Geysers at Yellowstone
My family travelled to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks - this is what we did and what we enjoyed (and didn't!).
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Today started relatively slowly compared to the early start of the day before. A bit of a lay in, time for a shower and most importantly some WIFI time for Lisa (at a time when the UK is still awake!). So it w as gone noon by the time we hit the road, headed for one of the main events of Yellowstone Park - the geysers (long debate about whether these are pronounced 'geezers' or 'gyzers'. We settled for a mix of both!).
It was about 40 miles to the site of the most famous geyser of them all - old favourite and we made a few stops along the way. The one worth mentioning is the Grand Prismatic Pool - a colourful hot spring with a deep core. We wandered around the walkways for a few minutes but as Jon our guide from the previous day had explained - you can't really see it without getting above it.
So following his directions we returned to the RV, drove a couple of miles down the road and stopped off at the trail head for the Fairy Falls trail. We walked along the trail and then cut up the second turning on the left to get to an observation point. Jon had said it was steep and he wasnt joking! It wasn't a trail but a 50 feet climb over strategically placed fallen trunks and clumps of grass in sandy soil. Callum and Lisa stayed below and Tom, Kate and I made the climb. We only needed to get around three quarters of the way up, turn and take in a wonderful view!
We clambered down again and to our surprise we met Brogan (one of our raft guides) at the bottom of the hill, just about to go up! Quite a coincidence! After a quick spot of lunch in the RV we headed to Old Faithful. We dialled the number that Jon had given us that tells you when the geysers are predicted to go off and the recorded message said 4.01pm +\- 10 mins. We looked at the clock as we were pulling into the car park - 3.56pm! We rushed towards the buildings in front of Old Faithful and as we were approaching we saw Old Faithful blow it's water above the roof of one of them. We were just too late although we did get good picture. Fortunately Old Faithful goes off every 90 minutes so we set off to explore some of the other geysers.
We had the approximate times for the other big ones but as we walked along Geyser Hill exploring the smaller ones we suddenly say a big burst of water in the distance and checking them map we realised that Castle Geyser had erupted. It takes 20 mins to complete the water eruptions (before moving to gas only) so we rushed over to it and got some great pictures.
The rest of the afternoons followed a similar pattern - rushing from one to another. While at Castle Geyser we saw Old Faithful erupt properly (if from a little way off) and then suddenly we realised they Grand Geyser was due to go off so we rushed over and saw it starting just before we got there. But we saw it through its full cycle and decided we should aim to get to Riverside Geyser early.
So we rushed along, seeing some of the interesting, smaller ones and hot springs until we reached Riverside. It was due to erupt at 6.15pm +\- 30 mins. It was 5.30 so we chanced a look at one of the most colourful of the hot pools - Morning Glory. This pool is small but has great colours and you can see the deep whole in the centre. The at last we got our timing right.
We sat down at Riverside Geyser and waited until it erupted, showing the river and reaching heights of 60 feet. We saw Old Faithful erupt once more on our way to our final destination - the restaurant at Snow Lodge.
The food was excellent and we savoured the food which meant a rather uncomfortable 1 hour drive back to the Canyon Campground in the dark. We made it and everyone fell asleep quickly after a long but satisfying day!