Page 5 - Travertine and Trees

The upper left segment of Yellowstone Park’s figure eight highway runs between Norris and Mammoth Hot Springs.  Cold, overcast weather did not detract from the day, and although millions of great photos have no doubt been taken in these same locations under sunshine and blue skies, cool gray seems especially suited to these unique places.

USA - Wyoming - Yellowstone - Mammoth Hot Springs // Travertine terraces in the mist

Though not as desolate as the two views below suggest, the Norris Tour has a nice variety of thermal features which should not be missed.  The photo at Phillips Caldron on the left mixes mist and clouds in a mysterious tableau.

USA - Wyoming - Yellowstone - Norris // A gray day combines with steam on the Back Basin walk

USA – Wyoming – Yellowstone – Norris // A gray day combines with steam on the Back Basin walk

A somewhat euphemistic sign reading, “Naturally Reseeded By Wildfire in 1988” is sandwiched between the two extremes of forest recovery in our last set of photos.  The growing conditions around Norris must be especially difficult, as the new growth here is little more than five or six feet tall.  The gray afternoon probably overemphasized the hard life at Norris compared to the more typical example of tree growth on the right.  Most of the burn areas of the park now have new evergreen trees at a height of ten to twelve feet, with a dwindling number of snags standing as a reminder of the great fire.

Recovery from the 1988 fire has been slow, but the trees are back.

Having begun our story with some very discouraging words about fire damage in Yellowstone, it is worth stating that with all there is to do and see here, a twenty year exile was far too long.  Although we still have some trepidation about returning in the middle of the very busy summer season, our next visit will definitely be timed to take advantage of the great hiking opportunities.  We also need to complete our circuit of the figure eight, so a five day stay in some future October sounds just about right.

Yellowstone National Park – Page 1

Page 2 – Old Faithful Inn and Geyser

Page 3 – Yellowstone Geysers and Such

Page 4 – Yellowstone Wildlife and Scenery

Page 5 – You Are Here


1 comment to Page 5 – Travertine and Trees

  • jeffreyevans

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