Okay. Now that you've read that, lets continue with the rest of our day.
Next stop...Old Faithful!
We know that Old Faithful is a huge tourist draw, and with good reason. However, we are reminded by the huge parking lot and associated buildings surrounding this famous geyser why we're happy that we're not here during busy season.
Old Faithful, steaming away. It was to be another hour or so before the anticipated eruption time.
The expected eruption time that was advertised at the visitors center was 2:47pm..."give or take 10 minutes either way"! We used that hour to go for a quick walk to an overlook.
More Yellowstone scenery.
Not sure what this was. Kind of a cross between a squirrel and a groundhog.
The "town" surrounding Old Faithful.
Waiting for another small geyser to erupt. The sign said "every 5 to 7 minutes" it would erupt to four feet high, but all we saw was a small burp!
This one erupted for about a full minute!
As I said earlier, there are about 6,000 geysers in Yellowstone, and Old Faithful is not the largest, but it is the most predictable. It erupts approximately every 90 minutes to an average height of around 145 feet (44 meters).
By 2:41, the people were gathered waiting...
Waiting for the 2:47pm eruption.
After a couple of false starts, she finally blew off steam. It was actually 2:57 when it finally happened, so it made us wait right to the end of the prediction timeline. Ruth videotaped the event for your enjoyment...
So, that was kind of fun. Definitely something to see. I wish the sky would have given us a nice blue background, but it wasn't meant to be.
Lots of thermal activity.
Look at the water boiling!
The Old Faithful Inn was built between 1903-1904. They say it's the largest log building in the world.
We wanted to see the inside, but it wasn't open for the season yet.
What a huge old building.
We had to do a 50 mile (80 km) drive to get from Old Faithful to the north entrance of the park. Lots to see along the way, but the road was under construction and time was running out. We knew this was just a quick visit, so we got back on the road. But the fun wasn't over yet!
A waterfall stop along the way.
And then we came to a bunch of cars parked along the road. All kinds of people, some with huge camera lenses. Turns out they had been watching these two grizzly bears ( a mom and her cub from last year) and it looked like they had been there for a while. The bears were on the opposite side of the river, and really, quite far away. But our camera has a decent zoom lens and we did get a couple of pics...
And baby bear. Look at the size of those claws!
We didn't linger though, because we had to do seven miles of this...
Nothing to do, but drive slowly...for 7 miles!
We made it to the north entrance of the park where Mammoth Campground is located. This is the only campground in the park that's currently open...the rest open at various times in May. They wanted $20 per night with no hookups, and really, it's not the nicest campground. Right beside the highway, and not the nicest sites. We figured we could do better, and we did.
Just as we were exiting the park we saw this big fellow!
Sherman, parked up at National Forest's Eagle Creek Campground, GPS co-ordinates 45.0456576 -110.6768797.
Our view, for $7 a night!
We're going back to the northern part of the park this morning to check out one more thing...you can read about it tomorrow morning!
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