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Yellowstone from 22th of July to 4th of August 2018

One family and a few teenagers visited the extraordinary Yellowstone National Park looking for wildlife and traces of a sleeping super-volcanoe. Voir descriptif détaillé

Yellowstone from 22th of July to 4th of August 2018

One family and a few teenagers visited the extraordinary Yellowstone National Park looking for wildlife and traces of a sleeping super-volcanoe. Voir descriptif détaillé

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Le Journal de Bord

Sunday 22th of July

Edgar, Candice, Leopold and Émilie have a long day trip. After 8 hours we arrived, with all our luggage at Minneapolis. We have already presented our passeports 15 times at least. Courage !
We are impatient to discover Yellowstone and the rest of the team.

At 7.40pm we met Michael, Yveline, Yaho, Julie and Sandrine at the nice Jackson Hole Airport.

We went to the peaceful Gros Ventre campground. A lot of space in the woods, we already met one muldeer, a golden ground squirrel and a uinta ground squirrel.


Monday 23th of July

Finding a campground

We woke up early to go in the Yellowstone National Park to look for a new place. We knew the system is « first arrived, first served ». But we were very suprised, when we have been refused in two big campings before 11 a.m. We spent most of the day to find one, and at the middle of the afternoon, we finaly found the Madison Arm Resort, which isn’t in the Yellowstone National Park, but we had hot shower which is pretty rare ! Some of us swam in a beautiful lake, after we did an organization reunion and prepared the camp.

On the way, we saw some bisons and group of muldeers.


Tuesday 24th of July

As we finaly found a camp close enough to Yellowstone, we decided to stay there for two days, so that we would not need wasting our time at packing and unpaking our tents.
Today, we have seen geysers and natural hot springs, which both are due to the active volcanism of the area. Remember that Yellowstone is the biggest volcano of the world. The last eruption occured 640 000 years ago. There are many different colors for different reasons. Brown, red, orange and yellow are thermophile microorganisms, which thrive in hot temperatures. Some places of the landscapes are white and arid, because of the high concentration of silica (SiO2).

Below the famous Grand Prismatic basin. Just incredible

And other thermal feature in the Geyser Basin


Wednesday 25th of July

Today we went to the old faithful trail. In the morning, we walked 1 hour and we saw geysers. There were lots of different geysers like the Belgian pool, Grotto and the so predictable Old faithful, ...

We visited the historic hotel Old Faithful Inn, the oldest of the park, built near 1900. After, the teenagers met a ranger who guided us and other people. He explained with humor, metaphors and some examples of the daily life the history of the Yellowstone parc and its geysers. It was very cool and we learnt many things. Then, we went to the supermarket and came back to the campground where we did an aperitif with our really kind neighbours.

Leopold and Candice

Thursday, July 26th

Today, to make sure getting a site at the Norris Campground, we woke up at half past five and left thirty minutes later. Arriving at our destination, there were already dozens of people waiting and the campground was marqued full. We decided to try our chance anyway. Knowing the waiting time could be very long, we divided the group into two teams to have some of us waiting at the queue while the others were eating a delicious breakfast prepared by Emilie. Finally, at quarter to ten, we were in. We settled our tents and started working on our journalistic project. Michael and Edgar work on the silicium-rich environment of Yellowstone, Leopold and Candice on the geysers, finally Yveline and Yaho on the origin of the tourists of Yellowstone and what motivated them coming. The morning was gone before we noticed it.

In the afternoon, we went to an area called Norris Geyser Basin to see some wonderful thermal features such as steam vents, hot springs, geysers and mud pots.

While those thermal features are called differently, there are some reasons. Here there are : Because of their small chemney, the steam vents have very little water supply, so as the name indicates, there is just steam in the surface, without water. At the contrary of those, the presence of soft rocks on the hot springs’ surface causes the fact that there isn’t enough pressure beneath to explose. Concerning the geysers, their cheminey with very hot water underground are nearly plenty, and the rocks are harder. When the heat and the pressure has accumulated to a certain point, the geysers erupt, with water, gases and steam.

Yveline (and Yao)

We also walked on a nice trail, to reach the Daisy fall.

Friday, July 27th

Today we went to Mammouth hot spring at 9 a.m to meet a ranger. She explained why the landscape makes terraces. It’s called terraces because of their shape consisting of superposition of bassins. These bassins are created by the alteration of limstone by hydrothermal fluid. It creates a deposit called travertine. She also explained that everything change so quickly, day to day.

Then we went to Mammouth and we visted a visitor center. After having eaten and taken a shower we ate some huge ice creams.

Meanwhile, we worked on our scientific subjects. In the evening, even if it was raining cats and dogs, we assited to a talk in the ranger museum about the Yellowstone’s ecosystem. It was interesting, although most of us didn’t understand.


Saturday, July 28th

Today, we went to the famous canyon at the North East of the park. In the morning we met a ranger at nine o’clock, she explained us the history of the park with its explorers. For example, she told us about one of the first explorers who was called Washburn. He went alone in 1871 and survived without any equipment (including food) during 37 long days. One year later, because of what he and other explarators with painters had reported about the geysers, the first national park in the entire world was born with a decision of the president Ulysses S.Grant---Yellowstone.

Now, based on our own observation we can finally explain why the rock is yellow at the Yellowstone National Park !

We walked with the rangers until a nice small lake and on the way back we stopped to draw the landscape. A hard exercice really useful to understand the complex formation of the geological setting.

Edgar & Yveline

Sunday, july 29th

Today, we saw a bison on the way to the Lower Geysers Basins.

There we saw our first mud pots. Then, we walked to a waterfall called Mystic Fall. It was beautiful and we saw animals, like muldeers. After we returned to Old Faithful to eat and to visit the other side of the site called Black Sand Bassin. We followed a ranger who talked about there. Sandrine showed us Black Sand Pool which is a special hot spring. We could feel bubbles under our feet before an eruption.

At night we decided to go to Norris to see stars and the moon.

Yveline, Leopold and Candice.

Monday, July 30th

This morning, we went back to Mammoth for a ten kilometers walk.

During this walk, we have first seen 2 snakes. Then a lone male made its presence in the middle of the plain. After that, we heard high-pitched howls of an elk and we saw in the forest.

Some people heard there was a bear sleeping nearby. Near the end, we have even seen a badger, a pretty rare discovery.

After this long walk, we deserved a great lunch at in old-fashion saloon in Gardiner, near the North Entrance of the National Park. On the way, we observed some antilope.

There is actually delicious bison and elk meat, and we had a really nice feast, changing from the picnic sandwiches.

We returned at Mammoth for the free wifi after having shopped in Gardiner. On the way back we also observed sheep in the mountains.

There were whole helds of elks lying in the village.

Afterwards, we have seen the lower terrace, before driving back to our campsite to Norris.

Unfortunatly, on the road, an RV crashed into the rear-view mirror of our van. At first, that guy drove away, so we called rangers to catch him and spent a long time resolving the insurance stuff. Eventually, the guy came back two hours later, and the insurance stuff went on for another half hour. We kinda « optimised » the time by playing games, writing the previous article, and we saw a few rabbits. But as we went back to Norris, the time was late, and we ate without having sunlight.

Tuesday, July 31th

This morning because of yesterday’s accident, we stayed at the campground and we worked on our projects. Meanwhile, Emilie and Sandrine were calling the car insurance. At 10:30 a.m, we finally left the campground to go to the huge Yellowstone lake. There we walked along the side of the lake and saw some frogs, spectacular pelicans and other birds.

In the afternoon we took a bath in the lake. After that we listened to a twenty minutes ranger talk about squirrels in a visitor center. Then we took a shower and came back to the campsite.

Yveline and Candice

Wednesday, August 1st

Today we went to Lamar Valley, because its known as the better place to see animals.

We walked along the Yellowstone river side in the middle of the bear country, hoping to see one. Finally we saw a black bear eating at the end of the walk and another one with its cub on the road when we drove back.

We were very happy to see them !

Yveline and Candice

Thursday, August 2nd

Today on the road to go to West Thumb which is a part of the Yellowstone lake, thanks to passionate Americans with their material, we saw part of a pack of 16 wolves. There were 4 babies but we couldn’t see them because of the distance and the size of their territory. Then at West Thumb we saw thermal features at the border of the Yellowstone lake that were in a very special setting : between the hot spring and the mud pot.

In the afternoon we hiked on a trail called Elephant back because of its shape. From there we had a beautiful view on the Yellowstone lake. Before returning to the campsite, we stopped to lok at a few blue heron nests and others colorful birds, and we visited Mud Volcano, with a strange cave called the dragon mooth.

Yveline and Candice

Friday, August 3rd

We left Norris campground very early and drove 3 hours to reach the lovely Gros Ventre campground. After a big breakfeast we went to Jackson Hole city. A classic far-west city with fashion shops.

During the afternnon we visited the visitor center focused on the Grand Teton national park and the first indians, explorers and trappers who discovered this region.

We returned to the campgroung to finish our work and pack the luggage.

For the dinner we had special meal, with french-style pasta carbonara and a huge steak. We finished our last evening around the fire and slept our last night in the peaceful Gros ventre campsite.

Leopold and Emilie

Saturday, August 4th

Just to be sure that this expedition will be unforgettable for Julie and Yaho, they saw a grizzly bear and moose along the Snake river.

The Yellowstone wildlife


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