Just over a month after I graduated from college, my family and I took a road trip to Yellowstone National Park, using West Yellowstone, Montana as our base camp. I’m pretty sure this is the last time I road tripped with my family somewhere, at least for years afterward. Yellowstone is one of the most amazing places. It should be on everyone’s bucket list (especially before the supervolcano explodes!).
The lower geyser basin features a few beautiful hydrothermal features like the ones here. The colors of red and yellow are thermophiles, small heat-loving organisms that live in the extreme boiling water of the features. The water is so blue because few other organisms can actually survive in the water.
As trees fall, they rot in the pools, and the land seems to be poisoned. The barren landscape is markedly different than the semi-lush patch of green in the background.
Along the trail to fairy falls we found a friend: an elk! On the way to the falls we encountered it in the area above. On the way back, however, we got a lot closer to it because it was only a few feet from the trail.
(PS, little did I know that in 2014 I would be back at the midway basin with Stéphane as we moved him out west, walking the very same planks and trails).