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USA 2018 (12), the beautiful day’s end.  As we arrived in Mammoth Hot Springs, around 3.30,  we learned that contingency alternative accommodation had been reserved for us in Gardiner, but also that the authorities were hoping that the road to Cooke City would be cleared by 5.30.  So instead of continuing straight on with our journey, Jeremy took us on a visit that had been intended for a day or so later, while Drew stayed behind to do whatever had to be done.  This visit was to the Upper Travertine Terraces.  Where silica is the main mineral which separates out from the hot water in the Old Faithful area, at Mammoth it is limestone. (I did ask if the remains of a mammoth had been found in this area, but it seems the name comes from the size of the terraces.)  This was perhaps the only time in the whole of the trip where I might have preferred to have been there in warmer weather.  The extreme cold meant that the water vapour was so very extensive that it was difficult to get a full idea of the splendours. Our nevertheless lovely walk was a There-and-Back one.


From the start of our walk There



I kept finding myself a little behind the group as I stopped to take photos

P1300050001P1300051001P1300058001P1300063001P1300070001P1300078001P1300084001 When we were at the furthest extent of There, Jeremy had a call to say that the road to Cooke City was now clear, an hour earlier even than hoped. Great! We could continue on our way!


We start walking Back to the vehicles, in the shade, as the sun starts to disappear behind the mountains

P1300141001P1300148001P1300152001P1300158001P1300167001P1300168001 In the course of this time in the Mammoth area we said goodbye to our faithful snow coaches, and reverted to Natural Habitat ‘ordinary’ Sprinters. On this last lap of the day, a further couple of hours’ driving, pretty well due east now, it was minus 23ºC/minus 9ºF.P1300180001



Drew said there was a rule that drivers should do nothing to impede the intended paths of the wildlife, but that it was not always respected. Here it was the bison who moved over and decided to impede us!



P1300191001And then it became too dark to take any more photos.

The last two days were to be spent concentrating on wolves…