Sunday, May 11, 2008

An Hour and a Half from Home

I made a short trip to Yellowstone Park today. Bought my season pass, and saw tons of wild life. I'm inviting you to join me.
Traveling from Ennis Montana where I live, about 25 miles south on the Madison River, is one of many Buffalo Jumps found in Montana. The photograph on the left are the cliffs that formed this jump. Before the horse, Indians ran herds of Buffalo off of cliffs like these to kill enough Buffalo for the full year.
From the book, Journal of a Trapper, by Osborne Russell (It's an actual Journal. Check link below), there's a passage that tells of a group of mountain men on horseback, led by Jim Bridger, who ride along the top of these cliffs and they spot a Blackfoot Village 3 miles north of here. They ended up battling them. Lot's of history in this valley I live in.

45 miles south is were a mountain fell during the summer of 1959.
At 11:37 p.m., the earthquake struck the Madison River Canyon in southwestern Montana. Tremors were felt as far away as Seattle.
Along the fault lines, the land dropped as much as 20 feet.
The massive face of a mountainside broke away, causing the largest recorded earthquake-triggered landslide in North America.
Ninety million tons of rock and debris roared down the Madison Canyon's north wall. It smothered the valley and surged 400 feet up the opposite side of the canyon.
The landslide buried an area just west of the Forest Service's Rock Creek Campground and blocked the course of the Madison River. It created a natural dam that backed up the water to form Earthquake Lake.
Twenty-eight died as a result of the earthquake, 19 of the bodies were presumed to be buried under the rock.
The photo's below show this tragic slide. The one photo of the two standing massive rocks at the top of the rock surge on the opposite side of the canyon, actually were part of the rock damn that broke and caused the slide. These two rocks surfed on the slides wave of rocks. The dead trees on the ground were some of the trees that died that night in the slide 49 years ago. I've added Google 3D Earth snap shots to show you the elevated views of this tragic slide.

The photo above of the dead trees in the lake were drowned on that night in 1959. I traveled here to this site during the summer of 1960 and they still had their green needles and looked alive. In fact they looked alive for quite a few years after.
Saw this snow bus in West Yellowstone. It's about to be stored for the summer.

I drove 100 miles to Old Faithful Inn. It's next to Old Faithful Geyser. Here is the exterior and interior.

It started raining at Old Faithful, so I didn't stay around to watch it go off. I headed back home.
Here are a few photo's of wild life I took along the way today.

Can you spot the Eagle's nest at the top of this ridge. Click the photo to enlarge it.

This looked like just another rock till it moved.

Lastly but certainly not least, this photo was the best I took all day. It's the symbol survival and of new life and the comming spring and summer. Buffalo survive the winter, but it's very tough. Food is scarce and if they didn't get enough to eat the by fall, they wouldn't make it through the winter in the Park. Drove past a Grizzly feeding on a buffalo that didn't make it. Didn't take a photo of that. Not because I didn't want to. Just to many people on the side of the road to waist my time.

Here is a link to that book, Journal of a Trapper.,M1