Sunday, July 31, 2011

Item From the Past: Yellowstone '05

It's been six years since we drove in late July/early August to Yellowstone NP and other western points. How do the years escape like that?

Here are Lilly and Ann, looking a lot smaller, on the banks of the Gardner River, a tributary of the Yellowstone.

Then I turned and looked southward at the river.

The current was gentle, and we were able to wade into the river, which was shallow and rocky at this point. As I discovered by spotting a US Geodetic Survey marker nearby, we were only a few feet north of the Montana-Wyoming state line, which is also the 45th parallel of latitude north.

This is the venting, sulfurous Yellowstone famed in tourist lore.

I think I took this shot at the Norris Geyser Basin, which is traversed by long boardwalks, with plenty of signs warning visitors not to stray onto the terrain or risk being boiled alive.

Less hellish is the cool Isa Lake, a small body of water in the park with the distinction of straddling the Continental Divide, which at that point has a elevation of 8,262 feet.

Isa Lake (wouldn't Lake Isa sound better?) thus drains into both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. According to Wiki, citing pages I can't access tonight, "the east side of the lake drains by way of the Lewis River to the Pacific Ocean and the west side of the lake drains by way of the Firehole River to the Atlantic Ocean. This is the opposite of what one would expect, since the Atlantic Ocean is east of the lake and the Pacific Ocean is to the west."

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