Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mammoth Hot Springs

We enjoyed our night at Canyon Campground in Gallatin National Forest.  No deer, elk, grizzly bears, or rattlesnakes visited our campground that we know of.  We did see a cute little chipmunk and several robins.  So much for a wilderness experience.

This morning we moved down the road 13 miles to Yellowstone RV Park.  We have spent most of the day doing chores and readying ourselves for another three nights without hook-ups.

One of our chores today was to stop by the grocery.  I think there were about five items on my list, but I ended up only getting two because everything was so expensive.  Welcome to a National Park gateway town.

However, our trip to the grocery did turn out to be rather exciting.  As we were getting in the car to leave we noticed a bison walking down the middle of Scott Street (US 89).  I got out of the car to make his picture just as he turned left into the grocery parking lot.  What a hoot.

Yesterday afternoon we drove into the park as far as Mammoth Hot Springs.  We stopped by the visitor center and looked at the exhibits.  We spent most of our time walking along the boardwalk viewing the hot springs.

Mammoth Hot Springs is a hydrothermal area--hot water from underground escapes to the surface.  What is now Yellowstone National Park was the site of a volcano hundreds of thousands of years ago.  The resulting huge caldera is located near the center of the park some 20 miles south of the Mammoth area.  Fissures and fractures inside the earth allow surface water from rain and snowmelt to be heated and is then pushed to the surface as hot springs.

The water in the springs is very hot.  Heat loving microorganisms living in the hot water make the different colors.  Different organisms make different colors.

The surface area all around the hot springs is very fragile.  There are boardwalks erected so visitors can get up close and personal.  We meandered in and out, up and down, and all around.  Here are the photos of what we saw.

I think that catches up to the present.  Tomorrow, we’ll move over to the campground at Mammoth Hot Springs.  I’m not sure whether we’ll have cell service or not.  I may be a day late again with the post.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for tagging along.

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