This is the original entrance to the park.
This is the last of three petrified trees in the park. The others were all chipped down to nubs by treasure hunters so it was gated. The nubs were removed so they wouldn't be taken as well.
At the time we stopped there were 20 people in the lot getting ready for the 100 foot hike up the hill to get a closer look at a domesticated rock.
Funny thing about saving this "Wonder of Nature" by keeping us away.
Look how close I can get to the "saved" nub! It's right in front of the park building. No one needs to hike a hill. You can park about 8 feet from it. Someone was sitting on it and I don't think they knew it was a tree at one time. They may have been on their way to see the Wonder of Nature just up the road.
The Elk were in rut so they stay up all night bugling and carrying on to attract mates. They grow huge racks to fend off other males.
Even the buildings grow racks in fall but they attract males.
The sulfur and other compounds in the steam are not limited to geysers.
They eat all the modern features as well. This is a common road grate eaten to nothing from the acids in the steam that vents out after it ate though someplace down pipe. The inside was nasty.
Now lets get into some substance and get our hike on. Kristen and I gear up in our best "I'm a tourist" gear; small backpack with water bottles (on the outside of course) at least one very obvious camera on a lanyard around our necks and a small tripod to show off our "experience" level as Advanced Tourist.
We plan to hike down a gorge to see a waterfall. I'm not sure why but they put in a really cool trail and an ominous sign about how are hearts may not be able to endure the beauty or something, I stopped reading when I saw the trail.
WOW! That's steep!
We got a little scared.
We head down in spite of our fear but I should have finished reading Uncle Tom's sign.
We stop for lunch to soothe the frazzled nerves left after the near vertical (and endless) stairs.
The day wasn't over so we beat antiques over to the Arch or hole in the hill or something like that. It was late in the day so we had the hike all to ourselves. It was maybe a 5 mile round trip on wide trail leaving out the back of the marina which is all but shut down by this late in the year. Only the park boats remain.
Yep, That's a hole in the hill.
Smile for the camera
Hike out before it's dark but I get distracted and spend a long time playing with photography. I wanted to use the good light and all the dead trees to compose something about the mood of these woods. All the tiny trees from the fires are so green and the dead Lodge-pole pine are huge and laying in mass. I couldn't get what I wanted.
We crawl into our portable home and quickly bag up and zonk out.