When you think Yellowstone, you think geysers. The geysers were definitely Wayne's favorite thing about our 2009 trip to Yellowstone National Park. Click on any picture below to see them all in better focus. Not only are they larger but for some reason much sharper that way.
The geyser above is called Beehive. When we arrived at the Old Faithful area of the park, we stopped at the Visitor Center to see what was going on. We planned to hook up with a ranger led hike of the area, but when we went inside we were told that if we hurried we could catch the Beehive erupting. Since it only goes twice a day we started jogging down the boardwalk to make it there and arrived just in time for it to start. It erupts for 4-5 minutes (after a few minutes I was wondering why we rushed as much as we did!) and the water can reach a height of 190 feet! It was pretty impressive, truthfully I enjoyed it more than Old Faithful.
If you plan to visit the geysers, get to the Visitor Center early in the day and find out what's erupting when. I know next time we got we'll plan ahead so we can see a variety of geysers. We made our way back to the Visitor Center in time to join the tour of the Upper Geyser Basin.
After we toured most of the South section's hot springs with the group we split off and started making the rounds of the North section ourselves. My favorite stop of the whole tour was Grotto Geyser.
I loved it's sculpted shape, and the way the steam made little clouds around it. The shape may be due to geyserite covering trunks of trees that were once there. Cool!
There aren't many geysers in the North section, mostly pools which were very lovely. I'll save those for another post. If you notice on the map there is a bike trail that runs through the area. I think next time we're there we'll see it that way.
When we made our way back to the South section we were just in time to see the tail end of Castle geyser's eruption. It erupts every 10-12 hours and lasts as long as 20 minutes. The water is then followed by a noisy steam phase that lasts for 30-40 minutes. That would be cool just before dark. Kind of spooky maybe.
But you're wondering about the big show, right? Old Faithful draws quite a crowd. It's not the biggest or the most regular geyser in the park, but it's the biggest most regular geyser. Does that make sense?
It starts out kind of playfully, teasing you with the force about to be unleashed.
The eruption lasts 1.5 to 5 minutes and expels 3,700 - 8,400 gallons of boiling water! Ouch!
It's not very photogenic though. The crowd ate it up. Everyone oohed, ahhed, clapped and most got in their cars and left. Tourists! Looking back I should have photographed it from a distance with the crowd next to it. Next time.
After we left the Upper Geyser Basin we moved on down the road to the Lower Geyser Basin. We wanted to catch the Great Fountain Geyser which was due to erupt. But we enjoyed the other stops along the way, including cute little Firehole Spring. It's a perpetual spouter that bubbles constantly. I kept waiting for more to happen...that's what happens when you don't get all your info ahead of time!
We got a good seat at Great Fountain and it was nice to see its slow build up. This one was even harder to photograph because it is HUGE! The eruption lasts 1 to 2 hours, displaying in seven separate bursts. The first burst is the longest and strongest. The water can reach 220 feet. I didn't bring a tape measure in my purse so I can't tell you how high this one was.
Once it really gets going its kinda messy with all that water and steam obliterating everything in the vicinity, so we moved on again with a final stop at neighboring White Dome Geyser. We had seen it erupting from a distance so knew it was inactive. The cone is one of the largest in the park, indicating that the spring has been active for a very long time. Though the cone is very large the vent itself is only 5 by 7 inches. It was a nice display from afar, and its on my list for our next visit.
That's the flashback post for today. I had my esophageal ablation last Friday. So far it seems to have gone well. Swallowing is still a little difficult, I'm on soft food and medication to help protect my newly emerged lining. It didn't take long to lose some weight, but now that I'm eating soft baked goods my calorie count is back up a little. Not crazy about all the fat and sugar I'm getting, but calories are needed to prevent muscle from being lost along with fat.
We got the vacation schedule finalized this week too. Turns out that big southwest adventure I had planned won't happen this year after all. We're a few days short for such an undertaking. Also, the trip will have to be all in October, not into November like we originally had wanted. I haven't decided where we'll go instead. Northern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina along the coast? Down to Anahuac NWR and then swinging over to New Orleans? A fall color trip that starts in Vermont and then progresses south before turning back? All places we haven't been in a much more reasonable drive for us. The southwest will be there another year. Any suggestions from the seasoned travelers out there?