Yellowstone National Park - Day 2
Our first night in Yellowstone National Park was quite an experience. We didn’t expect it to be freezing cold in August! We put on some extra clothes during the night because our sleeping bags could not handle the low temperatures at this altitude. Also, we woke up in the middle of the night because of a pack of wolves crying … and they seemed pretty close!
So, after a short night of sleep, we bought our breakfast AND an extra sleeping bag. After breakfast, we were excited to see geysers for the first time in our life. The first one we visited was the (stinking) Black Dragons Caldron. This geyser was first discovered on June 10, 1948. Since then, eruptive activity has slowly moved south along a natural crack. Hydrogen sulfide (the smell of rotting eggs) rising within the spring combines with oxygen to form sulfuric acid, creating a hostile environment for plant life. Iron sulfides are responsible for the black color of the cauldron.
Next, we went to the Upper and Lower Falls. The Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon, at 308 feet high, is one of the most photographed features in all of Yellowstone, and weren’t surprised, this Yellowstone’s “Grand Canyon” was breathtaking.
Afterwards, we went to the Norris Geyser Basin, the hottest and most changeable thermal area in Yellowstone. We walked (a part of) the 2 1/4 miles (3.6 km) of trails, which provide a safe route for viewing the Porcelain Basin, named this way because of the milky color of the minerals deposited here. The sometimes bright colors are caused by minerals and microscopic life forms, which still manage to live here in these extreme conditions like acidic water.