Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tower Falls Area

When we took our big vacation to Yellowstone in 2010, some days we packed as much into 24 hours as we possibly could. Every morning we'd get up at dawn and go until we were exhausted. Every night we'd all collapse into bed and fall immediately to sleep to get ready for the next day.

One especially full day was spent around the Tower Falls area. That was the day we took a soak in the hot spring along the Gardiner River. But later we headed out for all kinds of sight-seeing and hiking. Here's just a small portion of the stuff we saw that day:

Tower Falls from one of the overlooks.

Heck with it, I figured. I'm hiking down there!

You can really see the soft stuff that makes up much of the underlying material in Yellowstone. It's obvious that the place was just a huge caldera full of exploded rock and dust. The rivers cut through it like it's soft chalk. Which, basically, it almost is.

I enjoyed this hike to the river. It was peaceful down in the gorge--almost no other people were there. All I had to do was hike back up. Of course that wasn't nearly as tough a hike as climbing out of Linville Gorge.

Later, we traveled to a hot springs area that had some petrified trees. A number of them were standing as they must have been when volcanic ash covered them. They had this one fenced off to keep souvenir hunters from carrying it away, piece by piece.

And after that, we toured a tremendous thermal area with all sorts of bubbling springs and roaring formations screaming thunder and steam.

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