"For the benefit and enjoyment of the people". These are the words that we drove under as we entered Yellowstone National Park. These are the words that I had been hoping to see in person for more years than I can count. Yellowstone is our country's first National Park and one of the greatest. We had finally arrived (and with Daddy who had flown in for the occasion!) and we were excited to be spending the next few days in a land of geysers, canyons, water, and wildlife.
Our first stop on our tour of Yellowstone was Mammoth Hot Springs. We threw our suitcases in our cabin and walked down the street to the hot springs. It's hard to miss the stark white and rust colored hill as it stands out amongst the wooded mountainside. It has its own kind of beauty. A beauty that reeks of sulfur and could scald the skin off your leg. It looked a bit to me like some sort of ancient and miniature Grecian city.
The white crust is fragile and incredibly thin in some places so the park system has constructed a system of boardwalks around the hot springs to avoid damage and accidental burns. My kids loved running down the planks from viewpoint to viewpoint and climbing up the wooden steps to see what unimaginable scene was next.
The view from the top was amazing. The hot springs reminded me of an infinity pool filled with boiling hot sulfurous water and a million dollar view. The hot springs are still very active and growing all the time. Trees can sometimes become casualties of their growth.
One of the more famous landmarks in the Mammoth Hot Springs area is Liberty Cap, a dormant geyser. My kids must have thought it was pretty cool because taking a picture in front of Liberty Cap quickly became a race to keep them out of the restricted area near Liberty Cap.
By the time we had finished our tour of the hot springs afternoon was slipping away into evening and dinner at the Mammoth Hot Springs Dining Room was calling. We had two full days of exploring the park ahead of us and were about to experience more beauty than we could have ever expected.
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