A few days ago, I had the opportunity to sit passenger side in a van exploring one loop of Yellowstone. Yellowstone sits in three states (Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho). When visiting Yellowstone, you stand in the caldera–the sunken portion–of a volcano. One spectacular thing about the place is how the heat rises from underground, causing geysers, like Old Faithful, to erupt with water on a regular basis. Mud boils from the heat underground; hot pools of clear, blue, deep water sit steaming all around. The richness of color in the water and mud is partially due to heat-loving bacteria that thrive here. We found the ‘Grand Canyon of Yellowstone’, multiple large waterfalls, bison, and elk.
We also found tourists. Lots and lots of tourists. A ranger called Yellowstone, “Disneyland with bison.” (This particular ranger was also hilariously cynical and told us about the most recent bison mauling, in which a man’s scrotum was ripped off by a bison. We listened in as he told small children how they could sink to their deaths if they walked into the heated mud.)
Here’s some of what I saw.