Adventures in Yellowstone

I imagine you can guess where we’ve been from this photo.  We are back from a wonderful vacation trip to Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park.  This was my first time to see either park, even to be in that part of the country.  I took almost 500 pictures and I’ll show you just a few today.  Old Faithful was fun, and we only had to wait a few minutes that day to see it go off.  I took about a dozen pictures while it was going.  It went on for enough time for me to enjoy being in the moment while still getting some great photos.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

Geysers are all over the park, this one producing enough steam to cover the road.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

Gorgeous colors come from organisms living in the hot springs waters, so clear you can see into the deepest part of the spring.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

This was the Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the US.  The colors were stunning, but difficult to photograph from our vantage point.  There is a deep blue in the middle, with green then bright yellow rings surrounding the blue.  Working outward you can see the browns and rust colors.  An overhead view was on a postcard in our room, so we sent that to dearest MIL.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

We were told that the best wildlife watching was at dawn.  No problem for us as we were on Eastern time and awake at 5 am anyway most days.  In the soft blue light of pre-dawn, we found this little group crossing the river.  Sorry this pic is a bit blurry, but it was the only one I could get before they disappeared into the forest.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

Bison were abundant in the Hayden Valley.  On the morning we saw them, we had just had a close encounter with two of them running down the road!  They were in the lane going the opposite way from us, and ran right by us in front of a line of traffic.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

Coming around a corner, I spotted these elk, grazing but wary.  We stopped to watch them from the car.  Rolling down the window, I was able to get a few good pictures.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

As we watched, this magnificent buck made an appearance.  Just look at his rack of antlers!

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

More hot springs to be seen in the afternoons.  We saw the Paint Pots which looked like bubbling caldrons of mud, and more geysers.  There were several areas with boardwalks to protect the fragile thermal ecosystems, so walking was easy.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

This little one was keeping an eye on us, its mother was a few steps behind.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

Another dawn, we saw this bison alone in the river water.  He is really far away, this photo was taken with just a little zoom to get some of the mountain forest background.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

Using the full zoom on the camera, I could get a close shot of him, while remaining at a safe distance.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

Yellowstone had a devastating fire in 1988, and parts of the park still show evidence of the damage.  Here, over 30 years later, the burned tree trunks still stand, with regrowth of evergreens coming along.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon was awe inspiring, with the Lower Falls waterfall on the Yellowstone river.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

On the last day, the most amazing part of our stay came again just at dawn.  We were up really early to go to Lamar Valley where we hoped to see some of the big horn sheep or more elk.  Coming over a rise we saw lots of cars parked and people standing, so we parked at a pull-out before we got to the crowds.  A man with a camera on a tripod told us that wolves were playing in the river.  He knew a lot about wolves, and we had the impression that he studied them a lot in the park. I looked and saw the dark spots moving across the river, far away. This far –

Yellowstone view at

But with the zoom on the camera, I could see them playing, more like frolicking in the water.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

He told us that this is something they rarely do, and almost never seen by humans.  We watched in wonder as seven wolves ran back and forth across the river, splashing and jumping, chasing each other.  One would nip another’s tail, then turn and run the other way.  They played with abandon for 15 or 20 minutes, then left the water and started across a field towards the forest.  The sense of having witnessed something truly remarkable stayed with us for quite a while.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

On our way out of the park, one last stop to see a small group of elk.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

We went on our way, driving from Yellowstone to Glacier National Park in northern Montana.  I have to say it was an interesting drive with the speed limit at 80 in places on the interstate.  Driving more on back roads, there is a lot of pasture and farmland in Montana, such a peaceful cruise up to Kalispell.  That is until we realized we hadn’t seen a gas station in a long time.  We found one in a tiny hamlet, with a friendly proprietor who told us that in Montana, when the gas gauge reads half-full, start looking for a station.  Arriving in Kalispell, we checked into our hotel, and got up early again to explore the next place on our list.  Glacier National Park is much smaller, and we did the Going to the Sun Road in one day.  The Sacred Dancing Waters were lovely.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

It was a bit disappointing to find that the glaciers are now just small patches of ice, and will all be gone within the next few years.  Still, the mountains were extraordinary, and beautiful, even though we got rain on the day we had to drive through.  We did go back for a bit more scenery the next day.

Wildlife Adventures at Yellowstone |

It took an entire day to get home, getting up at 4 am to catch the first of three flights at 6:25 am.  We were tired, but it was a wonderful time to just get away from everything.  But no time to rest, as the next day I had to get to the grocery store to stock up, and then to the Fair for the first of the three cooking contests I was entering.  Plus I wanted to take some photos for next year’s photography contest and see how my quilting and crafting entries did.  I’ll bring you that tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone that participated in the survey questions while I was on a break.  It has really helped me to determine a couple of things I can drop, one fairly time consuming which will leave more time to design and create, ultimately bringing you more of what you want to see.  I read every comment and suggestion, and thank you for the wonderful feedback.

Lots of fun things are coming up, as I almost have Autumn Jubilee set.  New designs are on the way, and some really fun ways for you to participate.  I hope you will share your projects in our Facebook Sharing Group.  If you haven’t joined yet, be sure to answer the questions or the moderators may not approve you.  My two moderators, Pat and Mary, help to keep the group on track, but we would all like to see more of your projects inspired by my blog.  That includes your quilting and sewing projects, tablescapes and recipes, your garden and decorating.  We have enough folks there that the discussions should be lively, and I try to stop by every few days to see what you all are doing.

What’s going on in your sewing room / garden / kitchen?

39 thoughts on “Adventures in Yellowstone

  1. Jean

    Looks like quite the adventure. You’re lucky to get that photo of the bull elk. It’s really striking. Of course with your other photos you have wonderful memories. My family was there during the fires so that is a strong memory for me.

  2. Vicki in MN

    Loved your Yellowstone photos, they were almost identical to ones I took 3 years ago! Isn’t it just magnificent. We had our camper and stayed in the park for 11 days. The real difference was your 7 wolves, we saw two and they were feeding off a dead animal.

  3. Yellowstone is one of my most favorite places in the world – so glad to know you got to go there and enjoyed it so much! You really got some wonderful pictures, Carole. Those wolves – wow!

  4. Your photos from the parks are amazing. It must have been such a thrill to spot the wolves like that. It was a great time to visit the parks with schools back in session.

  5. Linda B

    Fabulous pictures, Carole! Must have been incredible to see up close! Many years ago I thought it would be a worthy challenge to visit all the National Parks… but I am satisfied now with the ones I have seen, and enjoy them vicariously like this when someone shares with us! Glad you’re back safe and sound and good luck at the fair!

    1. Susan

      Yellowstone is my favorite park of all time. I love your narration as well as your photos. The springs have rich colors and as you said the pictures were not able to fully capture them. How lucky you were to see the wolves – they had not been introduced when I was there nearly three decades ago.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing your trip, Carole! It looked amazing and your pictures were wonderful! I visited Yellowstone with my family when I was a child; maybe 7 years old I think, and I really don’t remember much of it. I think I was too young to appreciate the beauty. I would love to go back. Thanks again for this wonderful post!

  7. How wonderful to be able to visit both Yellowstone and Glacier parks! I visited Yellowstone in 1988 when the fire broke out. Awful! I am going back soon! So happy to see the recovery in your photo! I have great memories of both parks!

  8. The photo of the bison along the forest is frameworthy, Carole, so glad you got the chance to see my part of the world! (You likely flew over my house at about 30,000 feet ) Your elk pictures are quite, especially the bull elk. They are very shy, and stay away from any traffic. The wolf story is incredible! What a moment to witness. The Rockies are really quite stunning, Montana and Wyoming show off their rugged beauty.

  9. Beautiful pictures! Seeing those wolves must have been something else! My husband & I are leaving tomorrow for Glacier Natl. Pk. We’ve been there before & look forward to seeing it again. However….the forecast this week is rain. Oh well.

  10. Sounds like a wonderful trip to both Yellowstone and Glacier, with amazing views and opportunities to spot wildlife. All very special. I’ve been to Yellowstone a few times, but never to Glacier. But it is on my bucket list.

  11. This trip was like heaven, just seeing your shared photos was amazing. Thank you for taking us all along the miles with you. Your photo of the Buffalo should be a prize winner. Well done.

  12. mjny

    This was wonderful. I love visiting the National Parks. We truly do live in such a beautiful and majestic country. Maybe someday I will get to visit Yellowstone.

  13. We were at Yellowstone in late May this year. Eight feet of snow still clung to some of the roadsides, and it snowed while we were at the Old Faithful Inn. I loved learning the history of the park and the Inn – we had a wonderful Inn tour guide, Ruth Quinn, who has authored a biographical book on the Inn’s architect, Mr. Robert Reamer. The numerous geysers and “ploppers” as we started calling them, were just amazingly beautiful, dangerous, and other-worldly. Our cyber-guide related stories of how the early trappers and explorers would tell of seeing all these unbelievable sites, and were then summarily accused of being in the woods too long! We, too, had bison walk the middle of the road (it is THEIR land, after all) right by our car – what a scary thrill that was. My first visit to the park and it was so rich in history, memories and sites – an experience to remember always!

  14. Carole, your pictures took those of us who have never been there, on a wonderful trip, and I’m so happy that you and DH had such a great time. Now I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow brings. You sure have a very busy schedule and I know Fair time is something you really enjoy doing. Hopefully, you will win some ribbons, but if not, it’s all about the excitement of participation and seeing what everyone else has been doing. Glad you are home, safe and sound.

  15. The bison, that is a beauty!!! And all the other animals, and then to see wolves playing, no wonder so many were there to see this.What a great time you have had. Those colours round the hot mud and pools, a circular quilt made like that would be stunning.

  16. Hi Carole, Yellowstone is so beautiful, we have been several times as we live in Washington.
    That whole area has so much to see. And the best things are off the road but so worth the walk.
    Mount Rainier in Washington area is beautiful also as is the Pacific Ocean it’s so different than the east coast or Florida area of the ocean.
    Glad you had a great time coming out west.

    1. Susan mayle

      My name is susan mayle i just came back from out there .to ohio i have lived in north caralina several times its a beautiful state by the way.i we also very much enjoyed our trip to was Awesome. From ohio to California.and we stopped in Yellowstone.i highly recommend this trip to everyone.and your pictures are Wonderful Thank you for sharing.

  17. Myrna Watson

    What a wonderful time I just had travelling along with you, great pictures. I liked the story about the Wolves, how lucky for you to see this. Have fun at the Fair and good luck with your entries

  18. What a wonderful trip you had, out of this world scenery and the privilege of seeing those animals in their natural habitat. Thanks so much for sharing. I live on the other side of the world so sadly will not get to visit Yellowstone.

  19. Thank you for sharing your awesome adventure with us. I have friends who summer in Kalispell, and I have been their guest a few times. I’ve only been to Glacier once, and it was breathtaking at every turn or trail. We were able to watch the meteor showers on each of my visits. They don’t call it “Big Sky Country” for nothing. You felt like you could reach up and touch the stars.

  20. farmquilter

    Love the pictures from Yellowstone and Glacier!! Both are beautiful places. Love your shots of the elk and bison, but the wolves…oh the wolves!!! You were so blessed to see them – definitely an incredible gift to experience that. Your camera has an amazing zoom. So glad you had the opportunity to see a bit of the western states…our mountains are definitely different from the mountains in eastern states!!

  21. Great photos. You have taken me on a trip down memory lane. We went to Yellowstone on our very first USA trip 20 years ago. It is looking as wonderful as ever.

  22. Cheryl L Buchanan

    My sister lives in Wyoming and when I visited I was able to go to Yellowstone. We went up through Thermapolis to visit the hot springs there and spent the night in Cody. They have a fantastic gun museum there. We went into Yellowstone from that side and on our way in we saw Big Horn Sheep. My Brother-in-law said he had lived there 8 years and had never seen them. I also got to see a moose and a mountain lion on our way out. The only thing on my list that I didn’t get to see was a bear, but we were told by the park officials they were out and about and that was why all the trails had been closed off. I did see foot ptints, but alas, no bears. We also saw a field full of Phesants when we visited the Indian Reservation. Loved my visit to Wyoming and plan to go back one day soon.

  23. Debbie B

    Beautiful photos! Sounds like a wonderful trip. I haven’t been out west yet but hope to be someday. Sorry I’m so late commenting, but I’ve been away and am getting caught up on your posts.

  24. dezertsuz

    I loved seeing your pictures, but was surprised not to see moose. There used to be crowds of them greeting people around the first grassy wooded bend in the road. I was always amazed at their patience with humans who got far too close than was truly safe with a wild animal, especially a mama! You saw some wonderful things – the wolves, oh that thrills me that you saw that. I haven’t been back in quite a while, but would like to go again. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

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