Today my main goal was to get to Lamar Valley. I entered the car and felt something strange, but in a good way. The seat was a bit warm and I felt the steering wheel is warm as well. The car had these places hot, it's great !
The Lamar Valley is located in the northern part of the park, outside the upper loop (the main road in Yellowstone is made of 2 loops where I spent most of my time). But it's not that you can just "go there", you have to stop on the way, for good reasons.
As I was stopping in one place where I saw a gathering of some people, I understood they're watching a black bear! So I joined them to look at this cute guy. I'm telling you there are some crazy people out there, coming with tripods, huge lenses, camouflage etc. I stood there for a couple of minutes until he went out of sight. I continued driving only to find out that a few meters later there's another bear… This one was even closer to the road so I got better pictures.
That's it, after a while I "reached" Lamar Valley. Let me try to describe the situation: I didn't see any sign saying that's it. On the seat next to me there are several open maps so I'm trying to understand where exactly am I and if that's the place… The drive to get there was just amazing! You need to climb some mountain and then descend from it to get to the valley where all this open space, lots of grass filled with bisons.
On the way back I saw again a group of people so I stopped, trying my luck to see a Grizzly. Apparently they saw a black bear so I asked to borrow the binoculars but it was quite far so all you could really see is a small black dot. The same happened to me later that day but with a Grizzly, which I really wanted to see, but I just can't cross that item off my list yet 🙁 . Even with the binoculars it was just a brown dot moving… But you've got to admire those people who sit there for a few hours! I decided that the next day I'm going to wake up early and invest some time in trying to see a Grizzly.
Mammoth & Norris Basin
I continued toward Mammoth which is another area of geothermal activity, but in each area the activities and the way you see them on the ground is different. The different colors are actually bacteria that each kind likes a different temperature – the white ones like it very hot, the yellow ones a bit lower and so on.
My next stop was Norris Basin where you can see different colors but it's not like Mammoth. It has some geysers and everything together creates this strong smell of sulfur but I guess that's true for all the park 🙂 . And just so you understand, this picture was taken in 18:15 but from light perspective it looks like noon!
The next day has 2 of the most famous sites in Yellowstone!