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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: North
Robert Ashley
Wednesday, September 4
Wednesday, September 4. 6:00 p.m. Madison Campground, Yellowstone N.P.

Yellowstone. Funny how I never before wondered why Yellowstone was so named, and maybe funny too why it took me so long to finally visit. The name is pretty obvious once one visits--the sulfur makes everything yellow or yellowish. The air is even yellowish with the sulfur smell.
There are some excellent reasons why Yellowstone is such a popular place to visit, and not just by U.S. citizens either, as I heard several langusges other than English spoken at those places I stopped yesterday and today. Most of the park is an eroded volcanic caldera, which in itself does not necessarily make for a particularly special landscape. However, the continuing geothermal activity, which exhibits itself in a multitude of geysers, hot springs, fumaroles, and mud pots, contributes to making it very special. Old Faithful is a must see for most visitors, but Steamboat Geyser is interesting too, and so are Sulphur Caldron, the Fountain Paint Pot, Mammoth Hot Springs, the Lone Star Geyser, and whole valleys full of bubbling, steaming fumaroles at Monument Geyser Basin, and the Norris, Biscuit, Black Sand, Upper, Midway, and Lower Geyser Basins! Hundreds of them. Thousands.
The vast number of animals is also a major draw. Yellowstone is a "driving park," that is, it is possible to just drive the two loop roads and see a great deal. The roads follow the courses of the Madison, Gibbon, Firehole, Yellowstone, and other rivers, allowing the driver and passengers to see the bison grazing in the marshy floodplains. Sometimes the bison stroll out onto the highway and stop traffic. Elk and deer are more likely to be glimpsed on the forested sides of the roads. All are traffic-stoppers; vehicles pull off the road if room permits. If not, they stop on the highway. Camera-toting tourists swarm the landscape. Even a flock of geese can create a slowdown, and the appearance of a bear can create havoc.
It occurred to me that the solitary grazing bison across the meadows would not necesssarily need to be real to attract attention. A cardboard cutout would suffice. A deer or elk silhouette, if outfitted with a small motor and timer to alternatively activate a swishing tail and raising/lowering head, would also work. Geese silhouettes across the lake or river would be the subjects of many photographers. For now, though, we seem to have enough of the real things.
There are other attractions, of course. I was surprised to see that a very large part of the park was burned during the "Yellowstone fires" of 1988. The fire raced through, burning the needles and small branches but leaving the tall, slender trunks and larger branches of the lodgepole pine trees. They still stand, black or gray, portruding like the bristles of a hair brush from the green carpet of new growth, now ranging up to six feet in height. Yellowstone Lake is attractive too, but my favorite is the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. The river drains Yellowstone Lake and creates a breathtaking display when it tumbles down the Upper and Lower Falls near Canyon Village. The canyon is deep, and the multicolored rocks make for a spectacular view, particularly from high above at "Artist Point." The Yellowstone continues northwest into Montana, then it turns northeast and flows another 400 miles until it neets the Missouri River just across the state boundary in North Dakota.
for Wednesday, September 4
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: North
Robert Ashley
Bob Ashley poses with school children at the Wyoming Hunting and Fishing Heritage Exposition 2002
. Robert Ashley is a teacher from Illinois.
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List of All Journal Entries
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Thursday, September 26
Robert Ashley
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Tuesday, September 24
Robert Ashley
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Saturday, September 21
Robert Ashley
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Friday, September 20
Robert Ashley
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Thursday, September 19
Robert Ashley
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Wednesday, September 18
Robert Ashley
Kemmerer
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Tuesday, September 17
Robert Ashley
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Monday, September 16
Robert Ashley
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Sunday, September 15
Robert Ashley
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Saturday, September 14
Robert Ashley
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Friday, September 13
Robert Ashley
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Wednesday, September 11
Robert Ashley
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Monday, September 9
Robert Ashley
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Saturday, September 7
Robert Ashley
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Wednesday, September 4
Robert Ashley
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Tuesday, September 3
Robert Ashley
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Sunday, September 1
Robert Ashley
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Friday, August 30
Robert Ashley
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Thursday, August 29
Robert Ashley
Stoddard Creek (F.S.) campground
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Wednesday, August 28
Robert Ashley
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Sunday, August 25
Robert Ashley
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Friday, August 23
Robert Ashley
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Thursday, August 22
Robert Ashley
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Wednesday, August 21
Robert Ashley
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Tuesday, August 20
Robert Ashley
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Saturday, August 17
Robert Ashley
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Friday, August 16
Robert Ashley
Meyer Hill
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Thursday, August 15
Robert Ashley
Aspen Grove
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Wednesday, August 14
Robert Ashley
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Tuesday, August 13
Robert Ashley
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Monday, August 12
Robert Ashley
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Sunday, August 11
Robert Ashley
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Wednesday, August 7
Robert Ashley
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Wednesday, August 7
Robert Ashley
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Wednesday, August 7
Robert Ashley
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Sunday, August 4
Robert Ashley
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Saturday, August 3
Robert Ashley
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Thursday, August 1
Robert Ashley
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