Saturday, November 29, 2014

America the Beautiful - Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is one of the natural wonders of the world. It's primarily located in the U.S. state of Wyoming,  although it extends into Montana and Idaho.

It was established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872.

Yellowstone, widely held to be the first national park in the world, is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful Geyser, one of the most popular features in the park.

It has many types of ecosystems, but the subalpine forest is most abundant. It is part of the South Central Rockies forests ecoregion.
The Old Faithful Inn is like a storybook place. It's constructed by material found in the park, was built in 100 days by 50 workmen(or is it 50 days by 100 workmen?) It's like the biggest log cabin you've ever seen, with a giant stone fireplace in the middle that can fit a whole party inside!

If you want to stay there, you have to make a reservation at least a year in advance, even for dinner in their dining room.
Stelios and I were lucky and got there the first week when they just opened for the season and we got both a room and dinner!
These amazing balconies are filled with lounge chairs and sofas, so visitors can sit and enjoy the view. They also have coffee bars on each floor, which make it extra nice.
The lights have to be kept low and they cannot have air-condition, all to preserve the integrity of this very old structure.

 Herds of bizon and elk come to graze right outside on the grounds of the park hotels.
 The geysers are spectacular.
You have to walk a bit around the park to see them but they are worth every step.

 Yoga on the geyser walk!(it's not me)

The park is vast at 3,468.4 square miles (8,983km,) with forests, lakes, grasslands and even a canyon.

We saw lots of bison(lots!!), elk, a couple of bears, and a beautiful herd of pronghorn antelope.  On our way out of the park we saw a herd of bighorn sheep.

 This is a replica of the old buses used early in the park's life and now reintroduced.