Aug 26, 2013 View Comments by

SnakesI’ve been on the road for 16 days now exploring mostly west of the continental divide aboard my half pint sized (do the conversion) WR250R. The most memorable experiences for me on this trip have been seeing the wildlife. The WR has put me in some remote locations where I have stumbled across a few really cool animals and situations. I had a really close call with a buffalo passing by me only a few feet away that put a tingle in my stomach and gave me the willies. I filmed that one with my iPhone and I’ll see if I can do a video blog about it later, but for now let’s talk snakes.

Yellowstone National Park has many thermal activity areas and springs where boiling water can reach the surface making a very hot, dangerous pond or scalding stream. All of these areas that are off the main roads and easily accessible are blocked off by fences to both protect people and the natural phenomenon. The park has many areas where this scalding hot water flows into a colder stream or river mixing to make a very comfortable hot tub of sorts. All of these places that are known to the public are blocked off except for one. The “boiling river” located two miles from the north entrance on Highway 89.

Obviously, I had to check out this extremely rare, naturally warm river. It turned out I was not the only one thinking this. The river not only sees over 200 bathers per day, but also some wildlife, like snakes. We were only there for under an hour, but in that time I saw two Gardner snakes chilling among the rocks regulating their temperature. Snakes are cold blooded, which basically means they have no internal control of their body temperature. They must find shade if they are too hot or sun if they are too cold in order to survive. This makes this particular river the perfect snake hangout with the varied water temperatures. It also makes for a great spot to take a creepy looking photo for a movie poster. “Snakes in the River.”

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About the author

Commercial fisherman to pay the bills. Adventure Rider for the smile on my face. Documenting it all as proof that anyone can live this dream.