Monday, October 7, 2013

West Yellowstone Region

Big day! 

I came through this area on Friday on my way to Jackson to pick up Ed. Now we have the luxury of slowing down and really looking around. 

Yesterday on the way here we stopped at Harriman State Park and Lower and Upper Mesa Falls. We are staying in West Yellowstone for two nights. 

Today we go to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, a big and successful not-for-profit rescue facility. We rescued a dog; they rescue grizzlies and wolves and large birds! They have an excellent website and cams of bears and wolves.

Later we explore Big Springs, just inside nearby Idaho, where the clear first magnitude spring gives rise to a full-sized river, just like we've seen in Florida. Here, though, the water is cold and is bubbling up from beneath a mountain just on the other side of which is Yellowstone NP.

Finally we go to Quake Lake, on the Madison River, where within our lifetimes half a mountain came loose during a major earthquake, filled the valley below and sloshed up the other side, all in, it is estimated, 20 seconds.

To understand the scale of what happened here: Quake Lake is 190 feet deep where no lake existed before the earthquake in 1959.

We understand that the earth is constantly rearranging itself, helped by the continuous urgings of gravity. It's just that this happened so recently that the evidence has hardly begun to heal. It is easier to see these things here, where the mountains are higher and the spaces more open.

Campers were killed and a new lake was created. The ensuing recovery of some but not all the people lost, and the refashioning of rubble to avert another calamity a few weeks or months later, leave us with much to contemplate.

1 comment:

  1. Stunning shots!

    Those landslide pics remind me of an incident that happened a century or so ago up in Alberta...