We saw an osprey and just missed a fox sighting in the same area.
After arriving at Mammoth Hot Springs, our initial destination, we drove north to the North Entrance to do a tourist thing and drive through the old entrance gate, dating to the time Mammoth was an Army fort in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
We next hiked through the Mammoth Hot Springs. They are dramatically different from the other thermal feathers we’d seen since entering Yellowstone. Rather than spewing geysers and bubbling mud pots, these were living sculptures of limestone and other rocks, together with thermophiles which often added a pallet of colors.
From Mammoth, we drove south to Norris Geyser Basin, one of the hottest and most dynamic of Yellowstone’s hydrothermal areas. Many of its hot springs and fumaroles have temperatures above the boiling point of water (212oF). The area’s most prominent feature is Steamboat Geyser, which has eruptions recorded above 300’, well above the highest output of Old Faithful. However, while we were there, Steamboat’s display was very tame.
We finally rounded the last corner into Fishing Bridge, our campground only ½ mile away, just as we were about to cross the bridge over the Yellowstone River, we looked to our right only to see a large brown creature suddenly decide to charge down a hill at us.
Fortunately, our accelerator was quicker than the bison … who promptly started a leisurely stroll across the bridge holding up all of the traffic in both directions.
Although disappointed that we failed to spot a bear, wolf, fox or even a coyote, our visit to Yellowstone was incredibly rewarding.
Tomorrow, we resume our trip … ever so slowly toward Pennsylvania.