Wyoming Day 2 (Old Faithful + Other Stinky Geysers)

Woke up relatively early this morning (little before 8). We headed down to the hotel’s restaurant for the included breakfast. I didn’t know what to expect but they had a good sized buffet and a large menu. We chose the buffet. They had everything from toast to pastries and muffins, cereal and granola, eggs, potatoes, sausages, bacon, cantaloupe, pineapple, honeydew, berries, French toast, pancakes, and mini Belgian waffles! I probably missed a few items, but it’s excellent, and you can’t complain since it’s all included in the resort!

After a big breakfast, we started the ~100 mile drive north to Yellowstone’s eastern side with the geysers. We made MANY stops on the way up taking pictures back at the Tetons or whatever else we came across. There were many quick scenery changes along the way.

Yellowstone Lake

Nearing Old Faithful, one of the stops we made was at the West Thumb Geyser Basin right at the southern point of Yellowstone lake. Unlike Old Faithful, this one was much more compact and full of color. They are both equally as smelly!

Back on the road after a lunch break and short detour at West Thumb.

Once we got to Old Faithful, a bunch of people were walking back to their cars. I made a joke to myself that the show must be over and then I realized that yeah, the show, Old Faithful had just spewed. Its on a roughly 90 minute interval so we walked around a bit. At first it started to slightly drizzle, but then started pouring thunder and lighting all! We took refuge in the car as we waited for the storm to pass and the next show to begin. About 10 minutes before the next show, it cleared up and blue skies were back! It’s so crazy here how the weather can change in an instant.

Heavy rain followed by sunshine.

Yellowstone’s Old Faithful

There was a huge crowd gathered in anticipation for the next show. I think the show only lasted no more than 5-10 minutes and it was honestly really lame. I guess sometimes it goes higher and lasts longer but it really seems overrated.

After the disappointing show, we hiked around for a litter bit and toured the rest of the geysers.

Bumped into this curious little guy

One of the geysers we came across was called Beehive. There were a bunch of people gathered around what looked like nothing. It was just spewing a little smelly steam which seemed to follow me whichever side I was on. The sign for Beehive said that it can get 2-3 times higher than Old Faithful and spays people with water since you can get so close. It also said that it had an interval of 5 hours to 10 days. Somehow, people seemed so sure that it would blow at any second. Whatever, I thought. As I was leaving, smelly gas still following me, beckoning me to stay, it started erupting! It quickly grew to a really tall spray and before I knew it, I was getting drenched in COLD water. A bunch of us ran down the planks trying to get to a safer vantage point, but it was no use. The spectacular one hundred eighty foot spray was still following me making sure me, my cameras, and bag were thoroughly drenched. Running way back to escape its wrath, Old Faithful was beginning to erupt again. Beehive and definitely stolen the show and made the trek here worthwhile!

Everyone got a good soaking. We just couldn’t run far enough. 😀

Old Faithful starting up again

Now it was time to head back south towards Jackson making more stops that we missed on the way up. It was getting close to sunset and so the lighting was perfect!  Our last stop was near Oxbow Bend and that’s where the following were taken.

Drove through rain and sun (again).

Same spot as one of the above shots earlier that day.

Oxbow Bend

Camera in lower left.

Neutral Density (ND/GND) filters for sunset (picture below).

When I finished up, it was about 9pm, getting dark, and we were getting eaten alive by giant  blood sucking mosquitoes. On the way back it was so dark that we missed the turn to Moose Wilson road to get back to the hotel that we ended up going all the way back to the town. Fortunately, we found that The Merry Piglets Mexican restaurant was still open. They were closing at 10 and we were the last ones they let in. There were a bunch of people who kept coming up to find that they were closed, despite the restaurant being full of people. I ordered the recommended spinach and chicken enchiladas off the Tex-Mex section. It didn’t even occur to me that we weren’t in Texas anymore and they had “fake Mexican” food all the way up here. Real or not it was excellent! It had a lot of chicken and fresh spinach in a creamy tomato and cheese sauce. I couldn’t quite finish the entire thing because there was so much white meat chicken left.

After a large filling dinner, we drove the ~13 miles back to the hotel. On the way back, I looked up out the window and saw so many stars. Since we’re pretty much in the middle of nowhere and there are no streetlights, it’s perfect for nighttime star observing. I will definitely want to get out and see what I can get one of these nights.

That concludes day 2!

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