Snowcoach Day Two, January 18, 2014
Before this day started a group braved the frigid temperatures to view Old Faithful erupt at 11pm under the glow of a full moon. After such a magnificent sight we headed to bed, anticipating an early rise. We awoke to the new day to see Old Faithful live up to her name beneath the full moon, and as the sun was beginning to rise. We then explored the geyser basin, listened to Ranger Rita, felt the earth thump under our bodies, and watched in wonder as diamond dust brushed against our bundled-up bodies. Through the expertise of Ranger Rita, we all connected to the geyser named Daisy as she boiled, bubbled and then let off a spray of steam and water. Yellowstone is truly a magical land. We witnessed ghost trees dressed in hoar frost and trees silhouetted against the bright blue sky. We experienced the morning temperature of minus 4°F as we shivered and then in the middle of the morning as we shed layers and the temperature climbed to 32°F. After a really quick lunch we boarded the snowcoach as we began our return to Mammoth. Off to Grand Prismatic where we were in awe at the living organisms that call it home with temperatures of over 100 degrees! The Fountain Paint Pots were next as we experienced all four geothermal features that are here in Yellowstone. We watched mud boil and bubble, felt the spray from geysers, smelled the sulfur, saw steam as it escaped from the depths of the earth, and witnessed the vivid colors of the hot spring. As we traveled the roads we saw a coyote hunting for dinner, a trumpeter swan floating, elk eating all along the banks of the mighty Firehole River. The Firehole has carved a magnificent canyon that we all had the privilege of seeing and stopping along as we looked at one of the waterfalls that helped to carve this canyon. As we left the caldera and traveled toward our final destination for the day we took a few moments to share our highlights of the day, and what a day it has been! To sum up our day we close with this: “Paint cannot touch it and words are wasted.” Frederic Remington, 1895.
Submitted with wonder and awe. “The bighorn sheep team”
Leah Buckley, Joy Shuck and Karen Davis