Friday, August 29, 2008

On to West Yellowstone, MT and Yellowstone National Park

This morning, August 26, Sandy and I went for a drive to the area northwest of West Yellowstone, MT. Along the way we went through an area called the Madison River Canyon Earthquake Area.

This earthquake, a 7.5 on the Richter scale and the fourth largest at that time in the US, happened on August 17, 1959 at a little after 11:00 PM. The first area we came to was Hebgen Lake. the Land surface along the north shore of the lake dropped 19 feet causing the lake bed to tip which sent the water sloshing back and forth. Cabins and resorts on the north shore were inundated with water while the south shore was left high and dry. The first building was shaken apart from the earthquake while the second was immersed in water because of the land tilting.

The most significant event from the earthquake was a major landslide that occurred where over 80 million tons of rock blocked a canyon. This eventually formed Earthquake Lake which now has a depth of over 100 feet where, previously, you could wade across the Madison River at this point.

There was a Federal campground at this point with approximately 250 campers. 28 did not survive. One of the amazing facts of this lake is how fast it filled. In less than a month the Corps of Engineers had to cut a 150 foot wide by 15 foot deep channel on the top of the slide to let water out. Then less than a month later they had to deepen it by another 50 feet. Later that evening Sandy and I were walking around town and came across these painted buffalo.

We heard that there are over 20 around town. It seems everyone is getting into the act of doing similar projects. Saint Paul, MN has the Snoopy’s, Amarillo, TX has the painted horses and who knows what else is out there. On the 27th Sandy and I spent the day in Yellowstone National Park.

We drove the north loop in Yellowstone for the first time. Although we have been to Yellowstone a couple of times before, we had never made it up here. One of the more interesting stops was at the Mammoth Hot Springs. This is an area that keeps building up from the mineral deposits. Here are several pictures of the area.

Later on down the road we were traveling along the Yellowstone River and stopped at several of the pull outs. At one of the spots we had 3 Osprey’s soaring around, I would have said above, but a lot of the time they were below us in the canyon. Here is a picture of the Yellowstone as it flows north out of the park.

Now if you are extremely sensitive about bad taste, you should read no further. And then of course there has to be the obligatory photos of the wild life.

Now I can’t tell, but for a buffalo, was that a good or a bad smell.

Bye for now,
Dave and Sandy

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