Thursday turned into a geology day for us is Yellowstone. In fact at our final stop for the day, at the Grand Prismatic Spring, a visiting group of geologist were in attendance. The lecturing park ranger was all over one of them as we were walking into the Midway Geyser Basin. I had to bite my tongue not to yell out, “Is there a geologist in the house?”, as if their was some emergency of tectonic importance. 😉
We spent most of the day visiting the smaller geyser basins north of the Old Faithful basin. We probably walked five miles, so much for taking a rest day, on the day before Jay and Company arrived. Most of the geological features are not as impressive as those at the Old Faithful basin, but some are and none of them come with screaming kids, rude adults or anything in-between. I got another tourist to take our picture at the Spasm Geyser.
In 1988 the park was burnt in a summer of forest fires that consumed large portions of the park’s forest of lodge pole pines. Twenty-two years later you can still see signs of the fire. Burnt tree trunk poles still rise above the new growth. The new growth has risen to between ten and twenty feet in height. The new pines are growing as close together as corn stalks in an Illinois cornfield. The difference between the Illinois cornfields and Yellowstone’s new crop of lodge pole pines is that in Illinois there are farmers planting that crop. In Yellowstone most if not all of the new pines are naturally seeded. Go figure, a specie that evolved to live in Yellowstone, where wildfire is part of the ecology, would come back so strong after a wildfire.
On the way out of the park we ran into another bear-acaide. This time it was caused by a grizzly bear. It was across a river and we never left the SUV, so we were pretty safe. Anne‘s not totally sure that it is a grizzly, but I think it is and I’m writing this post.
We knocked off three hours early, in order to meet up with Jay, Carl and Ashlan, the cavalry. We had our best diner yet in West Yellowstone. It still involved a lot of read meat and sides.
my encounter with a grizzly was in Alaska, in a canoe, with no SUV to hide in. we did not camp where the grizzly was but rather across the river and downstream a bit. when we were cooking dinner he came down to the point of land and was sniffing the breeze. I watched him closely thru binoculars and kept asking my friends ‘if he crosses the river, what’s our plan?’ we didn’t really have a plan beyond pepper spray, but he didn’t cross the river.
Probably it is a grizzly, though some of the black bears might be of this light coulor.
The most distinctive feature of grizzly is a hump on its back and a round face.
And most of them are pretty big 🙂
from seeing grizzlies up close in Alaska and seeing black bears just about everwhere else … that’s a grizz.
nice shot of it, too, by the way