Yellowstone National Park
Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America's first national park.
Yellostone was not the main destination of our trip and therefore I consider our visit only an appetizer (antipasto). I would like to go back and explore the park further. Grand Teton was absolutely beautiful. Yellowstone, however, was almost unbearably magnificent.
Yellowstone Caldera is one of the largest and most active calderas in the world. The spectacular geysers, boiling hot springs, and mud pots that have made Yellowstone famous -- and even the strikingly beautiful Grand Canyon of Yellowstone through which the Yellowstone River plunges -- owe their existence to the tremendous volcanic forces that have affected the region during the past 2 million years. Cataclysmic eruptions 2.0, 1.3, and 0.6 million years ago ejected huge volumes of rhyolite magma; each eruption formed a caldera and extensive layers of thick pyroclastic-flow deposits. The youngest caldera is an elliptical depression, nearly 80 kilometers long and 50 kilometers wide, that occupies much of Yellowstone National Park.
Old Faithful at the end of one of its eruptions
"despite the myth, this geyser has never erupted at exact hourly intervals, nor is it the largest or most regular geyser in Yellowstone. However, it does erupt more frequently than any other of the large geysers."
Untitled Punch Bowl Spring [I believe]
The beautiful Yellowstone River.
Bison grazing along the Yellowstone River
Seeing bison was one of the highlights of the trip.We actually saw many up close and personal, as they share the road with cars. As far as I could tell, they know about driving walking on the right. However, they are not ready to change their speed to accommodate cars, so you must be ready to slow down to their pace.
I get very emotional when I approach animals, so my close-up photos are not very good. The most thrilling encounter was with a wolf (lupo) that crossed the road and ran alongside our car for a brief moment. I was driving and could not take a photo. We also saw a couple of grizzly bears having fun in the woods, lots of deer, a beautiful male elk proud of his antler and pretty pronghorn (no moose, which was a disappointment and another reason I want to go back).
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone was another highlight of the visit.
The Lower Falls (cascate) viewed from Uncle Tom's Trail
"The trail drops 500 feet (150 m) in a series of more than 300 stairs and paved inclines."
Excelsior Geyser Crater (Midway Geyser Basin)
"Yellowstone contains approximately one-half of the world’s hydrothermal features. There are over 10,000 hydrothermal features, including over 300 geysers, in the park."
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the il parco nazionale di Yellowstone audio file [mp3].
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