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Junior Curator Yellowstone Trip – June 27, 2012

June 28, 2012

Well, we have passed the half-way mark for our trip to Yellowstone National Park. To prepare for our intense hike up to Avalanche Peak tomorrow we had a fairly quiet day. Our day began with a geology of Yellowstone lesson while Yellow-Bellied Marmots watched from the hills. The geology of the park is one of its most interesting features and is the reason for everything we see around us.

Later in the day as we were traveling south, a red fox slinked around the side of the road. This was the first sighting of this amazing animal and we all proceded to snap multiple pictures.

The highlight of our day was a short hike up the side of a mountain as we approached the top we got our first glimpse of the Yellowstone Caldera. This really began to show the vastness of the park in which we were traveling. Although most of our day was taken up by driving to the south part of the park, by midday we managed an exhilarating climb to both the lower and upper falls as well as up to the amazing Artist’s Point. The hike down Uncle Tom’s Trail to view the lower falls was quite strenuous but without a doubt worth the wait. After three hundred and twenty-something stairs, we arrived at an astounding view of the “Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone”.

We then spent the rest afternoon exploring Hayden Valley and visiting more thermal features. These thermal features offered our group the true Yellowstone sulfur-smell and our first look at the tourist-packed part of the park.

Upon leaving the thermal features we were treated with a duo of male elk. Their antlers made a real impression on the group and demonstrated the dramatic difference between the male and female elk. On our way to the Lake Hotel cabins we stopped to journal by the Yellowstone River. We were greeted by swarms of small Caddis flies and larger Stone flies. Though they were rather annoying to those of us who were trying to write, many of us were quite excited to get in touch with the insects of this great park.

It’s hard to believe that we’re half way through our trip but the rest of the trip should not disappoint.

By Patrick, Melissa Charlie, Sam J., and Anna

 

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