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August 13, 2005

National Parks August 2005 - Yellowstone Day 1

Yellowstone 2005 Gallery LinkI left Idaho Falls in the morning, the drive to West Yellowstone went smooth. At a little bit more than two hours, it is shorter than you'd think. Plus, with every mile, the landscape becomes more impressive.

I entered Yellowstone NP at noon sharp. In case you haven't been there yet - this park stinks. Literally. An odor of sulfur and related chemical compounds is always with you. Having strong affection for fireworks, I didn't mind that though.

After a picknick at Beryl Spring and a visit to Artists Paintpots (a very nice start), it was time for the first highlight of the trip...

Norris Geyser Basin. Norris has it all, from the wide open Porcelain Basin to the hidden-in-the-woods Back Basin. In terms of geo-thermal features, it is the currently most active area in the park.

One important thing to mention is that while National Parks usually are great to relax, you have to be careful not to be affected by geyser eruption stress. Those pesky things just wait for you to turn around, then they go off. Running after the family with walky-talkies didn't help me, I missed the Echinus Geyser by a minute. From that point on, I decided to take it a bit easier.

On the way to Old Faithful inn, I stopped at Lower Geyser basin. After having seen deer throughout the day, I decided (vegetarians excuse me) to have Elk medaillons for dinner. Walking the meal off with a stroll, I witnessed my first Old Faithful eruption - at night.

Posted by Uli at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2005

National Parks August 2005 - Salt Lake City to Yellowstone

SLC to Yellowstone Gallery LinkTake me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty...

I doubt that Salt Lake City was what Axl had in mind when he wrote those lyrics. But it sure does fit well - in some really strange way. Just when the desert turns in to a high mountain range, the city seems to appear out of nowhere. Very neat, very tidy.
After I picked up my rental car, I stopped briefly at the State Capitol and Temple Square. After two hours, I decided it was time to take I-15 North towards Idaho Falls.

While looking at the map during planning the trip, I saw what small detour a stop in Preston, Idaho would be. Awesome.
Before you do the same and risk an underwhelming visit, let me assure you: there's really nothing going on. Still, it was nice to get this first hand experience.

After a quick break for dinner in Pocatello, the day ended in my hotel room in Idaho Falls. And no, the falls are not worth the trip. The fact that you can get inexpensive, yet good quality accomodation on the way to Yellowstone is much more appealing.

Posted by Uli at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)