or when the system cools.

Hot water from the geysers emptying into a river

There are boardwalks along the larger geyser areas. I like the way the people are silhouetted in front of the steam. These areas are dangerous, and children must be held by the hand, or carried. The water is boiling hot, and carries lots of organisms and chemicals - some very harmful.

If the earth was flat, this would be the edge.

Yellowstone Lake with geysers in the background

The Lewis River

Lewis Falls


Bison are everywhere - munching grass and ignoring the paparazzi.

Beautiful Yellowstone Lake

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