Day 30 – June 5, 2015

Written by Nicholas:

 Today we went to the Grand Tetons by going through Yellowstone and seeing lots of animals. We saw snow covered mountains, which were the Grand Tetons, also the youngest mountains in the U.S. They are still growing too. John Colter also visited this area.

We first went to a visitor center with picnic areas where we ate lunch. Then we went into the visitor center which was interesting and Alex, Annette, Isaac, Amelia, and Dominic got into the Junior Ranger program. The visitor center had a back porch overlooking a lake and the Grand Tetons. Dad took AnaClaire out onto the porch to move around. She was walking very well except that she kept on falling down. I wish AnaClaire would walk more and not fall down so much, but she gets right back up and tries again. We bought some postcards and then we left. Next we headed to the next visitor center. When we got there, we saw a moose which was really cool. He was big, brown, but his antlers were not very big because he was still growing them, I think. At the same time we were caught in a thunder storm, so we went into the visitor center. While the storm was going on we looked around and went to a Ranger led program in the visitor center. After they finished with the program, they all got their badges. Then we headed back to the campground for dinner and bed.

My long-awaited moose

Nicholas, what do you like so much about Yellowstone?

This place is so cool! I really liked Old Faithful. It was really neat. Yellowstone is interesting because, unlike most volcanoes, it has 2 magma chambers instead of just one, making it more destructive. I also found it neat that there are thousands of hot springs, and 2/3 of the world’s geysers are found here in Yellowstone. Even though it is a supervolcano, it has no appearance of it. It just looks like a valley. The rivers, even though they are so far north, they aren’t going to be as cold because there are hot springs feeding into them. Old Faithful has an actual plumbing system. If it didn’t have the plumbing system, it would be just a hot spring. It has a special restriction in the plumbing that allows the pressure to build up. Geysers need four things: water, heat from magma, rhyolite, and silica. I also find it neat that there are so many trees in Yellowstone, and one day they are all going to be gone from Yellowstone for a long time because they will be buried or burned up from the lava and ash from the explosion of the supervolcano that is Yellowstone. The Lodgepole Pines here have reseeded themselves because the only way their seeds come out from the cones is when the glue in the cones is melted by fire. Much of Yellowstone burned in 1988, and many of those acres were naturally reseeded by Lodgepole Pines. The Yellowstone Canyon was cut by the Yellowstone River which eventually leads to the Missouri River. The yellow in the canyon comes from limestone, which is a soft rock allowing itself to be more easily carved by rivers and glaciers. The rim of the caldera is growing. The caldera was created by the volcano, after erupting, collapsing in on itself. The last major explosion at Yellowstone was 640,000 years ago. When Yellowstone last exploded it left 1000 cubic kilometers of ash. When Mt. St. Helens exploded in 1980, it only left 1 cubic kilometer of ash, much less than Yellowstone.

The cubes of ash. the little one all the way on the left is Mt St Helens.

(This last part, I began typing out because Nicholas just began gushing forth information and what he loved about Yellowstone.  I just had to get it written down.  -Rebecca)


9 thoughts on “Day 30 – June 5, 2015

  1. Nicholas – Fascinating!!! As we discussed in Barstow, I remember reading about Yellowstone being a super volcano, but knew very little about it. Thank you for sharing some of the things you learned. I did not know all the requirements for geysers or about Yellowstone having 2 magma chambers. The last picture blows my mind (pun intended). Let’s hope we are not around for the next eruption;). Ryon was right, you do extremely well with Earth Science! Keep it up!

    Rebecca – Glad you were able to see your moose! I know it’s been tough trying to blog, not miss anything and keep up with the fam, but I am really enjoying it! After you and dad finish, I call ‘dibs’ on the John Coulter book!

    First Man on Mars – You are doing a great job with the kids corner! You really do capture their thoughts and comments well. I certainly feel like I can see the sights through their eyes.


  2. Nicholas, you wrote that blog? You did a super job. If you don’t want to be a geologist/seismologist you will make a great writer!



  3. Yellowstone is definitely on my bucket list! I can’t wait to go it sounds so neat. Megan says she doesn’t want to go because she’s scared the super volcano will erupt while she’s there – silly huh? You’ll have to tell her what she’s going to missing if she decided not to go one day. Love and miss you all.


  4. You guys are learning so much and teaching me! I love it!!!! What a beautiful experience for everyone! Much love to you all!!!


  5. Wow Nicholas! That is awesome!! You are FULL of information. If you do not write a blog more often then I really hope that you are taking notes and keeping your own personal journal! I think that you could probably teach a class on earth science! How fascinating! If we are ever able to take our trip out west, I will have to borrow your journal b/c my brain will not soak up all of the information. Your journal we give me a good jumping off point! :). 🙂

    Thank you for teaching us so much!

    Much love to you all,

    Helmueller Family


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