We got an early start to Yellowstone National Park today. The weather was perfect so we stopped for a Starbucks and headed to our next great adventure. One highlight of the drive there included two small tunnels followed by a longggg one that took a half minute to pass through. How could someone come up with the idea to drill a hole through a giant mountain I will never comprehend! Anyway it was awesome.
I can’t say enough about the mountains and how impressive they are no matter how many times you see them. A bunch of cars were stopped by the side of a steep mountain area so we knew something was up. It was a bear sitting about 20 feet up eating berries. It was so sunny and we stayed far away so my photo is blurry but here it is.
We entered Yellowstone at the East Entrance. My idea of what the park was going to be like was totally wrong. It is enormous! We kept driving on a two lane regular road and it reminded us of driving in the UP. You drive long distances between sites. There was varying scenery: mountains, pine trees, dead tree area from 2003 fire, lakes, rivers, Buffalo in a field, ponds, etc. We stopped at Steamboat Point to see our first geothermal vent–steam shooting up from a hole in the ground. Then we saw Kepler Cascades, a beautiful waterfall. We made our way to Old Faithful. We were lucky to arrive about a half hour before it was scheduled to blow. So we along with a large audience waited with great excitement as it sputtered a few times before giving us quite the show.
We walked along the boardwalk after a great lunch and saw a buffalo walking next to the path. Park Rangers were tracking it and kept people from getting too close. We were extremely lucky that Beehive Geyser blew as we walked in front of it. That one only blows one or two times a day but it goes for four or five minutes!
On to Midway Geyser Basin we drove. That parking lot was so full we had to park along the road and walk into the site. This is where you see the Grand Prismatic Spring. It is Yellowstones largest hot spring. We started at the front waterfall area that has a cloud of steam rising up behind it.
We took the ramp up to the geothermal pools that have rich colorful rings caused by thermophile (heat loving organisms) that live in the water. There were several different areas with varying colors. I had to hold on to my hat as we made our way from pool to pool. The strong wind was blowing the hot steam on the path we walked. Very fascinating!