Summer Trip to USA North of 2021 Day 3-4

Yellowstone Bear-World, June 29 |Yellowstone National Park, June 30

We were still staying at the place in Idaho when we were gonna go to Bear World. Bear-World is a wildlife drive-through park with most of the wildlife from the Yellowstone area. Animals such as Rocky Mountain Elk, Bison, White Tailed Deer, Mule Deer, Rocky Mountain Goats, Moose, (and like the title of the park says, Bears) Black Bears, and Grizzly Bears.

It was a long trip, it took till midday to reach Bear-world. MIDDAY! We had to go all the way to Rexburg, Idaho because that is where Bear-World was located. Along the way, we saw a Yellow airplane watering fields and the crops in the fields. A “Yellow” plane in the “Yellow”stone area. We reached Bear-world soon after.

It took a $75.80 to get inside Bear-World, but apparently it was not one time only, you could go on the loop as much as you wanted. But only for that day. If you ask me, it is still a lot of money to get inside Bear-World’s Drive-through.  

Yellowstone Bear-World Entrance

As we got inside, we only expected eight species, but two sneaked their way in. One of those animals was the rodent we saw in the Grand Teton National Park and the other one was a type of bird that liked to eat the food of the animals in the park. Anyway, the first animal we saw that belonged in Bear-World was the Mule Deer. 

There are several species of Mule Deer, but the most common are the Rocky Mountain Mule Deer, which are the ones in Bear-World. They have ears like a mule, (Hence the name), Antlers that look like messy branches, and are about 3 ft at shoulder height. At Bear-World, the Mule Deer stayed in groups but sometimes the deer got chased off by others in the group.

The next animal we saw was the White-Tailed Deer. White-Tailed Deer vary in size as they are larger further up the equator. White-tailed deer are named quite literally, as they have white tails. You can tell the age of the White-Tailed Deer by the length of it’s snout and the color of its fur. The White-Tailed Deers in Bear-World were not that old, maybe like four to five years old.

Then came the majestic Rocky Mountain Elk. I am not talking about the Regular Rocky Mountain Elk though. I was talking about the Leucistic Rocky Mountain Elk. Leucism is a condition where an organism only has some pigments to color its skin. So the Elk were white. There were two White Elk in Bear-World. One was a male and the other was a female. There were other colored elk too, of course.  

The Leucistic Rocky Mountain Elk

The normal Rocky Mountain Elk have brown fur and have up to 4.9 ft shoulder height. They can jump up to 8 feet, though I did not see this in Bear-World. The antlers of an Elk are known to grow fast, sometimes 1 inch per day. Antlers can weigh up to 40 lb.

By this time, we had reached the partition separating the bears and the rest of the animals. Sadly, we did not see ANY Grizzly Bears in the first round, but we did see a LOT of Black Bears. There were black bears sprawling around the side of the road, inside logs, over logs, under the tree shade, and hanging by the river.

Black Bear

The Black Bear was a major attraction species apparently. Despite the name, there were many colored Black Bears in the park. The Bears didn’t do anything but sleep and eat during our time in Bear-World. Black Bear has a height of 3 ft on all fours and 5-7 ft when standing on two feet. Some have a white patch of fur in the chest area.

Adult males are called boars (no idea why, they are not pigs) and can weigh up to 400 lb, which is lighter than elk, which can weigh 700 lb. There are a lot of species of Black Bear, maybe up to 16! They live from Alaska all the way to Mexico. Black Bears are omnivores, though they tend to lean more to the carnivorous side. 

Black Bear Standing Up

As we circled the Loop again, some new animals were shown. Like the Rocky Mountain Goat (which we will be seeing a lot more of 😉) and Buffalos. The Rocky Mountain Goats, which were white goats with Wispy Fur (I say wispy because it was shedding its fur). There were only two Mountain Goats in Bear-World. One was a lamb and the other was its mother.

The reason why the Mountain Goats were shedding their fur is because it was summer and they had shed the fur or otherwise it would have been very hot for them. Mountain Goats are up to 3.5 feet tall and weigh up to 150-220 lb. The Mama goat looked very protective of the lamb as she panicked when the Bison got close to the fence (The Goats were kept in a separate cage).

The Bison were a couple of bulls. They kept playing around and rolling in the dirt. They were play-fighting too. Bison can weigh up to 2,000 lb and have a height of 6 ft. Their scientific name is Bison Bison Bison. Kind of like a chant for summoning bison. Wolves can sometimes predate on Bison but they mostly target the weak, not healthy Mature Bulls.

Then on our second and the rest of our laps on the loop, we saw the Grizzly Bears! There were only a few Grizzly Bears compared to the ENORMOUS number of Black Bears. Grizzly bears have a height of 3.3 ft on all fours and 8 ft on their hind legs. They can weigh up to 600 lb. Still not close enough to an elk (Just grow 200 more pounds).

GRIZZLY BEARS!!!!!!!!!!

They used to live in a huge area of land in North America, but their territory gradually decreased from the post-glacial time to the present. They live in some parts of Asia/Russia too, though the amount of space is decreasing there too. Hunting and climate change might be a big factor in declining territory.

The last animal we saw were Moose. Believe it or not, but Moose are tall. I once thought they were like deer size, but the universe was like nope! Even when I saw the Moose two days before, I thought it was deer size. Moose can be up to 6.9 ft tall and can weigh up to 1,500 lb. Talk about heavy.

I think we went through the park about five times, but after that we went inside the gift shop as usual to buy some souvenirs/ magnets. My sister did get a Stuffed Bear (She was very happy.) On the back of the gift shop were Baby Bears. We saw them play-fighting and generally being as cute as possible. We could have fed them but it costed more money.

Then we went to the Butterfly tent. It was normal, nothing special, the kind you see in zoos. But that was it for Bear-World. We went back to the place we were staying at in Idaho.

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The next day, we packed all our things from the place we stayed in Idaho, and put them in our car early in the morning. We were going to Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone became a park on March 1, 1872. In fact, it was the first National Park in the world. It turned into a National Park due to its unique geothermal and geological features.

We entered the park through the south entrance, the one that goes through Grand Teton National Park. Before we got to Yellowstone, we went on a little detour to Schwabacher Landing. It had a good view of the mountains but the water was still not still. Ha Ha! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Anyway, we walked for a bit and saw the Beaver dam in the river. There were no Beavers there.

After we got out of that trail, we finally got to Yellowstone National Park. The first place we went to was the West Thumb Geyser Basin. The Geyser Basin has famous attractions, like the Abyss Pool, Black Pool, and Fishing Cone. My favourite was the Bluebell Pool, which was really blue, along with the Black Pool, which was Blue too despite the name. 

West Thumb Geyser Basin
Thumb Paint Pots

Let’s start with Abyss Pool. Abyss pool is named after a comment an old military Lieutenant G.C once said. It is the deepest pool in Yellowstone. Next, we saw the Bluebell pool. I don’t know what Bluebell pool is named after, but I think it is because of the color of the pool. Fun Fact: Bluebell pool is connected to another pool. 

The Abyss Pool
The Bluebell Pool

Then we saw the Fishing Cone. This geyser, which is no longer active, used to have people put fish inside and the vent boiled the fish alive which then people could eat. Cruel but effective. The Fishing Cone is inside th Yellowstone Lake. The last main attraction we saw in the West Thumb Geyser Basin was the Black Pool. Black Pool is named after its waters, which used to be a black-green color.

Lake Yellowstone
The Fishing Cone

This is because the blue of the water mixed with the red-brown hue of the Cyanobacteria that lived in the pool, turning the water black or dark green. But the water turned extremely hot after a new vent was opened up in the pool, killing all the Cyanobacteria. Now the pool is blue even though it is still named Black Pool. 

Me in Front of The Black Pool Which is Really Blue
The Black Pool

Geysers and Pools aren’t all the things in West Thumb Geyser Basin. There are Mud-pots and Fumaroles too. Mud-pots are acidic hot springs that erode the rock around them, turning them into clay. Fumaroles are natural plumbing systems like geysers that lack water in them, so they constantly release steam. That was all for the West Thumb Geyser Basin.

After the West Thumb Geyser Basin, we went to the Mud Volcano in Yellowstone National Park. We saw a couple of bull Elk on the way. Bison too. We took a little detour again and went to LeHardy Rapids. There was a duck there, sitting on a rock right next to the rapids. Now I know what they mean when they say raging river. 

The Bull Elk we saw
The Meditating Duck

The LeHardy Rapids were named after a topographer by the name of Paul LeHardy when his boat overturned in those very rapids.My mom said she saw a trout jumping out of the water but I saw nothing but a lot of big bugs lying dead on the floor while a couple jumped about. I don’t get how a trout could jump in a rapid upstream but it is true and Cutthroat trout make their way up the rapids all the time. Or all the time in spring. 

LeHardy Rapids

As soon as I saw more bugs, we exited out of that place quickly and went straight to the Mud Volcano. There were more bison chilling out in the Mud Volcano Area. One was really close. There were a lot of ambient noises in the Mud Volcano. An informational palette there said that the area around the Mud Volcano once boiled in 1978. All the trees there died and fell down along with all the wildlife and only some grew back. 

Bison Bison Bison

In 1870, a mud deposit covered this area and in 1872 it exploded and uncovered this feature. Around the time the park opened. It must be a surprise. The Mud Volcano had famous attractions, like the Churning Cauldron, Mud Cauldron, and the Dragon’s Mouth Spring. Both Churning Cauldron and Mud Cauldron are huge springs with mud in them; Mud Cauldron the largest, while Churning Cauldron the most violent.

Mud Cauldron
The Sight as we climbed up
The Churning Cauldron with a Buffalo on the Background

The Dragon’s Mouth Spring is a hot spring that boils out of a cave in the Mud Volcano. The hot spring releases pressurized gasses and steam that hit the top of the cave creating a booming and gurgling sound. It is then amplified with echoes inside the cave and it can be heard outside it. The noise sounds like a growling animal, especially a dragon. Large amounts of steam rise from the cave and it looks like smoke rising from a dragon’s mouth. I think that’s where they got the name.

Dragon’s Mouth Spring Billowing Smoke
Dragon’s Mouth Spring Info

The next place we went to after was to the Upper Falls Lookout. The Upper Falls has an elevation of 7,634 ft, a height of 109 ft, and a width of 70 ft. It was a good water fall from the distance but we decided to go closer. Before we got there, we thought, detour time! Let’s go to Artist Point. 

Upper Falls from the Lookout Point
A Closer Look

Artist Point was named after a confusion. Yellowstone Park photographer F. Jay Haynes thought famous artist Thomas Moran painted a painting in Artist Point. F. Jay Haynes was mistaken. The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone has colorful colors on its walls because of hydrothermal altered Rhyolite and other sediments. This canyon was formed about 160,000 years ago.

The Lower Falls from Artist Point
Colors of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
My Sis and I in front of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

After a while and many selfies later, it started to rain, so we got into the car and drove all the way to the brinks of the upper falls. Miraculously, the rain stopped way before we reached our destination. That was lucky too, because we saw some Elk AND Bison on our way to the Brinks. We even got a little bit close to the animals before we truly got to the Brinks of Upper Falls with no distractions.

The Bull Elk we Saw

The Upper Falls was formed when rock that was hard met soft hydrothermally-altered rock. When I got there, I shot a cool slo-mo for my Youtube channel. Some facts aren’t correct and the quality is sometimes bad. Anyway, moving on. 

What I took a SLO-MO of

We went to the overlook of Lower Falls next. There was a green stipe on the tip of the waterfall and there was another faint one right next to it. So maybe after a long time, the whole Lower Falls might be green. Fun Fact: the height of Lower Falls is twice that of Niagara Falls. It is almost as impressive too.

The Lower Falls

It was getting late by the time we exited the Lower Falls.  We did not take the trail but it was still very late by that time. We decided to go to our hotel, The Yellowstone Lodge, in west Yellowstone. On our way, we saw Beryl Spring. Beryl Spring  is supposed to be one of the hottest springs in Yellowstone. A special sight takes place in winter because the steam from the spring covers nearby trees, turning them into other shapes. 

Beryl Springs Emanating Smoke

After a long drive, we reached the hotel. It was 9:00 by the time we got there. Yellowstone Bear-World and Yellowstone National Park were tiring journeys.

Until Next Time………..

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