We left Jackson at 5:15 am, and took over 2.5 hours to reach the Old Faithful area. The early hours brought the fairest weather of the day (once I hauled through the thick fog in areas of Grand Tetons) as we drove by Lewis River and the region of Craig Pass with its fresh-fallen snow. Unfortunately, that was the last of the sunlight, aside from brief gleams here and there.
We got to Old Faithful in time to hunt down the visitor's center and get the geyser eruption schedule for the day, from the six big ones that are reasonably predictable. But the only one of those six we got to see was good old reliable Old Faithful.
With both the geysers and the springs, photos don't do them justice at all. Sawmill Geyser is wildly active and erratic, seeming to bounce and flail; bubbling Beach Spring flashes and glimmers like crystal, and this even in gloomy weather. Static images don't convey their dynamic beauty well at all.
We missed the eruptions of Grand Geyser and Riverside Geyser due to being stuck waiting to be seated and served lunch at the time, phooey. But at least the smaller geysers were entertaining, and then there were the pools as well. Morning Glory Pool has faded from its brighter days, but is still amazing, and we got to have a delicious minute of sunshine to savor its color the more. (Here is a shot with free tourists for size comparison ;) The pools vary greatly in size and hue: Silex Spring I found quite attractive, but I won't even post my photos of Grand Prismatic Spring, as they are a rank disservice (just do an on-line image search and let your eyes fall out!).
My favorite photo was after we came back to the car in the parking lot for Midway Geyser Basin where Grand Prismatic is located, and I pulled out to spot a raven in the parking lot a few feet away. What a blessing!
We had to rush through Midway and Lower Geyser Basins because we had a boat ride planned for 4:15 at Bridge Bay. It took an hour just to drive there from the Old Faithful area, but we made it on time. At least it was not raining during the ride, the boat was glassed in and heated, and we got to enjoy great views while on Yellowstone Lake, and see a bald eagle perched in a tree.
Closed the day with a jaunt up to Hayden Valley in the hopes of spotting something exciting (like wolf or bear) but our treat this time was a darling bison calf. Can't get enough of them, either! The long drive back got us into Jackson right around 9 pm, and I was quite ready for some sleep.