Bison are beautiful, majestic animals but by gum, they crap like nothing I’ve ever seen.

MOUNTAINS of bison poo.

Bison eating grass in the snow
Beloved took this photo.

We’re at Yellowstone, Beloved and I. Miss M is having a vacation – splitting her three weeks between spa time at the GDA facility and another puppy raiser, who is graciously having her to stay.

It’s a good thing too, because I wouldn’t want to have an active child here, let alone crazy dog who sometimes gets the zoomies. There are signs everywhere warning you to stay on the path (mostly elevated walkways, some covered in snow as of now, and roads).

If you don’t… well…

Mmmm, yeah. For anyone who’s not aware, the earth’s crust is as thin as 3 miles before you hit molten lava. This thing’s a giant volcano.

Although beloved and I decided if we happened to fall off the path, we would stick as close to the bison poo as possible. If a bison crapped there, likely there wasn’t a fumarole waiting to melt your sneaker and burn your foot off.

Open field dotted with bison poo
I am NOT KIDDING. They poop everywhere, they’re like giant ducks…

I find it a little disconcerting the whole center of Yellowstone, where all the stuff is to see, is the caldera of a volcano. I would prefer not to be on this continent if this bad boy were to blow.

I’m comforted by what the USGS says, but… “Although another catastrophic eruption at Yellowstone is possible, scientists are not convinced that one will ever happen. The rhyolite magma chamber beneath Yellowstone is only 5-15% molten (the rest is solidified but still hot), so it is unclear if there is even enough magma beneath the caldera to feed an eruption.”

Comforted, but still…

I cannot imagine retrieving someone after they’ve done something so stupid or unfortunate as to fall into a beautiful pool of boiling water, but I guess they have to do it every so often.

So, so not me, coach. Just… no. <<shudder>>

Light blue hot spring
They’re so pretty but deadly…

We were lucky enough to stay at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge (the only place open in that area other than camping and in 19 degree weather – oh hell no. Well, okay, at the best of times it’s oh hell no, but especially in snowy, freezing weather.)

As I was checking in, two very fit looking young women were at the desk, and they were MAD.

“We spent all this money to fly here and stay here and now everything is closed!”

“Well, yes, madam, everything is just opening up now for the season. Is there something in particular you’re looking for?”

“NO! All the trails are shut!”

The man at the desk looked perplexed. “No, I do not believe so. Most of the trails are open, actually.”

“Not. Today.” She ground out.

He looked even more puzzled. “I’m not sure why. There’s been no significant snowfall.”

She let out a strangled noise. “Bears! They’ve closed the trails we want to hike because of BEARS!”

I couldn’t help it. I giggled.

The man attempted to keep his composure. “I’m… afraid we cannot relocate bears just because they’re on trails. And it is unsafe for you to hike near them.”

Furious, she stomped off.

Okay, if there’s bears around, they’re welcome to the damn trails. I have zero interest in making their acquaintance, especially since ‘tis the time of baby cubs emerging with their mommies. I don’t know many people who aren’t aware you don’t piss off a mama bear.

We had an amazing walk after watching Old Faithful geyer erupt. It’s crazy the way the boiling water emerges with the fury of a two year old whose lollipop has just been pinched.

Us standing in front of sign reading “Old Faithful Geyser”
Beloved and I waiting for the eruption…

Then there’s the fumaroles, which are cracks in the earth where steam/water emerges, and the hot springs are mesmerizing – beautiful and appear to be entrances to the netherworld. The moaning and groaning and farting of the steam and water emerging really makes it seem like a tollway to Hades.

Boiling water bubbling out of a fumarole and draining into the Firehole River

2 thoughts on “Bison are beautiful, majestic animals but by gum, they crap like nothing I’ve ever seen.

  1. If someone falls into a Yellowstone hot spring, there may not be anything to retrieve. Those pools of beautiful steaming water tend to be highly corrosive. After 24 hours you’d be lucky to find a tooth. Maybe some metal if the person had had a joint replaced.


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