Family Vacation 2011- Part 5

On our final full day at Yellowstone, Thursday, July 14th, we decided to visit the places we had missed and one that we had already seen.

In our hast on the first day we had missed some pretty cool places on the lower loop, so we used our time going back and visiting them. We still did not visit every site in Yellowstone, but we saw most. If we were to go back, we’d plan on going to the places we missed, going on some hikes, and trying to be patient while we waited and watched some wild life in hopes to see bears and wolves. On our last day we passed two groups that had seen bears, and had we not been trying to get to Montana at a decent hour, we’d have waited to see if the bears came back. You could easily spend a week at Yellowstone seeing all it had, and I almost wish we had one more day so we could have done a hike and been able to visit each entrance/exit into the park.

On our final day we were able to see some pretty cool places, and it did not rain, so it was actually a slightly warmer day. (We had regularly been in and out of our jackets the previous days.)

Our first stop was at Fountain Paint Pot, not to be confused with Artists Paintpot, which I originally had the wrong name of Artist Point in my previous post. Fountain Paint Pot had some similar features, but with more mudpots and springs, but it also had very active geysers, small geysers, but active. On this clear, yet humid day, there was tons of steam coming out of the springs, and geysers, and we really got lung fulls of the rotten egg steam. It was hard to breath at places and annoying when you couldn’t get a good picture.

Our mid-morning stop was at Grand Prismatic Spring, which also had the Excelsior Geyser. Both were so beautiful to see, when and if the steam cleared. The beautiful blue colors of the water were gorgeous and the steam offered you a refreshing hard-boiled egg sauna outside, which both warmed you up while you were in it, and made the day feel even cooler once out of the steam. After seeing the spring we sat and ate our lunch outside with a view of the Firehole River.

Since those were they only two things we planned to see we also drove the Firehole Lake Drive, which offered some fun springs and geysers to see. One geyser, the Great Fountain geyser, we learned was going to possibly go off that night, with the start time of somewhere around 9-11 pm, but we decided not to go back and see it. It would have been a great show, since it is a pretty high and long lasting geyser, like for hours, when it does go off.

Since Jon decided to become a junior ranger, we went and saw Old Faithful for a second time. He was needing to time it, and was still needing the papers to fill out and complete. We sat and waited a while for this second eruption, pretty similar to the first, but this one lasted for 4 minutes, about twice as long as our previous eruption. We enjoyed a small meal once more at the cafe, just to tide us over till we got back to camp. Sadly, once we returned we found out that someone had stolen our firewood! It was a sad night, but we made the most of it by buying some kindling, basically wood cut up to smaller pieces, and then enjoying some ice cream instead of s’mores. (We tried to gather some wood from around the site, but most of it was too small.)

We did what organizing we could that night to prepare for leaving in the morning, which we got up super early for, but still not early enough to leave by 9 am.

We packed up and left on Friday, July 15th. On our way out we stopped to get the junior ranger badges and some snacks and I was so excited that we left through the historic Roosevelt arch that was built in 1903.

Our next destination would be Hungry Horse, Montana. One of the best parts of the trip to Montana was traveling along the Rocky Mountains, which I thought was really fun and super cool.

To see the pictures that go with this trip visit: Family Vacation 2011 Pictures- Part 5.

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