Wednesday 23 July
Trip Start Apr 13, 2008
163Trip End Oct 27, 2008
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We had high hopes of setting off really early today but so did everyone else. That's what you do around here if you want to avoid traffic jams along the way!
We left at 8am and it did help quite considerably. We were driving south down to see Old Faithful. I presume you have heard of this world famous geyser. If not then you need to come and see it. It is awesome!!
We had decided that we would park up and hop on our bikes to go down to the viewing area and then we would use the bike trail to see the other hot springs, pools and geysers. However we didn't get further than about 3 feet from the van when Zach toppled off his bike as he was getting on, fell on his head with the bike on top of him
They have very cleverly worked out a way of predicting the eruptions simply by timing them when they begin and end. Using this info and the length of time since the previous eruption they have a formula to figure out the approx. time until the next one. It is usually around about 90 minutes give or take 10 minutes either side. They write the expected times on a board and simply wait for the crowds to gather on the vast expanse of specially provided seats and then woosh off it goes as predicted! They don't put soap down it, it is all natural.
After it was over we listened to a ranger talk about the geyser and she told us that although it is the world's most famous geyser, it is not the most frequently erupting nor is it the biggest, or the most predictable one. However when you combine these 3 elements together it provides the best show on a daily basis.
Some of these geysers may be bigger like "Steamboat" but this one hasn't erupted since May 23rd 2005 it is the world's largest
Anyway after Old Faithful we hopped on our bikes and went along the trail with a list of the predicted time of all the other geysers in the area. We were sooo lucky as we caught about 4 others going up! I think other people were looking at us enviously as we were on bikes and we could get around faster.
We were there so long we got to see Old Faithful erupt 3 times!!!!
We were exhausted after all the eruptions and it was about 4 pm so we decided to finish with Yellowstone and head out of the Park.
We didn't have much fuel which is not very funny when you are in a large National Park, so we had to think carefully about which way we would leave and where the nearest fuel station might be. Fortunately for us we were told that there was a town just outside the west exit at West Yellowstone. This turned out to be a horrible town and the fuel was of course ridiculously expensive as we were in the middle of nowhere. So we put a bit in to get us as far as Bozeman to the west.
Steve wanted to find a free camp in the Forest so that is what we did. We pulled off the road and up the track (some more extreme RVing) and found the perfect place, by a river - the Gallatin - and parked up for the night. There were a few other people there too but nothing like being in a campsite. It was great even though it was supposed to be Grizzly bear country!