One of the most quintessential Yellowstone river/meadow/are-there-mooses-here spots is just inside the park from the south entrance. The featured photo (above) is just across the street from Lewis Falls (also gorgeous and pictured below).
While that was C’s favorite Yellowstone spot, mine involved “smoke” and boiling water, which is surprising because I was actually somewhat unimpressed by the geysers. But when I saw the sign for Mud Volcano, I knew we had to make another stop at another thermal feature.
The mud volcano, according the NPS sign, used to actually look like a volcano and would shoot mud high into the air. At some point it actually blew itself apart, though, leaving what we see today. Still pretty legit.
While I loved the bubbling mud, the best thermal feature at that stop (and the whole park as far as I’m concerned) was Dragon’s Mouth. It legit looks like a cave that surely must house a real-life fucking dragon. You can’t hear it or see it as well in the video (I neglected to take the camera so C shot these videos on his iphone), but each time the water rhythmically waves out from the rock it sounds as if a dragon is exhaling, and simultaneously a puff of “smoke” (aka steam) billows out. Do not miss this if you are in Yellowstone. It is really amazing in person.
There is a short hike with several similar thermal features in this area, but since C and I were trading off watching Domino, we didn’t do the whole thing. C’s dad and brother did, though, and they thought it was worthwhile. The Sulphur Cauldron is also just across the street and is an interesting feature if you plug your nose.
Just as we were leaving Yellowstone, we finally saw some wild animals! First we saw a couple of wolves (no pictures) and then we got super excited when we saw moose in the meadow! Exactly what we had been waiting to see. We reveled in glory as we took photos – particularly excited because we even got pictures of baby Moose. What a great way to exit the park. That evening as we gloated to C’s family, we quickly realized that what we had seen was a herd of Elk… not Moose at all. But at least we saw some wild animals damnit!
Next up: Glacier Park, our favorite park from the trip – even better than Grand Teton NP, which is saying something! Check back in a couple of days.
I’ll be shutting down the “Camping Across the Country to NYC” donation page in the next couple of weeks, so if you have been meaning to contribute, you best get on it. We are just $300 short of our goal, and while our trip is actually over at this point (we’re in NYC!), we had to use some of the money that we had hoped to save for NYC survival as we apply for jobs. Regardless of your ability to donate or not, I appreciate your support and the fact that you are following this blog!