After sleeping inside a tent in the rain the previous night, we got going for a long drive to Yellowstone. We caved in and stopped at Pizza Hut before entering the park. The weather in Wyoming was still rainy from the night before, and it slowly transitioned into the snow as we went. We were now at Yellowstone park's doorstep, the east entrance. The snow was there because we were at high altitudes, and that's how it is in Wyoming and the area. As I write this (in March), the pass we used to enter the park is now closed.
The park itself is huge. It is almost half of the size of Vojvodina. So even getting from the park entrance to our campground took us time. We entered through the east mountain pass, then descended to Yellowstone Lake at the park's center. There, we got supplies for the 4-night camping we planned to do. The whole place was full of people, unlike anything I had seen before in other parks.
Eventually, we got to our campsite - the Madison Campground, where we set base. We arrived late, so there was little to do except make fire, cook, and catch up. The following day, we visited the Old Faithful geyser and watched the show where the water shoots out of the earth. I thought it wouldn't be that good, but it really is. I was staring at the geyser with many other folks, and I guess you can't look away because the water eruption is controlled by nature, and you don't want to miss it.
We continued our way around the complex surrounding the geyser. Yellowstone is also known for its hot springs throughout the park. This area around the Old Faithful was no different. It was full of them. We admired all the various colors in nature's hot pits. What's interesting is how the colors appear as that.
It is actually the different bacteria that live in the rings of the springs that give them colors. Species of bacteria which prefer the hotter temperatures of the interior are typically green and blue, while species which prefer the cooler temperatures of the exterior are more yellow and orange in color. This is what gives a rainbow-like effect to the springs 🌈
One thing to note is that you must stay away from the hot springs. First of all, you can damage the fragile curst surrounding it and mess up the ecosystem of the spring. Second, you can actually get serious burns if you fall into the spring and possibly even die 😔 The park made sure you have platforms to walk on and view the springs. Still, getting off them and trying to take a closer peek is tempting. Most folks get burned while trying to save their pets, who eagerly jump into the forbidden pools.
If you get past the hot springs and follow the rules, there are other things to watch out for. One thing that the park is adamant about is how to behave around wild animals. Especially the bison. There are videos shown across the visitor centers of people getting charged by bison, reminding you to not mess with them. The first thing I saw when I walked into the bathroom at our campsite was the sign that warns you not to approach the bison.
Besides the bison, the signs warned about the bears and other animals. But I'll share that tomorrow as well. In the next post, I'll share the hike to Mystic Falls and how we camped ⛺️