Yellowstone National Park - The Geyser Basins

Trip Start May 25, 2008
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Trip End Aug 03, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Sunday, June 1, 2008

Finally, we have our truck and over 15 hours of daylight to see as much of Yellowstone as we can. The plan today is to head out early to catch a ranger tour of the Upper Geyser Basin close to the famous Old Faithful. Then check out some more geyser basis including the Norris one.  And on top of that, Pooh said she would drive today and give me a break. So she got in the truck and adjusted the seat and mirrors and slowly drove forward then, WACK!!!!! - she ran over a huge post at the campsite and the truck went up several feet. GREAT!!!  Another day on this trip and another mishap. So I checked out the truck and it seemed OK and took over the driving. So much for getting a break! We drove around 45 minutes to the Old Faithful area to catch the guided tour that started at 8:30. It seems quite early, but the sun rises here at 5:30. On the way, we drove through snow covered forests on the way over the Continental Divide twice. We just made the tour and again we had an awesome guide that we learned a lot from.  We checked out over 10 geysers and geothermal features all along the Firehole River. Some were just dormant and some were erupting.  Looking all over the basin it seemed as if the earth was on fire. The features had names such as Castle, Grand, Daisy, Spasmodic, Sawmill, etc. The last one we saw was Daisy which erupted right as the ranger said it would. It was not as amazing as Old Faithful but it was cool to see another large eruption beside the famous one. We then walked back for 30 min. back to the truck to take care of the dogs. We then got our bikes down from the truck and took a little 5 miles ride through the Upper Basin to a place called Biscuit Basin which is another Geyser area. After our bike ride we were getting a little hungry so we had our first restaurant meal of the entire trip. It was at the Historic Yellowstone Lodge with high vaulted lodge pole pine ceiling. We both got the Buffet which was so so, but we did get our fill ( my favorite was the Bison Chili - their BBQ chicken was not up to par with Southern BBQ). After lunch we went outside and caught what 99% of visitors to Yellowstone do - catch an eruption of Old Faithful. Even on a low tourist day like today, it was very crowded. The eruption was not as high as I remember but that is what the park rangers are saying - that Old Faithful is not as powerful anymore.  After Old Faithful, we checked out the visitors' center which was house temporally in a trailer - felt like Gwinnett Schools!!!! Not much going on so we got back to the truck to check out some other parts of the park - like the Norris Geyser basin. On the way we drove the one-way Firehole Lake Drive and saw the Great Fountain Geyser erupt. Norris is famous for being unpredictable. It is home to the world's largest geyser, but it has not erupted since 2005 - so no we did not wait around too long. It is also famous for being a really hot place - this was nice since we were cold for most of the time at Yellowstone.  From Norris we drive back towards the direction of Old Faithful to check out Lower and Midway geyser basin. These places have a few of the springs that you see in any picture book of Yellowstone. The interesting thing here was the weather - for 10 minutes it would be hot and the next it would be cold, and then it would rain hard. The last place we went the winds were blowing 20 mph so all the steam was blowing horizontal toward us. This made for an eerie walk as we could not often see 5 feet in front of us. By this time we were tired and ready to drive back to Fishing Bridge. Got back around 8:30 at night (though the sun was still up), did some clothes, cooked dinner, and readied the RV to head out early in the morning.
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