Friday, July 17, 2009

More Yellowstone Adventures

On Wednesday, we planned a day to travel the south loop, and this time we packed a picnic lunch and took the dogs with us, since we had an idea it would be long day.  Mr.. Bo Jangles likes to look out the window as we travel, so he rode in my lap – all day.  Jasmine doesn’t really care what’s going on outside her view, so she was perfectly happy to relax in the back seat between Dortha and me.

We set out just a little after 10.  The first delay was when a bunch of people ahead of us stopped to see the eagle.  That’s how it goes in Yellowstone – it just isn’t a good thought to try to be in a hurry to get anywhere.  We enjoyed the time, and the scenery. 

Our first stop was at the Lower Geyser Basin, where we viewed the Silex Spring:

IMG_9047 And a fumerole:

IMG_9056_1 One of the more interesting sights was this bus in the parking lot:

IMG_9075 From what I understand, they have recently reinstated park tours in these neat old buses.

From the Lower Geyser Basin we went on to Midway Geyser Basin where we saw the Grand Prismatic Spring with its dramatic colored vapor effect:


Of course, we then visited Old Faithful, the most famous geyser in the world:


There are nice picnic tables off in the woods near Old Faithful, so we took this time to have our lunch.  Reminders about bears are attached to the top of each picnic table, and there are only certain locations where bear-proof trash containers are provided.

The dogs enjoyed hanging out at the picnic area:


After our lunch, we drove  over to the parking lot close to the geyser area.  As we rounded one row while looking for a spot to park, Dortha noticed that Old Faithful was erupting.  We knew then it would be awhile before the next one, so we had plenty of time to visit the gift shops.  I found a few things to help stimulate the economy, and as I was paying for my treasures, the cashier remarked that we were there at one of the busiest days of the year.  Ah, that explains the thousands of other people in the store at the same time, I guess!

In the gift shop there is a screen that lists the next expected eruption, so we knew when it was time to wander over to the geyser.  Our wait was rewarded with a beautiful eruption after about 10 or 15 minutes.  I’ll spare you the time lapse series of pictures we both took and cut to the chase:


By now it was getting on towards late afternoon and we had only completed the first part of the south loop.  Time to get moving.  We made our way past Yellowstone Lake and the Fishing Bridge.  As we continued along the Yellowstone River, Jim noticed a beaver diving into the water on the opposite side of the river.  We stopped at the handy pull-out and watched awhile.  The little fellow swam across the river and ended up right where we’d stopped:

IMG_9246Even though we didn’t see a lot of wildlife on this day’s adventure, it was special to see this guy come so close for a picture.

We continued on and stopped at the mud volcano area.  I got the dogs out and walked over to take a look.  I noticed a woman coming towards me, and as she got closer, she asked me if I have a website.  I said yes, and she said, “I know you!”  It turned out to be Joann Nadler, who is also a fulltimer, and knows many of the same people we do.  What a small world!  It was nice to meet you, Joann, and I’ll try to visit Facebook one of these days, if we slow down long enough.

Our next stops were at the upper and lower falls, in what’s known as the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  We took a lot of pictures, but we plan to go back and do some hiking in the area, so I’m going to save posting pictures for that adventure.

By the time we did the brink of both falls, it was getting late, so we headed back towards West Yellowstone.  Of course, that is not a fast trip!  By the time we got to town, everyone was pretty hungry, so we stopped at a local restaurant for dinner.

That was a full day!

Yesterday was a catch-up day.   We slept in a bit, did some cleaning and enjoyed the morning.  After lunch, we all went in to West Yellowstone and visited several shops.  Then we stopped by the local grocery store and picked up a few things before coming back and putting a nice dinner together.

Today, Doug and Joann arrived.  We prepared a pot of taco soup and made a salad and dessert so they would not have to cook on their travel day.  It’s so good to see them again!  Even though we keep up with each other through blogs and e-mails, it’s not the same as being there!  They are on the way to Durango, Colorado, where Doug will have a medical appointment next week.  They will be here until Sunday morning, so we’ll be able to get all caught up and have a good visit!


Lee Ann McCormick said...

Hey guys, What wonderful pictures today! Loved the beaver, Old Faithful and the Prismatic shots. Yellowstone is truly a remarkable place. Will look forward to your pics of the falls and enjoy your hike Miss Ellie! Wish I could do it with you...Hugs, Lee Ann

dreamjosie said...

Great pictures today and yesterday. Love getting a taste of Yellowstone through your blog. Still one of the places on our list to do someday.

Too funny that out of all the folks swarming the park, Joann Nadler would spot you. That was great.

Give our regards to Doug and JoAnn, with an extra hug for Doug. We miss you guys and wish we were there too.