Let’s go on. In the morning of the second day, we drove all the way back to the Park from the wild-west town Cody, where we have spent the night. Again, a bright blue sky and clear, cold air were welcoming us when we were driving over the snow-covered pass into the park.
For today, hiking in the northeastern part of the park, where a lot of wildlife could be seen, was on our schedule. Due to the great dimension of the park, it was, once more, quite a while of driving there, during which we could see plenty of things. At first, the road followed the Yellowstone River, which drains the huge Yellowstone Lake.
Gently, the river winded through the rolling hills, laying elevated at more than 2000 meters, which, with their large grasslands and dense forests, were the perfect habitat for many species of wildlife. All over again we drove along the crystal clear river.
From time to time, some more hot springs and geysers indicated the tectonic activity of this place.
After a while, the valley narrowed and the flow rate increased. We got closer to the famous Yellowstone falls, that the Yellowstone River was thundering down over 70 meters into the canyon.
Going on top of a viewpoint plateau, we could gaze at them pretty good. From there, the river continued its way through the canyon and the road started to wind up to the next pass. Again, we sometimes drove through the snow, over the rim of the caldera under which the huge magma chamber lied dormant. Behind the pass, more vast valleys with beautifully colored deciduous trees and gentle hills were waiting for us.
Here and there, some bisons made their way over the meadows.
Until close to the rim of the canyon the road winded down again, then we turned onto a bridge over it. On the other side was the parking lot, from which we started our hike along the Specimen Ridge.
It was no big hike so we took our time and just enjoyed exploring nature by foot. Once again, beautiful views into the canyon and towards the vast valleys, snow-covered summits at the end of them, which outlined the park border.
Barely any place ever made me feel so satisfied. Nature seemed still to be in its balance, humans were only a small impact and acted in harmony with their environment. In the afternoon; we already hiked back; we made our way towards another park exit that would lead us to Cook city, the next place where we would spend the night. Along the Lamar River, we drove into another what seemed to be an endless valley, that was inhabited by thousands of bisons.
In the beginning, only single bisons or small groups of them were impressive for us, but now that we were here, this topped everything. Like in storybook one herd next to another was peacefully grazing on the meadows along the river.
The sun already about to set the scenery got colored in a smooth evening light in which the coniferous trees were gently waving their golden leaves in the wind.
Hard to believe, isn’t it? With those impressions, the second day faded away, the last one before the hard farewell that was waiting for us.