Day 67 – Yellowstone

We visited Yellowstone National Park today. The park has the largest collection of geysers in the world, including the most famous, Old Faithful.

We fist went to see Old Faithful, which was scheduled to erupt about 45 minutes after our arrival. This gave us plenty of time to pop into the gift shop and then get a good spot in the viewing area. The viewing area has a large number of benches situated safely around the edge of the geyser. Old faithful started with a few small spurts and a large amount of steam over about 10 minutes and then erupted high into the air. The eruption lasted for well over 5 minutes. The eruption was an amazing sight and many people who have seen many eruptions said that it was one of the most impressive eruptions for 20 years.

We then visited Grand Prismatic Spring, which is the parks largest hot spring. The spring was extremely active and was spewing so much steam it was difficult to see at times. The pools were gorgeous colours and it was great fun to stand in the steam. It was also great to see the mineral water join the river below.

We also visited artist paint pots and saw a large variety of volcanic activity. There was one small geyser which was erupting continuously, several crystal clear pools of spring water and traditional mud pools which were constantly bubbling.

Lastly we saw the mammoth hot springs which is a set of very sculptural formations and steps created by thermal activity. The formations are very beautiful and watching the water flow down the terraces is mesmerising.

We were extremely lucky yo see a wide variety of wildlife, including several varieties of water birds, deer and chipmunks.

One of the highlights however was being able to see a herd of buffalo which had stopped very close to the road. There were a number of calves in the group, including one who was very frisky and was contesting himself by running around in circles and kicking the air. We also saw a group of adolescent males who had stopped beside the road to eat and scratch themselves in trees. These animals have a great deal of wisdom in their big eyes and it is a humbling experience to watch them eat and play.

We were also able to see a bear up in a clearing near the roads. The bear was eating near a stream and we watched him for several minutes before he made his way back into the woods. Bears are amazing creatures and it was an amazing experience to see one in the wild.

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