Friday, June 19, 2020

Then and now......

7:01 am - Friday - June 19th - Corwin Springs, MT - 31° F, 100% humidity, wind - CALM....mostly clear, very cold, blue skies far.....with a forecast high of 63° F.

Thursday began with heavy overcast, there was some rain in the middle, and ended with clearing skies making for a very cold evening.  In between all of that we headed into Yellowstone NP with Claude and Gail in tow to see some sites.  We got sprinkled upon a few times, but never for long.  After entering the North Gate our first stop was the sign marking the 45th parallel....why is that significant?  Well, the 45th parallel is exactly 1/2 way between the equator and the north pole......just in case you might care.....

 June 18, 2020 - COLD

June 26, 2017 - HOT!

....we made a quick stop at the top of the hill just as you enter Mammoth Hot Springs from the North Gate to catch the never boring view back down the Gardiner River gorge.... up was Mammoth Hot Springs themselves....the namesake of the little enclave......

....we were saddened to find that over the last three years about 2/3's of the bubbling springs which provide the rich mineral colors, and the beauty have stopped flowing....the pictures you see in today's blog show all that is available to see in the summer of 2020.....most of the viewpoints look like desolate moonscape....the area in the picture below was covered in mineral water, and full of color three years ago......

 Compared to 3 years ago about 2/3's of the water features at Mammoth Hot Springs are no longer flowing

.....everywhere else we went, including Undine Falls, looked the same as 3 years ago, but perhaps a bit greener....all of the rivers we passed  by (Lava Creek, Gardiner River, Yellowstone River) were all flowing at pretty much their maximums just like three years ago....

 Undine Falls - June 18, 2020

Undine Falls (different angle) - July 19 2017

.....we continued our drive out to Tower Junction stopping to take pictures here and there....

.....we even stumbled upon a bison bull grazing all by his lonesome, and there weren't 100 people and cars stopped blocking the road......just us, and we were in a 'pullout' to take this shot, not blocking the road....

....unfortunately, when we reached Tower Junction we found the road to Tower Falls closed to traffic due to a summer long construction project (road work), so you cannot get to Canyon, or even Dunraven Pass from Tower Junction.  At this point it was after 4:30 pm, so we turned around and headed for home arriving there around 5:20 pm.  The traffic in the park was surprisingly light, but understandable in light of the COVID-19 world in which we live.

At 6:20 pm TLE and I headed back into Gardiner to the home of good friend Art Young, whom we first met while working at the Fernley, NV Amazon Fulfillment Center back in 2015.  We subsequently worked with him at TVC in 2017, then Yellowstone the same year, then the Grand Canyon from November 2017 to March 2018.  We met his significant other, Heather, for the first time, and had a lovely street taco dinner accompanied by good Bourbon, good brews, and most of all great conversation until after 9 pm when it was time to head for the barn once we passed by the Yellowstone National Park Post Office TLE got this picture of the two sculpted bears wearing face

....and she got one more great picture of our 'picture postcard' sunset over Yellowstone Hot Springs.  Thursday was full of nostalgia, and time spent with good nomadic friends.....'my cup runneth over'!

Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Do you know the reason those hot springs were so much dryer three years later? Has there been a drought to cause it? Or has there been any explanation offered?

    1. No drought. Not sure why except that underground formation may have changed. changed.