Yellowstone national park encloses the Yellowstone caldera. The lake and its surrounding prairie and forests are in the centre of the caldera. The Yellowstone river starts at the large lake and cuts deep gorges into the rim of the caldera in order to exit to high plain towards the north . Because of all the volcanic activity the rock in the gorge walls have many different colours and at several points steam is coming out of the side. The park suffers from regular forest fires. At many places you see dead trees but at others you see new growth slowly coming through. Beside the many stops to see different mud volcano’s, steaming water pools, fumaroles and the Yellowstone grand canyon, there is, at the north side of the park, the Mammoth Hot springs. Here hot water has formed terraces of calcite. The algae living in the hot water give these terraces different colours. Where there is no hot water any more, the rock is pure white. We wandered all over these terraces admiring the beautiful formation.
Different small Bison herds live on the large open fields in the park. Sometimes you encounter one of these animals walking on the road and causing a traffic jam. Wolves are also active in the park and keep the population of Elk in tone. We were not lucky enough to see them in action but others were. We were however lucky to get the last camping spot at the Madison campsite. The activity in the park is scaled down for the winter. Most campsites are already closed and the few lodges which are still open close on the second or tenth of October. The whole night it rained. In the morning it was cold and drizzling, but as the day wore on the temperature slowly climb to 11 deg. and the rain had stopped. We drove some 110 km going towards the Southern park exit. Along the way we made many stops to see the various hydrothermal events. The major one was of course Old Faithfull geyser. There is an enormous parking lot but only half full. Still most of the benches were occupied waiting for the geyser to blow. He does this every 70 – 90 min. We saw it twice erupting. Actually not as impressive as the geyser we’ve seen in Iceland. At every stop along the way it was busy and sometimes we had to wait for a parking place. Late afternoon we drove out of the park and turned off onto a gravel road where there are 8 small (designated) campsite of 2 campsites each. Most were occupied but site 6 was free. A fellow Dutch Overlander is camping next to us. We had a good time exchanging travel stories. They are on a more permanent road trip for the last 2 years after selling their house in Holland.