Grand Prismatic

Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone, Wyoming, U.S.A

The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is the largest hot spring in the United States, and the third largest in the world, after Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand and Boiling Lake in Dominica. It is located in the Midway Geyser Basin. (Wikipedia)

While the Old Faithful geyser may be more famous, the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring is the most photographed thermal feature in Yellowstone. It has unique colors combined with its own steam clouds over a large area.

What Makes the Grand Prismatic so Grand?

Deeper than a 10-Story Building
Extremely hot water travels 121 feet from a crack in the Earth to reach the surface of the spring.

Football Field on Steroids
The third largest spring in the world, the Grand Prismatic is bigger than a football field at 370 feet in diameter. A gridiron is 360 feet long and 160 feet wide.

Rainbow of Colors
The hot spring has bright bands of orange, yellow, and green ring the deep blue waters in the spring. The multicolored layers get their hues from different species of thermophile (heat-loving) bacteria living in the progressively cooler water around the spring. And the deep blue center? That’s because water scatters the blue wavelengths of light more than others, reflecting blues back to our eyes.

A Living Thermometer
What living thing in Yellowstone has helped investigators solve crimes and NASA search for extraterrestrial life on seemingly inhospitable planets? Heat-loving microbes living in the Yellowstone’s thermal pools. In 1968, researcher Thomas Brock discovered a microbe living in one of Yellowstone’s extremely hot springs. In the years since, research on Yellowstone’s microbes has led to major medical and scientific advances, including the sequencing of the entire human genome.  Check out yellowstonepark.com for more information and images.  https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do/grand-prismatic-midway-geyser-basin

Below is a neat YouTube video that provides an elevated view of the spring.

AMAZING PLACES ON OUR PLANET
The Beauty of Our World Without Words
by Milosh Kitchovitch

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Ready for football?

Do you have a favorite NFL or college football team? It’s time to cheer them on, if that’s your thing. I’m excited about college football beginning this weekend and the National Football League (NFL) regular season kicks off after next week.

I like the pre-game activities that allow young people to interact and enjoy the environment. Here are a couple of photos I took last year before a home NFL game. Can you guess my favorite team?

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Old Faithful

Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park erupts steam

Old Faithful is a wonderful place to observe natural wonders. I was mindful that we were standing atop a super-volcano, and hoped it wouldn’t erupt anytime soon. The geysers are continuous reminders of the power underneath.

Old Faithful is a one of the most popular geysers and is located in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, United States. It was named in 1870 during the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition and was the first geyser in the park to receive a name. (Wikipedia)

The famous geyser currently erupts around 20 times a day. These eruptions are predicted with a 90 percent confidence rate, within a 10-minute variation, based on the duration and height of the previous eruption.

During visitor center hours, geyser statistics and predictions are maintained by the naturalist staff. This is done by good old-fashioned observation, timing with a stopwatch, and writing in a log book. Visitors can check for posted prediction times in most buildings in the Old Faithful area and on the webcam web page https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do/about-old-faithful

When we visited Old Faithful, it had a continuous flow of steam flowing upward.  We could see other smaller geysers and hot springs throughout the area while waiting for Old Faithful. 

Crowd waiting to see Old Faithful, while observing another geyser in the distance.

Once the steam starts to bubble up water, it indicates the eruption is about to happen.  It’s fun just waiting with expectancy.  The height varies and the one we saw didn’t seem to erupt as high as anticipated.  Check it out. 

Also amazing were the other geysers and hot springs in the area.

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Streams to dams

Jackson Lake Dam, Grand Teton, Wyoming

Just think how a little stream with clear water and pebbles meanders into larger streams, rivers, lakes – providing such a powerful force that benefits, and sometimes threatens, life and land.

The Grand Teton National Park provides many opportunities for observing simple landscape to recreation, including survival. The Snake River flows into Jackson Lake, providing delight to rafters and boaters alike. Jackson Dam controls the water to benefit habitat downrange, and beyond.

May we let the streams flourish for ourselves and others, maintaining control to prevent overflow of the banks and damage to all. May we use controls within and without to benefit ourselves and others as well.

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Ranchers and Jackson Hole

Cabin on Mormon Row, Grand Teton National Park

I wondered what type of ranches developed in Wyoming even before the Grand Teton National Park was established in the early 1900s.  Upon research, it is interesting how people traveled from the eastern side of the U.S. to explore and settle in the western U.S. 

Barn on Mormon Row, Grand Teton National Park

Land Opportunity

The Homestead Act of 1862 established by President Abraham Lincoln was apparently a key piece of legislation that would entice easterners to move west. 

Historical barns with newer ranch house on Mormon Row, Grand Teton National Park

The Homestead act created a public land management system that allowed individuals traveling to the west to acquire land for free.  Sign me up, right?  However, the land no doubt was taken years ago. 

Cabin on Mormon Row, Grand Teton National Park

A homesteader was an individual 21 years of age or older, the head of a household and someone who had never taken up arms against the U.S. government.  When the act was signed, the U.S. had just finished its first year following the end of the Civil War. 

Homesteaders were individuals who used legal means to acquire virtually free ownership of their land.  https://jacksonholehistory.org/homesteading-in-jackson-hole/

Historical ranch house on Snake River at Grand Teton National Park

It appears Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was a central location that supported ranchers throughout the Teton Range, including the establishment of “dude ranches.”  For instance, experienced dudes, Struthers Burt and Dr. Horace Carncross opened Jackson Hole’s second dude ranch in 1912, the Bar BC Ranch. Burt described dude ranching as cattle ranching modified to care for “dudes”—visitors willing to pay handsomely for a quaint cowboy experience.

Wanna-be Ranchers

During its peak years, as many as 50 dudes could stay at a monthly rate of $300 each. These rustic destinations copied the layout of working cattle ranches. Only six dudes stayed the first summer, but the Bar BC soon became Jackson Hole’s most famous dude ranch. More information and images are also located at https://www.nps.gov/grte/learn/historyculture/bcran.htm and https://jacksonholehistory.org/sky-ranch/.

Additional images of the Teton history may be viewed at  https://www.nps.gov/media/photo/gallery.htm?pg=1952309&id=FCF8CFA1-155D-451F-67A5268A72280213.

Historical ranch barns remain on Mormon Row, Grand Teton National park

Mormons Build Community

In addition to those traveling from the east to establish land ownership, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, sent parties from the Salt Lake Valley to establish new communities and support their expanding population.

Historical barn on Mormon Row, Grand Teton National Park

Mormon homesteaders, who settled east of Blacktail Butte near the turn of the 19-century, clustered their farms to share labor and community, a stark contrast with the isolation typical of many western homesteads. These settlers first arrived in the 1890s from Idaho establishing a community (named Grovont by the U.S. Post Office), and known today as “Mormon Row.” https://www.nps.gov/grte/learn/historyculture/mormon.htm

Mormon Row At Grand Teton National Park

The area surrounding Jackson Hole still reminds travelers of the western life and the open terrain of the Teton Range.  When we visited the town of Jackson, it had the feel of a tourist attraction with many shops and restaurants.  It is a nice place to shop and explore though, and it still has a lot of history to examine. 

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Settlers make a difference

Cunningham cabin at Grand Teton National Park

Frontier settlers throughout history made a difference toward building development and life itself.  Wyoming’s Grand Teton benefited by certain visionaries. 

J. Pierce Cunningham was a rancher who became a conservationist.  He settled in Jackson Hole in the 1880s despite the winter hardship.  He originally opposed the expansion of Grand Teton National Park but later became an advocate. 

Cunningham teamed with his neighbor, Josiah “Si” Ferrin to write a petition signed by 97 valley ranchers who agreed to sell their land to form a “national recreation area.”  John D. Rockefeller, Jr’s Snake River Land Company bought Cunningham’s land and other ranches.  Rockefeller later donated more than 33,000 acres to expand the national park. 

Now we can observe and preserve the beauty of the Grand Teton National Park. 

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Grand Teton

Grand Teton range
Grand Teton National Park awaits those to behold its beauty.

Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain, the Teton Range stands as a monument to the people who fought to protect it. These are mountains of imagination that led to the creation of Grand Teton National Park where you can explore more than two hundred miles of trails, float the Snake River or enjoy the serenity of this remarkable place.  https://www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm

Grand Teton Range in Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming is a WOW location to enjoy splendor and beauty. We enjoyed traveling through the area to observe various angles of the Teton peaks.

Grand Teton and Owen Mountain

The tallest peak is the Grand Teton (left).   Mount Owen is to the right of the Grand Teton.  Teton Glacier is in between these two mountain peaks. 

Grand Teton, tallest peak in center, with Mount Owen to the right and Middle Teton to the left. Glaciers are in between each.

The mountain peak to the left of the Grand Teton is Middle Teton.  French explorers provided the name teton.

Grand Teton National Park, which spans around 310,00 acres, is in northwestern Wyoming and surrounds the town of Jackson. It connects with Yellowstone National Park to the north.

Travel tips may be viewed at https://traveltips.usatoday.com/far-grand-teton-national-park-yellowstone-106913.html.

Which view of the Grand Teton range is your favorite?

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Life ripples

Water view at one of Grand Teton’s glacier lakes – Jenny Lake

Who can see real beauty beneath?

We behold clear view obscured by uneven ripples.

How can we see beneath the surface,

Not knowing what lies underneath?

Yet we see beauty while trying to understand,

Not knowing full the image – is it danger or is it safe?

Only when we wait for calm to form

Will we know true intent of what’s inside.

Then we focus on what is there that we did not know;

There is calm, some rocks, but still there is growth

We look up to the splendor that wasn’t there,

When we saw what was below.

We couldn’t see while looking below,

Even the ripples made us sad.

But when we lift our eyes above,

Leaving behind that we could not see

To embrace the beauty, that was there all along.

But we chose to look below, blurs made us sigh

Til we choose – looking above,

Seeing heights and grandeur unfold. 

More than meets the eye,

When we work to understand, even though we were told.

Grand Teton National Park mountains and glacier lake

Don’t be distracted by the surface with stress and ripples,

Choose beauty and joy beyond where we are, and what will be.

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Where buffalo roam

Wild buffalo roam freely at Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Oh give me a home … you remember this song? You can sure identify with it when traveling to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, U.S.A.

Buffalo cross the road at Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Let’s take a little look-see and observe these wonderful creatures of the wild. You’ll notice we have a “buffalo jam” or “wildlife jam.” Take a visit when you get a chance.

Driver over Bridge-Teton toward Grand Teton
Grand Teton buffalo crossing

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Watch out for Mama Bear

Grizzly and her cub along U.S. 26/287 in Shoshone National Forest

Seeing a Grizzly beside U.S. 26/287 was a big surprise as we traveled from Dubois, Wyoming toward Grand Teton National Park.  We enjoyed the ride through the Shoshone National Forest, Togwotee Mountain, Bridger-Teton National Forest, past Lava Mountain,  another crossing of the continental divide, and finally entering the Grand Teton National Park. 

Electronic and posted signs warn humans when bear, moose or elk are near the highway. Actually, expect to see them at any time. You never know.

We hoped to see Grizzly bears, from a safe environment, and just happened to drive slowly by the mother and her cub.   Occupants in the vehicles that began stopping stayed inside their protective cages.  That’s a good thing.  These are the wildlife you wouldn’t walk up to and pet – even if we desire it. Everyone is cautioned to not become friendly with all wildlife. That’s why they are called “wild.”

I never suspected that this encounter with the Grizzly would be the only sight of one during our time in Wyoming. 

Dash cam view of Shoshone National Forest

The drive toward Grand Teton was exquisite and fun.  I really appreciate the Shoshone National Forest that showcased its beauty as much as its ruggedness.  The forest offers superb scenery and endless recreational opportunities! It was set aside in 1891 as part of the Yellowstone Timberland Reserve, making the Shoshone the first national forest in the United States.

The forest has 2.4 million acres of varied terrain ranging from sagebrush flats to rugged mountains. The higher mountains are snow-clad most of the year.

Immense areas of exposed rock are interspersed with meadows and forests. With Yellowstone National Park on its western border, the Shoshone encompasses the area from the Montana state line south to Lander, Wyoming, and includes portions of the Absaroka, Wind River and Beartooth Mountains.   https://www.fs.usda.gov/shoshone/

Grand Teton National Park view from Togwotee Mountain

I could readily notice the escalating splendor as we approached the Grand Teton.  I’ll highlight this spectacular place in the next few posts. 

Blessings along the Way!

Ron