Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Yellowstone Trip: Day 6

Today was an interesting day.  We saw tons of wildlife, went swimming, had great food and relaxed a little.

We first decided to find the Boiling River - one of two legal places to swim in Yellowstone. Interestingly enough, you can't find this place on any of the park maps...we had to ask at the front desk where to find this amazing place.  Ends up it's about 2.5 miles away from Mammoth - exactly at the border of Wyoming and Montana.

We park and from there walked for about 10 -15 minutes.  Was it ever worth the walk!  The name of this river is very fitting as the water really is boiling.  It falls into a freezing cold river.  Where the hot and cold water mix is where you sit, enjoy and relax. What a weird feeling!  If you stretch your leg and place your foot in the freezing water, it all balances out and you don't really feel it... it's so weird!  You need to make sure you don't get to close to the Boiling River though as you will get burned.  This special swim was one of the highlights of my trip.  If you ever visit Yellowstone you MUST visit this spot! Don't forget your swimsuit!

For lunch we had bison burger and bison tacos.  Yum!  After lunch we decided to go on an excursion to hopefully see more wildlife.  I am NOT leaving this park until I see a grizzly!  Here's what we ended up seeing on our excursion: a black bear, many birds of prey (falcons, hawks, eagles), mule deer -crossed right in front of us, pronghorn, bison, a moose -quite rare in the park now since the fires of 1988 - and we actually caused a "moose jam"!  Sophie was quite happy about this.  What's a moose jam?  Well, hundreds of cars stop to see what you are looking at!  Picture this: here we are, trying to show people where this moose is hiding in a bush... there are lots of bushes... getting people to see it... not an easy task!  We also saw a red tailed hawk and I took this really cool picture of it.  

We had an interesting day filled with wildlife - something the whole family enjoys seeing.  It's wonderful to be surrounded by nature.  An interesting fact: the park is as natural as humanly possible. This means that if the rangers (we call them wardens) find and injured animal, they will not help it.  They will nature take it's course.  If there are forest fires, they will let them burn as this helps to rejuvenate a forest.  Of course they make sure people don't get caught in these fires or that the fires don't come to close to housing compounds.

Tomorrow we are leaving Mammoth Springs area and are moving to Old Faithful.  I can't wait to see if this geyser is as magnificent as I imagine it.

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