In 1994 we took the trip of a lifetime to the North West of America and into Canada. It was a self-drive trip lasting 3 weeks and covering up to 350 miles a day of the most spectacular scenery I have ever seen. I have rather craftily used my memories of this trip to illustrate both the Half and Half prompt, and the Close Up prompt for the Weekly Photo Challenge.
Here I am standing at the North American Continental Divide in Yellowstone national Park which is part of the Rocky Mountain range. The Continental Divide is the separation between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean drainage systems. In Spring, rain water and melting snows flow into the Isa Lake which sits astride the divide and it overflows. Oddly, the water that drains to the East eventually flows into the Pacific Ocean through Shoshone Lake and the Lewis, Snake and Columbia rivers. The water that flows West, eventually reaches the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean via the Firehole, Madison, Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. So I think that qualifies as half and half!
Our round trip started off with an exciting few nights in Seattle, Washington, followed by a flight to Vancouver in Canada and a ferry trip to the gorgeous Vancouver Island. From there we drove to Jasper National Park in Alberta and on to Banff. The drive between Jasper and Banff taking in Lake Louise has got to be the most beautiful stretch of scenery in the whole world. It just took my breath away. From there we drove back into the USA to Glacier National Park via the ‘Big Sky Country’ of Montana. I absolutely loved everything about Montana, the wide open spaces and the Rocky Mountains, but especially Yellowstone National Park. There are no adjectives extravagant enough to describe the Natural Wonders of Yellowstone. It has to be seen to be appreciated. It is simply other-worldly. The bubbling geysers and hissing hot springs remind visitors that they are walking on an active supervolcano! The pastel colours of the thin crust over the volatile earth are tempting to walk on but treacherous. The lakes, rivers and waterfalls are spectacular, while the fireholes and popping mudpots are what I imagine hell to be like! Everything about the wildlife in Yellowstone is remarkable. We watched soaring ospreys carried by the thermal currents in deep canyons. We saw petrified trees, herds of bison, families of elk, prowling black bears and yellow bellied marmots, all reasonably close up!