If you’re just joining us, this is the final installment in our somewhat-epic summer journey to Yellowstone, in which I
fervently hope we have a bear encounter that ends up well enough for us as well as the bear and whatever we happen to be driving. You can start here, and the whole set up to this trip is here and here.
If yesterday’s adventures were about encounters with blurry animals, today was about stuff that was, thankfully, a little more stationary, therefore easier to photograph.
That is if you don’t count the fact that my kids won’t stand still for a picture.
Since the road to Old Faithful was out yesterday, we took a road by the Grand Canyon instead, heading up to the north end of the park where we’d be staying in Gardiner, Montana.
This morning, we rolled out of bed and were on the road by 8:30am – a huge feat– and on the way to see Old Faithful; the park’s and possibly the world’s most famous geyser. I have no idea whether there are any other famous geysers. I guess I haven’t been paying attention. This one earned its name by erupting at regular intervals, and we had an iPhone app that let us know when the next predicted eruption might be.
After muscling our way through road construction, and finding the Old Faithful complex, the highlight of that portion of the trip was probably more the opportunity to relax on the porch of Old Faithful Lodge with lunch than waiting in the hot sun for a burst of hot water to shoot up into the sky. Still, it had to be done. Check Old Faithful off our list.
We made a random stop afterward at Biscuit Basin, with its own, smaller complex of geysers that had us guessing at the name. It certainly didn’t smell like biscuits. It smelled like science class (or one or more of the disparaging comments the boys made about each other, which I won’t dignify by discussing here). Did pioneers use the geothermal heat to bake biscuits? Really? No one had the fire-making ability? I thought that was Pioneer 101.
Actually, the name came from the shape of the stones that surrounded the feature at one point, and not after the creation of an actual breakfast bread, after all.
Anyway, the colors were stunning.
After this stop, the kids (and, if we’re being honest here, Mike and I) were a little pooped with sight-seeing and headed back through the construction to our hostel outside of Gardiner.
Tomorrow, we’ll make our way back through the park to West Yellowstone and then home, having ticked some 45 out of 50 state license plates off our list (Hawaii, you get a pass, but Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Delaware, what happened? You couldn’t get your lazy butts out of bed and get out here?), as well as a few ferocious animals, more geologic and geothermic features than we banked on, and a good belly laugh or two out of Colin, who really digs testing the limits when told to “stay on the walking path,” because he might otherwise “fall into a bath of acidic lava-like stuff and turn into a zombie.”
I guess it’s a boy thing.
Vote for me, and I swear this vacation will end at some point (at least by Wednesday).