Tuesday, July 28, 2009

West, Phase 2 - Yellowstone

Day 5

Previous night was cold (lower 40s) and we had a heavy dew. We packed up our wet tents and headed to Yellowstone via Rockefeller Parkway. Lost of construction and considerable delays. The road is completely removed in some portions, down to the dirt. I am guessing the were re-grading the road (removing peaks and valleys). Recent wildfires made for a clear view from the car. Many standing and fallen dead trees in a sea of new pines and grasses was a unique environment to see.

From Grand Tetons NP

The group set up camp at Grant Village near Thumb Bay and went straight to Old Faithful. We could not find a parking spot so we headed north so visit the other geyser basins. Everything was beautiful and felt like a different world. Spasm Gyser was just starting to erupt we go there (lucky!) - huge, wide, and we could get very close, feel the seam and spitting spray. My favorite was the Grand Prismatic Poll - the largest and deepest, with a lot of bacteria mats in every direction.

From Yellowstone NP

Then we head backed to Old Faithful which erupted within 10 minutes of arrival (lucky again!). I was not as impressed with it as I was of Spasm Geyser because we could not get as close and it was over in just a few minutes (Spasm was still erupting when we left). But it was nice to sit in the bleachers and talk with others while we waited. A guy was telling us about his troubles with his RV (I am glad we did not have to deal with one).

From Yellowstone NP

After the eruption we visited the Old Faithful Inn, a beautiful old log lodge. We did not have much time to look around, but we did make dinner reservations for the next day.

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