Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Yellowstone Lower Loop


Today we drove the lower loop in Yellowstone.

Pretty soon after entering the park, we saw these two bison chilling out.

Hailey wasn't feeling well so she and Jeni stayed behind in the cabin.

Nana drove in our car with the rest of my family.

The lower loop is full of hydrothermal activity.

You don't have to drive far before coming across another geyser or hot spring.

It's really quite beautiful out here.

The Celestine Pool was the first hot spring we visited up close.

183.4°F in there.

There are designated roped-off paths to walk on with warning signs not to stray or touch the pools.

James liked it.

We saw the occasional geyser erupt out from the pool.

It's so interesting that the heat and pressure lies just under the surface.

These bubbly mud pools are 202.8°F and acidic enough to break down the natural rock into clay.

Hot mud spurting out of this cleft.

A splash of red on the edge of the pool.

We could see a lot of little geysers all across this area.

 139.3°F in the Leather Pool.

Look at all that steam from the geysers up ahead.

Further along, we came across a herd of bison.

A hot stream from the Excelsior Geyser empties out into the river.

Making our way up to these thermal pools.

We got a little separated from the other 2 cars and weren't sure whether the others were ahead or behind, so we made our way up to the Excelsior Geyser then discovered we were the first ones there.

The steaming edge of the 199 °F Excelsior Geyser.

This is one pretty large crater: 200 ft x 300 ft.

160 °F at the Grand Prismatic Spring.

Little troublemakers.

It's so interesting to see the various colors of these thermal pools.

It looks like a series of thin scales laid on top of each other, making up these shallow pools.

132 °F in the Opal Pool.

160 °F in the Turquoise Pool.

Henry and Aubrey were hanging out, eating lollipops together.

Finally, we reached Old Faithful a little before its next eruption time, which happen around 60-90 minutes apart.

By this time, Evan had had enough for one day and started complaining and throwing a fit. He did not want to leave the van and come outside with us.

Nana took James and Aubrey to meet up with the others at Old Faithful, while I tried to get Evan out of the van. I finally got him out and locked the van behind me, and then he ran off while I had to chase him down.

I met up with the others, and Greg helped me find and shadow Evan from a distance.

Evan eventually calmed down and joined the crowd to watch Old Faithful erupt. I kept my eye on him from the back of the crowd, not wanting to spook him and send him running away again.

After a slow start, Old Faithful erupted in force. It was fun to see.

On our way out of the park, we saw a bear and her cubs off in the distance.

Got some footage of Old Faithful erupting.