Upper falls near Mamoth Hot springs04-Jul-2011 13:21, Canon Canon PowerShot G12, 4.0, 12.074mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 80
Day 3 – The morning breakfast was at the Deli, a rather light one. We were still used to the East coast time, I guess. We took the Lake Cruise. You need to drive about 2 miles from the hotel to the Bridge Bay marina. Captain Paul and Ranger Mike were our companions. Mike gave a wonderful, informative narrative on the ride. The entire Yellowstone lake is sitting on a volcanic crater. Due to the potential damage of an erupting volcano, the United States government has made the area a permanent geological observatory with nearly 30 seismological instruments (and/or GPS systems) across the area. These instruments measure the rise and fall of the land, number of earthquakes in a certain period of time. There has been three eruptions in the past at 2 million years and taking the average between these, we are not due for an eruption until another 90,000 years. More likely than an volcanic eruption, scientists are expecting more of a hydro-thermal eruption where a body of water would explode into the atmosphere.
04-Jul-2011 13:49, Canon Canon PowerShot G12, 6.3, 10.775mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 80
After the cruise, headed back north again to the Canyon lodge which was our next stop. We had initially gotten a room with a single full bed and upon checking, we found there was a lodge with two double beds. We thought we could try a lodge out for the first time. Driving 20 miles north was an easy drive. The lodge itself was very warm inside at around 2 PM – we were told the black tar roof causes that. We squashed a few mosquitoes, turned on the table fan and started getting used to it. The stuffy air inside made Rama uncomfortable and she was got a bout of breathlessness. We had lunch at the restaurant – black bean burgers, vegetarian sandwiches that wasn’t on the menu. Going back to the lodge, we took a short siesta. Then we stepped out to explore the surrounding areas. The temperatures must have been in the high nineties or was it the muggy air, I don’t know, but a scoop of ice cream settled the dust on the heat. The staff at the reservation desk said we should take the route towards the east entrance of the park, which had more scenic views of the lake than the one to the south. That’s what we did next. We spotted more bison this time around enough to our satisfaction. We were hoping that we will be able to spot a grisly bear, but that wasn’t the case. Looking back, I am glad we didn’t come across a grisly on the road. Sitting in the car watching him move around wouldn’t have been the safest thing to do. If you definitely want to watch a grisly, then you should take conducted tours where they know where to go. Never take hike thinking of finding a bear unless you are armed and know exactly how to face a bear. It is easy talking about it than getting away unarmed.
Bison up close!05-Jul-2011 10:34, Canon Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, 7.1, 41.0mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 200
04-Jul-2011 20:46, Canon Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, 6.3, 18.0mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 200
The drive was exhilarating though. We drove through the higher roads with great views of the lake and the mountains. Many parts of the park have been burnt due to forest fires. There was a fire that lasted two weeks in 1998 and its reminiscence was very evident with burnt trees with sharp conical tops still standing.There were hordes of such trees. We saw quite a bit of snow on the hill slopes and there was a troupe of children playing. There were lot of mosquitoes and they particularly seemed to like our blood! These buggers would get into the car when you open the door even a little time. The lake butte overlook, a 1/2 mile detour, had another view of the vast lake. On the way back, we decided to have dinner at the Lake Yellowstone Deli instead of at the cabin. The sandwiches and lentil soup was excellent and filling. Soon there was a sever thunderstorm and it was a sight to watch it over the lake. As we drove back to the lodge, the mix of sunshine and clouds made an excellent presentation of nature along with the valleys, green and mountains. It was exciting to see the sun sparkle just for a few seconds between the clouds before the height of the road let him go away. The sky turned gorgeous and I was able to snap it up with a few clicks from my cellphone. Back at the lodge, we slept the thunderstorm out.