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Unnamed hot spring next to Castle Geyser

A Wonderland of H20

During the few mornings we stayed at Gardiner, the north entrance to the park, we hiked up to the terrace at Mammoth Hot Springs before dawn to catch the first light. Standing on the brink of the pool, frigid, the light first hit the snow-capped hill behind us and gradually, the pool started to glow by reflecting the blue-white-ish sky. Before we knew it, the entire landscape in front of us was bathing in dazzling golden light. At Mammoth Hot Springs thousands of gallons of water well up each day, deposit large amounts of travertine, and build tier upon tier of cascading, terraced stone. The mist arose slowly from the terrace and shaped the sunlight in thousands of different ways. After a handful of pictures captured in as short as 10 minutes, we packed and headed to our transportation of the day.

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The crescent moon about to set behind the ridge

The Wolves

Yellowstone contains the largest concentration of free-roaming wildlife in the lower 48 states. Known as North America’s Serengeti, Lamar Valley has been home to the first reintroduced Druid Peak wolf pack. The original five members of the pack were captured in British Columbia and relocated to the valley in 1996. In the next five years this pack grew to become the biggest wolf pack ever documented. The dynasty has fallen and come back a few times in the past decade and has been documented in numerous films such as BBC’s Yellowstone series. The drama came to an end in 2010 with wolves leaving the pack followed by the death of the last female wolf. Nowadays the valley is mainly occupied by Agate and Lamar Canyon packs.

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Backroad along Paradise Valley

Christmas in Yellowstone

“Well, other than fly-fishing and being the filming location for A River Runs Through It and Horse Whisperer, I don’t really know where else to point you in Livingston…”, the young, skibum-like barista shrugged his shoulders. We were the last customers and he wanted to close down and call it a day.

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