Tag Archive | Old Faithful Inn

Yellowstone Road Trip 2017: Old Faithful and West Thumb

Day 5, Friday, July 28, 2017

We planned to meet up with my aunt and uncle, who spent last summer working at the bookstore over at Old Faithful’s Visitor’s Center.   If you haven’t been to Yellowstone before, you may not realize that it is a huge park, so the driving distances can be long.  Heading over to that area of the park – we planned a whole day trip to hang out in that section.

On the way, we stopped at the Kepler Cascades; it is a waterfall on the Firehole River that drops approximately 150 feet over multiple drops – the longest one is 50 feet tall.  Kepler Cascades was first discovered on the 1870 expedition, but it wasn’t named until 1881.  It is named for the son, Kepler, of the Wyoming Territorial Governor, John Wesley Hoyt.  Kepler Cascades are just a short walk from the parking lot, so it is a popular waterfall in the park – plus it is beautiful!

Kepler Cascades

 

Me at Kepler Cascades

Once we got to Old Faithful, we found Donna and Greg and saw the eruption of Old Faithful.  It never gets old!

Old Faithful erupting

After that, we did the Ranger Talk with the kids on Growing Up In Yellowstone.  One of the rangers spent her childhood in Yellowstone, as the daughter of a Ranger, so she talked about what it was like to spend winters there, traveling on snowmobile, having to have all your supplies stocked for weeks at a time, and doing things like cross country skiing for fun.  She also talked about the school system that existing for the approximately 20 children that lived there with their Ranger parents.

We did a walk around the Upper Geyser Basin Loop and saw geysers and hot springs.  We waited a bit for Grand Geyser to erupt, mostly because there were a lot of people sitting there looking like something was going to happen.  We waited about 15 minutes and then got bored, so we left.  Of course it erupted when we got over to Castle Geyser, so I got some photos of Castle Geyser, with Grand Geyser erupting in the distance.

After our geyser tour, we went to the Old Faithful Lodge to look around, and I got some mango sorbet – others got ice cream!

 

Old Faithful Inn

We checked out the Visitor’s Center, which had a fantastic exhibit on geysers and how they work.  While we were looking, they announced that Beehive Geyser was going to erupt shortly, so Greg, my niece and I ran over there to catch it.  It is a cool geyser!

Beehive Geyser erupting

 

Beehive Geyser with another in the distance

We planned to head over to Donna and Greg’s campsite for dinner – so I biked over with Greg, while Donna took my seat in the van to show my brother where to go.  We worked on our Junior Ranger books and my niece did some whittling, until it was time for dinner.  It was a full spread of brats, corn dogs, potato salad, chips, and pickles and olives.  Yummy!  There’s just something about camping food that really hits the spot!

We were talking about where to see elk, and Greg mentioned that there were always elk in the evenings in the West Thumb area, near the thermals there.  After dinner, we drove over there and checked it out.  There was an impending thunder and lightning storm – because we just couldn’t get away from it!  But the recent (and current) rain made for a gorgeous rainbow over Lake Yellowstone!  There were, however, no elk to be found.  Not a one.

We said our goodbyes and drove home to our campsite in the rain and a hail storm.  On the way, we did see three elk, but it was too dark for photos and one was tucked in the trees too.

Thankfully the storm had cleared when we made it back to camp – it was another cold night though!

Distance for the Day: Driving within park
Canyon Campground, Yellowstone National Park: $30 per night for a tent site

Advertisements

West 2016: Yellowstone Tidbits

Day 8, 9 & 10, August 12, 13 & 14, 2016

Yellowstone is such a big park that even with the series of posts I have done, there were still things I wanted to share that didn’t seem to fit somewhere else – so here they are:

Continental Divides:

The Continental Divide is the line that goes down through the Americas, and separates the river systems that flow into the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.  The divide runs through Yellowstone National Park, and there are several places where they have signs showing the elevation of the divide at that point.

Mom and me at the Continental Divide

 

Me, Piddles and Elwell at another part of the Continental Divide

Fun cars:

This Ranger’s car was a Prius with a park scene!  He kept showing up wherever we were that day, so we joked that he was following us.

What a fun car!

 

Parkitecture:

The Old Faithful Inn is huge and hard to photograph, due to all the hordes of people roaming around.  Maybe next time I can get there early in the morning or late at night…  But I was in awe of this view up into the upper floors.  Wow!

The inside of the Old Faithful Inn

Lakes and Rivers:

Not all of the water in Yellowstone is a geothermal feature.  There are lakes and rivers that are stunning.  Lake Yellowstone is the largest Lake in Yellowstone, and also the largest lake above 7,000 feet in elevation in North America.  It is at 7,732 feet in elevation.

Lake Yellowstone

 

Another view of Lake Yellowstone

 

Me at Lake Yellowstone

 

The Shoshone River, flowing from Yellowstone to Cody, Wyoming

 

Piddles and Elwell enjoy Lake Lewis. They didn’t enjoy being attacked by ants…

 

Volcanic Eruptions:

Yellowstone is a land of volcanoes. One of the Visitor’s Centers had an amazing exhibit showing the size of the past volcanic eruptions of the Yellowstone volcanoes.  Think for a moment about the eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State on May 18, 1980.  I felt it as a child, living a couple hundred miles away.  In the photo below, the small red cube in the corner of each of those larger cubes shows the amount of ashfall from Mount St. Helens.  The larger cubes are the amount of ashfall from the Yellowstone eruptions.  Wow.  Mind blown…

 

Yellowstone eruptions, compared to each other and to Mount St. Helens eruption

 

I am returning again to Yellowstone soon, so although this is the end of the series from my summer 2016 trip, there will be future Yellowstone posts I’m sure!  I hope you enjoyed.  Coming up – the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, and Grand Teton National Park!