Yellowstone (north)

Our journey to Yellowstone North started at the West Thumb Geyser Basin, which is adjacent to the Yellowstone Lake.

Yellowstone Ravens have a sweet beak and they are willing to give your package a serious peckage. Beware!

On our way to Canyon Village we said Hi to the resting buffalos...

...and kept pushing north alongside the Yellowstone river.

At Canyon Village we turned west and headed for Norris through a stretch of thick green woods.

We paid a cursory visit to the Norris Geyser Basin to see how many fuming holes one can visit in one day...

...and we made a stop at the Roaring Mountain which has a vent in the middle of its slope.
On a good day, the vent's rumble can be heard for miles around.

From Norris we proceeded due north and soon we saw mountains on the Montana border in the distance ahead of us.

At the peak just before the Mammoth Valley we found veiled waterfalls...

...and a very scenic passage through a stretch of whitish rocks.

The main attraction of Mammoth Hot Springs area is a series of deeply saturated cascades that originate on the slope above the village as little streams.

Over the centuries, the mineral deposits from the streams created a vast field of multi-colored terraces...

...that traversed a little plateau...

...and eventually fell into the Mammoth Valley.

Some created interesting formations at the edge of the deposit plateau.

From the edge of this area you could either take a boardwalk down to Mammoth...

...or drive a little loop that lead to another interesting mineral formation... the back of which we found a mini-spring that was still spouting a little stream of hot water
-almost like a drinking fountain.

At the lower end of the loop we found a few more terraces...

...that in one case completely engulfed a much older formation.

Another tribute to mineral patience (formed by slowly accruing deposits) stood at the very bottom of the cascades area (on the outskirts of Mammoth).

In Mammoth we saw some free ranging elk, roaming freely through the town.

We made a short stop there for food and gas, and were on our way back to Canyon Village and eventually to West Yellowstone.
The first part of our return trip traversed the idyllic Blacktail Deer Plateau.

As the sun was setting and painting the landscape in reddish colors...

...we took another short hike to Wraith Falls.

There were some pretty deep canyons alongside the road and they looked almost spooky when the sun disappeared.

We also stopped by at a Tower Fall although we could barely see it.
I thought that would be the last photo of the day...

...but when we emerged from the woods, we could see a faint red sunlick on the opposite range that I had to take a picture of.

The next day we planned to drive from West Yellowstone to Grand Teton NP.
But the weather was so spectacular that we made one more stop at the Old Faithful area
this time shooting the Swiss-precision geyser against the Old Faithful Lodge.

Old Faithful itself was idling, but there were other geysers stretching their muscle...

...including the imposing Castle Geyser.

And when we went back to the parking lot, we even caught a shot of one of the geysers on the opposite slope going at it full throttle.

We said Good Bye to Yellowstone at Kepler Cascades, and then headed south to Grand Teton.

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