Day 93 - Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming (USA)

Trip Start Mar 29, 2013
Trip End Aug 17, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Sunday, June 30, 2013

The early morning explorers miss a grizzly bear sighting by a mere five minutes, and sensibly heed the warning not to venture into the woods, since that is the direction in which he disappeared. They did see Canadian geese with babies, a deer, and a grey squirrel.

Today we are exploring Geyser Country the geothermal area of the park. After an en route breakfast stop we arrive at The Upper Basin named after it's star attraction Old Faithful. We call into the visitor centre to find out the estimated eruption time for the Old Faithful Geyser, 11.32 give or take 10 minutes. Perfect, that gives us time to explore the other geothermal features at this sight, and finish with the big Geyser display before lunch.

We think a story yesterday at the mud volcano area has worried Dylan. It was about a little boy who didn't stay on the boardwalk and got hurt in the hot water. It was a noticeboard, and had lots of cartoon pictures of the incident to warn people, and he kept asking about it. He is reluctant to walk on the boardwalk since its too hot! It's a really hot day today, and lugging the children around the hot site has us sweating.

Dylan has us giggling with the overuse of his new word, 'Absolutely'. "That pool is absolutely too hot, that's right absolutely".

The area is interesting with lots of bright blue pools and squirting fountains. We are not amazed by what we see, but perhaps we are spoilt by previous trips to New Zealand and Iceland. The wow factor is however saved until last with the eruption of Old Faithful at 11.40am. The Geyser erupts approximately every 91 minutes and shoots high up into the sky.The fountain lasts a really long time and is very impressive. It apparently spouts 8000 gallons of water 180ft in the air. The water temperature is 95•C and the steam 176•C.

Emma and Rich take turns to view the sights at Midway Geyser Basin whilst the other has the sleeping children (x2) in the van. This is more like it. The Grand Prismatic Spring is the key feature here, and it's just lovely. A huge steaming pool, with tonnes of different colours around the rim. Emma takes lots of photos and listens to a small part of a ranger talk about the pool. It's 370ft wide and 121ft deep and is the parks largest and deepest hot spring.

The final area for today is the Lower Geyser Basin Fountain Paintpot. We have an ice lolly whilst we walk around looking at more colourful pools and squirting fountains. The Paintpot feature really does look like gloopy paint bubbling and spitting away. We are made to run up and down a hilly boardwalk here by the little task master.

Back at the car park we take our opportunity for a photo with a Yellowstone tour vehicle that we've seen lots of and really like, it's a huge convertible yellow and black car/bus.

We complete our drive today up to Madison where we are staying at the campground for two nights. Really nice wooded area, and, once we manage to park the RV flat, we are happy with our pitch.

Playtime whilst we cook and Taya practices her favourite trick of pulling up to standing and then playing on the table. She can also sit herself up from lying flat of her back like a sit up. Still no forward movement in the crawling position.

Dylan and Rich get to see a live band practice at the amphitheatre tonight. Not sure what Dylan made of it, but they were ok and a nice fill in for 30 mins.

We have finally sorted sites to stay at for the three nights after Yellowstone so we breathe a sigh of relief. Not a perfect location for Tahoe, an hour away, but hey at least we will get to see it. A weight off our minds.

Another great day in this amazing National Park. Everything we see here is so different from the previous areas, and the drives in between are stunning. What a place.
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