30.04.2012 - 30.04.2012
We started the day by driving south back into Yellowstone National Park and Roaring Mountain and took the photos we didn’t had time for to do yesterday. We kept on driving north to Mammoth Hot Springs and stopped by Devil’s Thumb among other things. Devil’s Thumb is a big rock surrounded by hot springs that someone thought looked like a thumb – thereof the name. I don’t really agree with that comparison though. Then we drove east towards Tower-Roosevelt and paid the Petrified Tree a visit. It’s simply the remains of a poor Redwood Tree that suffered from a volcano outburst in the area many, many, many years ago… in other words, a fenced tree (or should I say a ripped off burned stump). Not that impressive in my opinion so I didn’t even take a photo of it.
After Tower-Roosevelt we got to Lamar Valley, a valley well-known for all the animals you always get to see here. And we didn’t have to get disappointed… huge quantities of bison and pronghorn (kind of deer). After driving for a while we randomly stopped at a resting-place that was crowded with squirrels (Uinta Ground Squirrels) that lived underground in holes. They immediately approached us and wanted something to eat and were definitely not afraid of human beings. It was obvious people had fed them many times before even though it’s prohibited to feed wild animals inside any national park in the entire US. Since they weren’t afraid of us we could get pretty close and take great photos of them.
In hope of exiting the park by the east entrance close to Billings, we kept on driving towards Cooke City. But due to snow that road was still closed so we had to turn around and go back to Mammoth Hot Springs. And I’m lucky we did, because somewhere along the road to Mammoth Hot Springs we actually saw a wild Black Bear – photo time of course!
We had to drive all the way back to Livingston, via Big Timber before we finally got to Billings. During the way we managed to see a big and beautiful rainbow arched in the sky – so nice. We had booked our staying in Billings in advance close to the airport.