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By August 15, 20092 Comments

Crossing states on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere...After ticking The Wedge our next mission was Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, just across the border from Montana.

The USA’s (and the world’s) first national park, Yellowstone is on the hit list for a lot of tourists – all 30,000 of them per day! Yes – the place was busy: queues, traffic jams, grumpy rangers, rogue animals – the works. Still – it’s a pretty amazing place and well worth checking out – after all it’s one of only four places in the world you can see geysers. New Zealand’s one of those four, along with Kamchatka and Iceland. [Hover over the following shots for captions]

Sunset Lake - one of dozens of deep and vibrant thermal pools in the park
Another amazing pool...
More hotness

Waiting... Part of a visit to Yellowstone is waiting patiently (or not so patiently if you are an under-5) for things to erupt, spurt, explode or bubble. The most famous geysers there are all reasonably regular – with Old Faithful (hence the name) being one of the easiest to timetable. You can rock up to the visitor centre to see the geyser schedules: pick your geyser, check the schedule, go and wait for it to do its thing…
Old Faithful - an American icon - does its thing in front of a crowd of hundreds
Another bubbling pool

The 'other' Grand Canyon
Equal in the popularity stakes with Old Faithful is Yellowstone’s own Grand Canyon, and the Yellowstone Falls. Pretty awesome actually, if you can fight your way through the throngs to get a decent view …
Yellowstone Falls - Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park
A big part of Yellowstone is the wildlife - there's tons of it: we saw bears, elk (pictured by the main street in Mammoth), bison and bighorn sheep.
Burnt forest is a common sight in Yellowstone. There are regular fires, and in 1988 a particularly huge one devastated much of the park. It's part of the natural cycle of the forest, so in time the lodge pole and other pine species recover, but growths of other types of trees that don't sustain fire stand as a eerie record.

Burnt pines. New seedlings were starting to appear beneath them
More cooked trees

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