03 July 2008

Yellowstone National Park!

We just wrapped up 3 days and 2 nights at Yellowstone National Park. What a sight to see! We pulled into our camp just before 5pm and decided to check out the town of West Yellowstone. Lots of shops and restaurants and plenty of other activity going on. We purchased the required amount of souvenirs before heading back for the evening amidst a few raindrops.

Wednesday we awoke to a glorious day in God's creation. We had decided last night to go to the 3 Bears Restaurant for breakfast and it was well worth the $25 we paid for the three of us. The food was delicious and the service prompt. We were in and out in less than an hour and on our way into Yellowstone Park.

Shortly after we crossed the park boundary we came to a screeching halt behind a long line of vehicles, some on the road and some off to the side. As we inched along wondering what was going on we finally found out when we came to a sign that said "No stopping, standing, or parking next 1/4 mile. Bald Eagle preservation in progress." Sure enough, right off to the side of the road in a tall lodgepole pine was a bald eagle nest and the eagle was home!

Our next destination was the painted pots geyser basin...some beautiful steam vents, boiling water pools, and a boiling mud pit! We walked for about a half-mile on the boardwalks that are elevated above the ground, which has a temperature in some spots of 160 degrees.

We continued on down the road from the boiling mud...our next destination was Old Faithful Geyser. We arrived at the Old Faithful Visitor Center about 11:40AM and were informed that the geyser would erupt between 12:24 and 12:48PM. Pretty good timing so we went to the General Store and picked up some lunch and water and headed over with the throng of visitors who, like us, had driven hundreds or thousands of miles to watch water boil. Old Faithful was sure not to disappoint. Around 12:30 the geyser started teasing the thousands of spectators gathered to watch the latest eruption. A few splashes of boiling water came over the lip of the geyser then subsided. At 12:40 the real show began. Initially, the geyser spouted about 20-30 feet in the air and then suddenly exploded with water and steam shooting 120 feet into the sky. The show lasted about 5 minutes and everyone seemed very pleased. It was a truly awesome spectacle to behold.

More to follow....

Kate here... Happy 4th of July! For those of you asking and praying, yes, Rob's back is doing much better. Now on to the travel blogging...

As Rob stated, Old Faithful was an amazing sight. No picture, HD movie, or description can do it justice - it is something that must be experienced in order to fully appreciate its wonder. If you haven't yet made that trek to Yellowstone, it is worth the trip from anywhere in the world, just to see this one incredible geyser.

In addition to the mudpots, geysers, and eagles, we also saw many bison and, on our way out, a herd of elk! We were not in the park at the right time of day to see wolves or bears - we were told that they like the cool mornings and evenings, and our tourism occurred during the heat of day.

That about sums up our Yellowstone experience. Next stop, Cody, WY!

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