Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Day 13 -Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, River and Artist's Point

We decided to take it fairly easy on our last full day at Yellowstone.  The only parts of the park we hadn't seen were the Yellowstone River with its falls and gorgeous views of the canyon, Yellowstone Lake and the Norris Geyser Basin which we had skipped the past couple of days although we had driven by it several times.  It is the hottest area of Yellowstone and has some of my favorite views.

 The blue skies added to the overall beauty of the area.

 My travel partners had seen enough geysers by now and decided to sit out the long walk down to the boardwalk.  I never lose an opportunity to take more pictures though!!

You can see it actually boiling here!!  In was in this area that a man lost his life just the week before we were there.  He went off the path and went through the thin crust.  Nothing they could do to save him.

Steam was certainly bellowing out of the fumarole.  I love all the textures and colors as usual.
More of the bright blue here.

From the Norris Geyser Basin we headed east across the park to go to Canyon Village and then Inspiration Point and Artist's Point, both along the Yellowstone River which is quite narrow at this point.  You can still see some lingering snow in this shot.  This is viewing the falls from the west side of the canyon.

 These are all views from the western side of the Yellowstone River canyon.

 It's not often you get to see an Osprey's nest from above.  Couldn't tell whether there were eggs or babies.

Yellowstone River of course.

Another Osprey was flying overhead below.

This is one of the first views you see of Artist's Point and Lower Falls.

I have never been able to successfully capture all the beauty of these falls at Artist's Point -- it remains one of my favorite places at Yellowstone and is very easy to get to now.  Things have changed here since my last visit as well!!  I know this area was closed for awhile after our last visit.

A horizontal view!

 The walls of the canyon at Artist's Point.

 Another view of the canyon wall.  I wasn't sure what caused those strange stripes crossing the wall, so I blew the area up to see if I could see more detail.  it became quite obvious then!

My best guess is that they were Longhorn Sheep!  There were all sorts of animal tracks when I blew it up suggesting that there was more than one kind of animal traversing the steep terrain -- maybe some Marmots too as I have seen them in that area of Yellowstone before.

We finally saw a small herd of Bison.

 Lot of calves in this bunch!

 We saw one calf nursing.

 This is Common Yarrow but don't know what the next one is despite looking t serveral sources.  Saw it in a shade of white/pink as well.

We finally saw some bull Elk at Artist's Point and they were not at all convenient for photographing.
 Looking east into the mountains.

 We saw several more Trumpeter Swans, these with a darker neck which the bird book mentions.

Another lone meandering Bison.

 We headed to the Mud Volcanoes and Sulfur Cauldrons on our way to Yellowstone Lake for a picnic lunch.

They have a different look than the geyser areas on the west side of the park but are colorful in their own right -- although a bit more subtle.

Last but not least, we get to Yellowstone Lake.

We head out tomorrow through the northeast road out of Yellowstone and take the Beartooth Highway describe as America's No. 1 scenic highway.

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