Friday, September 23, 2016

Yellowstone, Craters of the Moon & Silver Creek

As we left Livingston, MT we headed south through the Paradise Valley.  We found this Golden Eagle having a meal in the field.
Why Yellowstone got it's name - high cliffs along the river.

Lower falls of the Yellowstone

We went into Yellowstone National Park covering the eastern and central part of the park that we bypassed on our earlier trip.  We hiked along the Yellowstone River enjoying the falls and wildlife along the way including two black bears that we couldn't stop for because of the crowds of people.
Greeter at the Falls - Common Raven

Yellowstone between the Falls

Bighorn Sheep lamb

Rugged features along the Yellowstone River deep below

Bison bull takes over the road

Bison herd of cows and calves

Bull Elk was heard bugling 

All campgrounds were full so we headed out the west entrance and found a site at Baker's Hole, a National Forest area.  We passed a nice heard of elk on the river and a large bull watching over the family.

Autumn colors along the road

Full Moon sets over Crater of the Moon National Monument

We camped among the lava beds at Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve for 2 nights.  This 750,000 acre volcanic field can be seen on satellite as a large black spot on the map.  What a unique place to explore: lava fields, cinder cones, lava tubes and interesting plant life that has established itself in the cracks.
Lava flow that cracked as it cooled

Sculpture at Craters overlook

Dwarf Buckwheat blooms in the cinders

This deep crater is from a volcano that blew about 2,000 years ago.  Much of the lava fields look like it was much more recent.
Colorful lichens cling to the lave rock

Lava Tube, some are very long

Pygmy Rabbit has made it's home at the Craters

Rope Lava

Yellow Pine Chipmunk

Large Cinder Cone fragments 

Blue Dragon Lava

Cinder Cones many hundreds of feet high

We headed west and saw a bull moose walking through a meadow.  Back tracking, we hoped to see him closer but lost him, but we found the Silver Creek Nature Conservancy Area.  Very nice area and we found some interesting wildlife.
Gray Partridge 

Sage Thrasher

Leaving Idaho with the sunrise in our rear-view mirror and heading into Oregon.

Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann

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