July 29, 2021 started off as a cloudy day. Jon and friends had things to do that morning, so we did not get to leave for Yellowstone until later in the day. By the time we got to Yellowstone, the clouds were low and dark and forbidding. We quickly headed to the last place we should have gone, Old Faithful. Now, as I have mentioned, this was my third trip to Yellowstone and I had yet to see Old Faithful go off. I believe the first trip, I was sick for that part of the trip. I was suffering from terrible allergies and I now believe that I am allergic to the pine trees in that area. The next two visits, I made sure I was on a day time allergy medication, so I could function. The second trip I was on to Yellowstone, I think we just missed Old Faithful. I think we went by it, but it was not going off at that time. So, I figured, third try is the charm, right?
As the clouds grew more threatening, I dropped Jon and his friends off at Old Faithful and headed out to find the impossible; a parking spot. There were people EVERYWHERE! Considering that we were still suffering from the pandemic, I was really surprised at the crowds. Of course, there were strict rules when entering buildings and most of the restaurants were take out only, since sitting outside was much safer.
After finding a parking spot, I walked back to the Visitor Education Center and Old Faithful, expecting to find the others. I had not counted on them being lost amongst the people. I could not find them and our phones had no service at this location . I waited by the visitor center, expecting to see them pass me by, but they never did. I did take some photos of the flag waving in the stormy winds, which I thought looked really cool.
After waiting for a while, I realized that Old Faithful, which was just on the other side of the building, was about to erupt again. I headed around the building, still looking for the boys, but also wanting to finally see Old Faithful. As I approached the area of Old Faithful, I realized that getting up close was not not going be possible. It was also starting to thunder, so my dogs were not happy at all. There was an area between the visitors center and Old Faithful that had some trees, so I stayed under there with the dogs, hoping to keep them protected. Poor Moose, who is terrified of thunderstorms, kept trying to hide under some downed trees. Then, within about five minutes of Old Faithful's time, it really started to rain, but not only rain, thunder and lightening also. A park ranger started coming around, telling everyone to clear out the area, that it was not safe, and Moose and Pepsi seemed to agree with her, so once again, I missed the geyser as we booked it back to the car.
I never did get my camera out because I did not want to get it wet, but while we were waiting, I was able to get a shot of a geyser near Old Faithful. Not quite as exciting, but still pretty cool.
After getting soaked while running to the car, I quickly dried the three of us off and tried waiting for Jon and his friends. Finally, after most of the people had cleared out and the rain had slacked off, I decided to drive back up to the area where I dropped the others off. I was very relieved to see them at that location. We decided, at that point, that we were not going to split up again, because it was just too risky.
We left that area and headed north, away from where we had entered the park. At that point, all of our plans were forgotten and we just drove until we saw the next interesting stop. That location happened to be Biscuit Basin. The rain had stopped by this point, so we got out and headed up there. There were board walks over the springs that dogs could not go on, so Jon and his friends went on them and I stayed on the paved path and took a lot of pictures with both my phone and my camera. It was such an interesting and beautiful location, with a stream and fields that had springs of different colors running into the stream. There were also areas where smoke drifted up to the sky, wafting around the scent of Sulphur to wrinkle our noses. The top seven photos are from my phone and the bottom eight are from my camera.
Though the stream is pretty, if you notice, there is not much living in it here due to the springs. I definitely did not want to wade in this water.
Here you can see the smoking water running into the stream.
I really like how the people are just shadows behind the smoke.
Such a peaceful, pretty valley.
After leave Biscuit Basin, we headed up to see the Grand Prismatic Stream, which is an amazing feature. To get to the Grand Prismatic, you first have to walk through the Midway Geyser Basin, which is beautiful in its own accord
You do not have to warn me not to get in that icky water.
Amazing how the flowers still grow around this.
This particular spring was very blue and very deep.
Love how the hills look in this one.
As you can tell, I really liked this area. I loved how each turn, or direction, gave such a different, yet beautiful view. The top twelve photos are from my phone and the rest are from my camera.
At one point, we had to make a decision to either climb up the hilltop to look down on the Grand Prismatic, or walk through it on the boardwalks. Both were about the same distance, but we only had time for one of them. We decided to go up and get a look at it as a whole. I had fun with this, even having my son hold up the long camera lens and taking a photo through it with my phone.
The top two photos are on my camera and the bottom four are on my phone.
I also took some wildflower photos while there. It amazed me that the plants can grow so strongly in this rough terrain.
I was also able to capture a picture of a crow up in a tree, looking as if it owned the world it saw.
Finally, we had to head back to the Grand Tetons, since the restaurants in the parks all closed by 8pm. The lake at Colter Bay Village managed to give us the most beautiful sunset. What a way to end the day. Top four are my camera and the rest on my phone.
Overall, it was a wonderful day, even though I missed Old Faithful once again. I hope you enjoyed the photos.