Yellowstone National Park, Day 6

Back to the Terraces
Tuesday, June 248949-terrace2The morning dawned bright and blue for a change. No telling how long it will last. In keeping with our new policy of getting up early and going to popular areas, then heading for the hills later, we were out the door by 7AM. Unfortunately, Mary woke with a sore throat and was feeling poorly. She was still game to take on the day though. She’s a trooper.48960-terrace248979-terrace248973-terrace2We wanted to return to the lower terraces early this morning – both to avoid crowds and because of better light on the formations. Once the sun gets higher and brighter, it creates too contrasty of scenes.
48957-terrace2The early light is also great for casting interesting shadows that aren’t too dark or distracting. The shadows emphasize texture that complements and enhances the scene.48951-terrace248963-terrace2 48984-terrace2 49009-terrace2The wooden walkways climb and traverse all over the various terraces. In many places, the actual feature is no longer active, leaving just a white and gray coating of travertine. It can still be great material for pictures.49001-terrace2 49004-terrace249014-terrace2 49025-terrace2 49039-terrace2 49047-terrace2 49049-terrace2 49054-terrace2 49055-terrace2 49063-terrace2 49070-terrace2 49078-terrace2 49081-terrace249088-terrace249096-terrace2We had lunch, took a short rest, and when Mary was feeling better, we headed out for a drive on the Tower-Roosevelt road as far as Dunraven Pass. We want to cover some of the territory we missed from the other side.49118-terrace2Mary always likes to stop at a roadside exhibit that used to be about the firestorm. It’s a boardwalk that meanders through a burn area. A year after the fire when we visited, we walked through a lunar landscape of charred toothpicks, and we could still smell smoke – and nothing green. Today it’s returned so well the park service now calls it, “Forces of Nature” exhibit.49121-terrace2Mary for some odd reason always forces me to be silly at this spot so she can photograph me. I guess she needs proof it actually happens. It’s only fair payback to post this. The poor woman’s Atlas? 49124-terrace2So we continued along the road to check out various other waterfalls, animal sightings and scenic pull-outs.49163-terrace249134-terrace2Since I was driving again, I missed a great chance for black bear pictures when a mother and her 3 cub stopped traffic about 15 cars in front of us. Judging by the snarled and stopped cars, they had been there a while. A ranger was on hand to keep people sane, but the bears were on the passenger side so, Mary got a few distant shots as they sauntered by.49141-terrace2At the Tower-Roosevelt junction we opted for Dunraven Pass once again instead of heading out to the Lamar Valley. Too much driving to do that to. There were great views again on the way up and we stopped occasionally to look more closely. Of course by now, lots of clouds were building, but it just made the views that much more interesting.
We stopped one final time mid-way back for a short hike to some mud pots. They were underwhelming, but we were both taken with some of the blow-down trees on the rounded hills of this area. By the time we reached camp about 7 PM, it was pouring rain – lightning and thunder for several hours.49166-terrace2Tomorrow I am hiking the Hell Roaring River trail on my own. Mary, really feeling her cold now, will not be coming along. She didn’t want me t0 pass up the chance to hike if the weather was good though, and this trail sounds great.

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