Yellowstone (Part 3)

Mammoth Hot Springs

- 07 September 2004 -

Un gigantesque en hiver

It either looks like winter or the aftermath of some sort of volcanic je ne sais quoi. Instead, it's the main entrance to Mammoth Springs. (Well, it was our main entrance, and we rather think it was the best one, having seen the others. ;b ) 

Mammoth Springs is probably my favorite part of Yellowstone National Park. However, the drive there is *scary* -- some hairpin corners, one of which goes onto a bridge that hangs off the side of a hill. And it was on that very part of the drive that we saw buffalo across the road. I don't know where the buffalo came from, but they were sure there, and they took their sweet time moving out of the road. It is worth the drive, though. (Just schedule it so you don't have to drive back at night.)

Downhill from the entrance.

Minerva Terrace. 

It's a terrace! It's a Minerva! It's a Minerva Terrace! Or something. This picture doesn't quite do justice to how pretty it was. I thought it looked like some sort of miniature temple or something, except with more bacteria.

This picture gets *closer* to doing justice to the Terrace which is Minerva, and, yet, it is not perfection. Sigh. O, the fallen world that is photography.

I think this is the backside of Minerva Terrace.

The ravages of time have ravaged my memory to the extent that I can't remember exactly what this was. It's either the backside of Minerva Terrace, or it is what is seen in the direction from which I had just come.

Minerva Terrace, sideways.

I just didn't think the world had enough pictures that are taken at roughly a 45 angle. *nods*

And the terrace rows? They are made of this: Travertine.

Travertine, O travertine. 
With thy wiggly ridges 
proceeding down the hillside, 
thou makest that which is the Terrace 
which is called Minerva.

You can hand me my poetry prize now, or you can mail it to me later. *nods* 


And here we can see things cracking off of things. Oh, and piney bushes. Yes. 

Minerva Terrace, from below. 

The base of Palette Springs, the odd-shaped "Liberty Cap", the Mammoth Hot Springs Village area, and a bunch of spiffy mountainous scenery are visible in this picture.

This is Palette Spring.

Nifty colors, eh? Bacteria makes it happen! Yellowstone just wouldn't be Yellowstone without bacteria.

More of Palette Spring.

Even more of Palette Spring.

Yet more of Palette Spring.

Kickadee at Palette Spring. <3 <3 :D

"Oh, hello."

The folks at the bottom of the hill have a special guest tonight -- a big ol' elk! 


Cavern Terrace. 

MY CAR! Also, a bit of scenery and stuff. 


Step not on the fragile surface! Find not what lurks beneath! (It could be your very own hot caustic doom!) Venture not away from the path! Safety is paramount!


A walkway from the first parking lot of the Upper Terrace area to a different portion of the Lower Springs.

Once there was vegetation. Then there was hot caustic doom. Now there is scenery.

If I had a canvas, it would... well, it'd smell like sulfur out here. And it'd probably have stick figures all over it, because that's what I can draw. Stick figures, and three-branched pine trees, like a first-grader might draw. Hmm. I'd better stick to photography.

Scenery, part 1.6 trillion.

The end of the boardwalk in this area was sinking into a new portion of the geothermal pool. Milky liquid enveloped the bottom of the piers.

Despite all its challenges, I bet it'll stand the test of time. It's built of wood from my old hometown of Hillsboro, Oregon! :D

The amazing sinking boardwalk.


Goodbye, Mammoth Hot Springs.

Text written at times in 2004, and on 29 December 2005.
Last updated 20 January 2006.