Our excited sixth-grade class started our expedition to Yellowstone at 6:00a.m. on October 21st. We ended up having a twelve-hour bus ride due to bad weather and closed roads! The long bus drive didn’t dampen our spirits one bit! We made a stop at the Roosevelt Arch for pictures and to celebrate our arrival then one more at Gibbon Falls. We got to The Buffalo Ranch in Lamar Valley around 5:30 p.m.. The Buffalo Ranch saved the buffalo from going extinct, but it is no longer used for that purpose. There, we stayed in cabins for the week.
Later that night, we learned about the history of time periods inYellowstone by traveling in “time machine.” A few of my personal favorites were the Volcanic Period, when some of Yellowstone’s biggest volcanoes exploded. My next favorite was the Quiet Period, and you will probably never hear about it because not much happened. So it got its name because it was a such a quiet time in Yellowstone history. “
There were some incredible sights at Mammoth Hot Springs. While we were hiking to some more hot springs, we learned that Truman Everts got lost in Yellowstone for 37 days, and then they finally found him. He was starving and injured but alive. They named Mount Everts after him, but bad luck held out because it was not in the right place. Finally, we also tested some of the hot springs Ph and temperatures. After dinner on Tuesday, we went to class to learn about ecology. We talked about things like herbivores only eat plants, omnivores eat both plants and meat and carnivores only eat meat.
We also learned the difference between predator and prey. Each group was assigned to make an animal with certain adaptations to live in a certain habitat in Yellowstone. Some of the adaptations would be: be able to live in a tree, be able to live in any thermal areas, some might have webbed feet if it lives in water and depending on if it is a predator or prey, they have eyes on front or side of its head.
“Some beaver adaptations are: webbed feet, hard tail (for a signal of danger,) two coats of fur, (one is water proof, one is for warmth,) and big teeth for chopping down trees to build a lodge to live in. It also is able to hold its breath for 20 minutes to go under water to get in its lodge and to swim long distances, and for all of the swimming. It has a clear eye lid to cover its eyes underwater, and has a lot of muscles in its nose, to protect it from water getting in. These are just a few.”
On Wednesday, we started to learn about the petrified trees and we were even able to visit one! Next, we hiked to Lost Lake. On our way, we saw some coyote tracks. Once we got there, we were given an assignment to find signs of life such as bison tracks or hair. After we left Lost Lake, we played a game called camouflage, where everyone hides except for one person. That person stands in one spot and tries to see everyone. The closest person that didn’’t get caught, won the round. When we were heading back to our cabins, we saw some wolves and elk on the mountain. Ed Howell was a poacher who would poach Buffalo. He did this for money. He would sell the head for two or three hundred dollars. Ed Howell got arrested, but wasnâ’t really punished because they didn’t have good laws then. A congressman made it possible for the Lacy Act, which now better protects the animals.
“We learned the Sheepeater Indians would use buffalo parts for lots of tools.We learned about how they might use a buffalo tail for a broom, hoof bones for binkies, a bladder for a storage container, and fur for clothing. We also learned about Thomas Moran. He was a painter. He painted a picture, hung in the house of the U.S Government’s house. A fun fact about him was that he used his fingers instead of paintbrushes.
Another person we learned about was William Henry Jackson. He was a photographer. His most famous pictures were of wildlife in the park. He sent his pictures to the U.S Government. We also learned about Osborne Russell. He was remembered by his astonishing words in his journal. Those words that we listened to would make your heart beat. He mostly talked about Yellowstone, the natural wildlife, geysers, hot springs, mud pots, fumaroles, and more.
Those are the great people who helped make tourists want to see Yellowstone for themselves.” just south of Gardiner, Montana. We used tools to find a wolf collar that our ranger had hidden. After we found the collar, we walked a little further north and found the cavalry shooting range. It is big! We also studied the desert habitat. Friday morning, on our way back to town, we stopped at Obsidian Cliff. We almost hit a coyote with a squirrel in his mouth. Then, we went to Raring Mountain, which had a lot of fumaroles. At times you could hear a little boiling sound, but you must listen really closely.
Later that day, we saw Steamboat Geyser, but it didn’t erupt. We went to Old Faithful and got there ten minutes before it was supposed to erupt. Itkept teasing us so that we would think that it would erupt, but it didn’t. When it finally erupted, it was really tall and so awesome! It went on for like 5 minutes. An hour later we saw the Tetons, which were tall, long, and very cool. The ride home was 5 hours from Old Faithful, so that wasn’t too bad.
We had a great trip! We are grateful for all the help from everyone that made it possible for us to go. Thanks to those that bought our shirts, those that helped run and organize the Halloween Carnival, and thanks to Mr. Hatch, our principal, for all the support! It really was an incredible and memorable trip! We will always remember our experience in Yellowstone!