Thursday June 6
Today was geyser day. Well, maybe a few other items also. We started with a quick visit to the museum at the Mammoth Hot Springs entrance and then proceeded to Norris Geyser Basin. Norris is considered one of the hottest and most active of the hydrothermal areas at Yellowstone.
While not the home of Old Faithful, it has a wide variety of types of geysers along with hot springs, etc.
Norris Geyser Basin has two long walks that allow you to observe the diversity of the geysers, along with springs. We had visited portions of this area in the winter of 2009 but not as thoroughly and expansively as today. Some of the sites brought back fond memories, like the photo we remembered taking of one of the walkway railings piled with snow over a foot deep.
We drove along the Firehole River, another fond memory from 2009 when hoarfrost covered the trees along this river. We had lunch, our first peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in a while, at a picnic table along the Gibbon River.
The afternoon and evening were spent at the geyser basin around Old Faithful. Could not come back home and tell people we had not seen Old Faithful so we did that first. Another ranger walk went through the Upper Geyser Basin in the early evening. It seems that many of the rangers are permanent but seasonal employees. Many have been doing this for years, working at whatever job they can get in the off-season that allows them to come back to Yellowstone to work in the summer.
Our trip back to Gardiner occurred from 8 to 9:30 pm, prime wildlife viewing time. Sure enough, we saw plenty but the highlights were the times the male bison were walking down the roadway uncaring if vehicles were attempting to use it. We were stopped one time as the second bison in a group decided to walk directly in a line with the center of the front end of the Saturn. At the last minute, it decided to move to the side by Chris.
Tomorrow we leave Yellowstone, driving out the Lamar Valley which is also prime viewing. It will involve driving through two roadways under construction so the process might be slow.
Ed and Chris, June 7 9 am