February 25, 2006 - Snowmobiling Yellowstone - Day 2

Finally at Norris, we park our sleds, which are soon greeted by a nothern gray jay.
Cute bird, right?
Remember that.

Overlooking Norris Geyser Basin.

Don't forget it is cold. The rivers are frozen - at least the ones made from lakes and northern streams. Only the thermal-fed rivers are flowing (until they get far enough from their source to lose their warmth and freeze.

Don't think that all the exposed ground means it is warm here. In the rising steam, it can be 100 degrees, but there are still 2+ feet of snow in the areas that have a little barrier (even if that barrier is only 6 inches of clearance for a boardwalk).

Pretty bubbling pool.
Ugly mud-pit beside it.
This steam vent smelled like a grizzly bear's breath after getting into some rotten deviled eggs... (and it is ugly, too!)

We walk a mile or more through this intriguing area. Each geyser, pool, steam vent or paint-pot is different.

This is the mostly-dormant Steamboat Geyser.
When it erupts, it is the tallest geyser in the world - at over 100 meters (three times old faithful).
However, it can be 4 days or 50 years between eruptions.

We stare at it for a while, and a 6-8 foot spew occurs. That wasn't a 'real' eruption, though.
Barely a hiccup.

Emerald Pool. We threw a snowball into this one. It lasted all of three seconds in the nearly boiling water.

When we got back to our sleds after our hike, we saw that these previously-cute jays and/or ravens had opened the zippers on our saddlebags, pulled out Jill's underwear (pictured) and stolen Carey's thong.

Heading out from Norris towards Madison, we see two of the Yellowstone ladies munching by the Madison River (very near where we saw the mother bison and calf the day before).
This was zoomed out for a view of the mountains.

The Madison River across the street from the last shot, apparently taken in the spirit of Erin and Jason's photographer.

Trumpeter swans floating lazily down the stream on the way from Madison to the west entrance.

Finally, we arrive in West Yellowstone, Montana.

We get to our cabins in West Yellowstone mid-afternoon.

What a place to stay!

We immediately head out to the Grizzly Bear sanctuary, by the border of West Yellowstone and Yellowstone National Park.

Illie and Sam (sister and brother, from left to right) play.

Jill and I pose in the gift shop...

A gray wolf sits on the hill and checks out the action.

We head out to the edge of town by the West Yellowstone airport (WYS).
The Galladin range merges with the Absaroka range in the distance.

Down the hill is a bowl, which we proceeded to friggin' carve up in a style that hopefully would have made Jamie Edmundson proud!

I took a walk to the town park for my first view of a "Big Sky" sunset.

Jill's sled parked in front of the cabin.
Tomorrow we head from West Yellowstone around the park through Hayden Valley to the South Entrance.