I've been rather stalled here, because I find Saturday, June 6, the hardest to do justice with words or images, while still staying reasonably brief!
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.
Amazing! No wonder you had such trouble writing this entry. Those sights really are spectacular! I particularly appreciated the size comparison on Morning Glory Pool--I never would have guessed it to be so big! I confess the geologist in me was twitching with excitement throughout your entry.
That shot of the raven is quite lovely too. Are they rare in your area? On a trip my dad went on recently he encountered some. While he as away snapping photos they managed to unzip his bag, pull out his jumper and shirt, decide there wasn't anything in there worth the effort, unzip his friend's bag and eat the packaged muesli bar that was on top!
The photo you had of the magpie was quite interesting. They're so different from ours! I thought it was a wagtail for a minute before I realised it was too big and the tail wasn't quite right.
Thank you so much for sharing! I had such a wonderful time reading through your entries and seeing the photos.
Glad I put up the size shot then, once I realized that just looking down on it gave no visual reference. Some of the pools really are quite big. I'm no geologist, but I find myself quite fascinated by the 'personality' of each pool, spring, and geyser. The ones that wait decades and then go off a bunch of times, the ones that are predictable, some that work in tandem with their neighbors, the pools that occasionally go off, and then there's Excelsior Geyser, which erupted so violently in 1890 it broke itself...but one never knows, really (it did go off again in small eruptions in 1985). My mom's not quite so smitten, since a lot of these features reek of sulphur; one can smell them just driving by, let alone getting closer! (But she loves the paint pots, as they look like bubbling milk in the springtime, and don't smell.)
No ravens where I live; they prefer countryside to suburbia and cities. I have seen them on trips up north, though it took me a while to learn to tell them apart from crows at a distance, their voice and tail are the biggest giveaways. That story about your dad makes me chuckle. They're amazingly bright. I got to watch a video online recently about a raven in Death Valley who learned how to turn on a water spigot to take a drink!
Thanks for visiting! =)
Thanks for the link. It was very interesting! We get a few ravens around here and I recently discovered that the Australian Magpie is actually a member of the raven family. Certainly explains a bit.
Any more trips planned for the near future?