Day 6; Old Faithful & the Upper Geyser Basin
Trip Start Jul 22, 2009
32Trip End Aug 23, 2009
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Yellowstone sits on top of the worlds largest volcano. It last erupted 640,000 years ago, and may have triggered an ice age. It is overdue to erupt again! It is 3,472 square miles, highest point 11,358 feet. It has approximately 2000 earthquakes a year, 10,000 thermal features, and more than 300 geysers. It is home to bald eagles, elk, bison, grizzly bears, black bears, wolves and lynx. I do not want to meet any of them up close!
I knew that Yellowstone would be busy, but hadn't appreciated just how busy Old Faithful would be!
We'd driven in to the park through the town of West Yellowstone, which is a bustling, one road Wild West town, and ended up queueing in 4 lanes of traffic to actually enter the park. After we'd bought our annual national Park Pass we were in. We'd started off in Idaho, in our house, quickly moved into Montana, and was entering Wyoming soon after we were in the park. Not bad, 3 states in 20 minutes!
We soon encountered a traffic jam, where cars had slowed to look at a bad eagle high in his nest. We took the loop for that followed the Firehole River, and stopped to look at the falls. Io, of curse, had to climb down to them. We passed people swimming in the hot waters of the river, this is something we will definetely do later in the week.
The journey in followed the u shape valley , with Lyn open mouthed at the views. We could see low clouds and mist in the trees, then we realised we were looking at geysers in the distance. We took the road for Old Faithful, and followed the traffic in. We struggled tp find car parking as the heavens opened, so we ate our picnic in the car, and then braved the then drizzle to get out. As we approached Old Faithful we could see several hundred people all coming the opposite way! I guess we had just missed Old Faithful! This meant we had about 90 minutes to wait, so we headed to the Visitor Centre and watched a film about Yellowstone, and bought the all important fridge magnets. We then headed down to the huge viewing area, and prepared to wait. Old Faithful erupted, almost bang on time, reaching about 130 foot high, for about 2 minutes. Everybody politely clapped when she's finished, which was kind of nice!
The weather had really brightened up, and the sun had come out. We then walked the Upper Geyser Basin loop, where we saw loads of thermal pools, hot springs and geysers. The smell of rotten eggs from the sulphur was really strong. It was a really strange place, full of weird colours, smells, sights and noises. We saw Spasmodic Gesyer erupt and stopped to take even more photos. We passed geysers such as Spiteful Geyser, Castle Geyser, Fun Geyser, Grotto Geyser and Beehive Geyser. We eventually got to what I had been longing to see, Morning Glory. It didn't disappoint, it was incredibly beautiful, with yellow, blues and greens. It's not as blue as it was, as the temperature has dropped due to people throwing coins and things in.
The weather had really hotted up then, so we trudged back to the car, arriving back at Old Faithful to catch the next eruption.
We drove back home, stopping off at the incredibly busy and extremely expensive tiny supermarket in West Yellowstone. Back home we tried to organise ourselves for an early start the next day. So many things to see......