Great West Trip 2023: Part 4

This is a cross-post from Flyin' the Coop
We entered Yellowstone National Park through the East Entrance and began driving through what I would call the mountain area. I had no idea that each part of the park would look so different. Our first stop was at an overlook. We had to stop because the views were spectacular. The pictures don't do it justice.
The obligatory picture at the entrance.
As we made our way through the park, we started to see random buffalo in the fields. There weren't big packs of them in this section but it was a thrill to finally see some.

We saw our first geyser/ hot spring of the day
First buffalo sighting!
We noticed this rather large crow sitting on the roof of the bathroom. It was pretty loud and Robert was able to get rather close to it.
We stopped at Calcite Springs and I walked the path to the overlook. The water was a stunning color.
The steam coming from the side of the river was pretty cool.
See what I mean about the color of the water?

These formations were made by volcanic activity

We were surprised that we hadn't seen as many buffalo as we were expecting. A quick talk with a ranger gave us the information we needed. We drove through what I would call the "plains section" and managed to see a lot of them. Babies, mamas, daddies, and even some pronghorns in the mix.

Buffalo mamas and babies
Pronghorns in the background mixing in with the buffalo
Having our fill of buffalo, we continued on. We stopped at the Albright station at the North Entrance and saw some elk as well as some interesting rock.
We were amazed that these elk were just hanging out in the midst of the visitor's center with a lot of people around
This rock looks like snow cascading down a mountain
In the afternoon we made it to the geyser section (as I call it) which is in the west side of the park. We opted to skip Old Faithful which I think turned out to be a good choice. We aren't crazy about getting in with the crowds and by the look of the line of cars, it was going to be pretty crowded. We stopped at Beryl Springs and got a pretty good idea of what a geyser looks like on a smaller scale and without a lot of people.
Beryl Spring is one of the hottest springs in Yellowstone.
It was named "Beryl" because of the blue-green color of the water reminiscent of the gem beryl.
We stopped at Flood Geyser just as it was finishing its performance. This is one of several geysers in the "flood area" of the park.
I couldn't find this so I'm going on the assumption that it's possible that this area floods since there is a stream/river flowing through this section.
Or maybe it's because it looks like it's flooded. If you know, let me know!
As we made our way to the South exit, we saw a few more geysers/hot springs which were just fantastic to drive through:
Our next mission was to find a place to stay for the night. I had the coordinates of a place to boondock but, surprisingly, CH wanted to find a campground instead. We stopped at one place and were pretty much told, "Good luck". I checked a campground in the Tetons and, as luck would have it, they had one spot left. We snatched it up right away. It wasn't the best campsite we've ever had, but it gave us a place to park the van.  More on that next time!

I realize how much we missed by doing Yellowstone in one day. This will be one place I want to return to and spend more time. There is so much to see!

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