Mammoth Hot Springs
“On my Monday dayoff it is raining again. So, when its 45 and rain, lets go look for animals!” And so this day began innocently enough. We were going to go as far as Canyon and check out the trailhead of an upcoming hike. Like a lot of our plans, we ad-lib. The customary elk and bison “waved” to us as we passed by following the Yellowstone River to Canyon. People, on the other hand, are pretty selfish and stop wherever, blocking roads. Cascade Lake Trail checked out okay …now where to?
Interested in future horseback riding at Roosevelt, we headed north. Here’s where things got interesting. A black bear jam happened south of Tower (20 miles north of Canyon). An hour later we are traveling again (and no, jams don’t usually last THAT long, but we took advantage to sight-see the cliffs and valleys below). Soon, we pass Roosevelt and a gas station. WAIT! Is that light on? (Yes, the gas light was on and this is no place to run out of gas!). After refueling, we decide to go check out Mammoth Hot Springs. Note: I decided to check out horseback riding at a later date (ad-lib). Soon, another bear jam! And this time, a large black bear sow and her two cubs are near the road. Great pictures!
Amazing the things you see on the way to Mammoth
Soon, we find our selves 80 miles from home, entering Mammoth Hot Springs. Here, there are mammoth calcite terraces formed from the calcium rich mineral water spewing out of the ground. And it is hot! Actually, after it hardens, it is called travertine (calcium carbonate). These terraces are just amazing, very active and constantly changing. The science is still not completely understood. Or more specifically, the actual heat source is not fully understood. But from my amateur perspective, this whole park is one big, BIG Volcano. Thermals exist in all areas of the park (3,000 square miles!), and most are documented, some are not, and they are always changing. In a lot of ways, this place is quite dangerous.
Mammoth Hot Springs – Thermals are everywhere!
And on our way back to Grant Village, there was a major construction project. We were stopped for 20 minutes (almost like a bear jam – LOL). Engine off and relaxing, I notice the guy behind me with a class C rig. He gets out, does something with his mirror… Wait! What does he have in his hand? What is he doing?! What?! Shaving?? No!
Yup, electric razor in hand, he is shaving. Effective use of time, I guess. But doesn’t that class C have a bathroom? Anyways, I am just glad he didn’t decide to take a shower in his outdoor shower (For those who don’t know it, many campers come with an outside shower in addition to the inside one.). Soon we are allowed to get on our way. We manage to fill up our days with excitement and the unexpected.
more pics of the thermals at Mammoth
STAY TUNED! More “tales from the campah”!
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