Monday, August 31, 2015

Hike to Fairy Falls and the Geyser Basin Boardwalk

Monday Aug 24th- We set out on a hike this morning from the Middle Geyser Basin to Fairy Falls. It was an easy 5 mile total, out and back hike, that was supposed to pass Grand Prismatic Spring along the way. This was described in our day hiking guide as “so beautiful as to hurt your eyes”. It may have been, but from the side where we passed it, we  really could not tell. I didn’t even bother to take a picture.

We arrived at Fairy Falls – a nice little waterfall, but nothing spectacular.


Though we all did stop to get our picture taken beside it.


The best thing about this hike was our timing. We had gotten an early start and had the trail all to ourselves on our way out.


On the hike back, we spotted this little buck, who did not seem bothered by our presence.

By 10 am, on our hike back, the trail was getting more crowded. By the time we arrived back, the parking lot was full and overflowing. We really congratulated ourselves on having gotten an early start.

After the hike, we had lunch at the Old Faithful Inn. Brian and Rebekah tried bison for the first time with a delicious looking bison burger. Then, we headed out along the boardwalk to get see all the geysers. We had stopped at the Visitors Center to get the update on when to expect the major geysers to go off.


Due to a detour, we had to enter the boardwalk at Castle Geyser. This geyser had not had a predicted eruption time. It was noted that after a minor eruption (which Castle had earlier) the next eruption of Castle was unpredictable. Just as we passed by, Castle began to erupt! It spewed water 200 feet in the air for 15 minutes.


Then, it continued to spew out steam for another 20 minutes. Very impressive!


We watched awhile, then continued on along the boardwalk, stopping to enjoy all the major features. We realized that it was just about time for Old Faithful to erupt again.


We found a spot along the boardwalk where we could watch Old Faithful from a distance. And, true to its name, Old Faithful was right on time.


Grand Geyser was one that Rebekah remembered from a visit to Yellowstone that she had taken as a child. She remembered it as being even more impressive than Old Faithful.

It was about 45 minutes before the predicted eruption, but this geyser could erupt an hour earlier or an hour later than the predicted time. On our previous visit to Yellowstone, Fred and I had waited 2 hours for Grand Geyser to erupt (it was 1 hour late).

We found a seat on the benches and settled in to wait.

We did not have to wait long. Grand Geyser erupted 30 minutes ahead of the prediction! And it was GRAND -  pumping bursts of water several hundred feet into the air.


As the height of water gushing out of Grand Geyser began to die down, a second side geyser began spewing steam and water. Quite the sight!

After the timing of Castle Geyser, Old Faithful and Grand Geyser, I was beginning to think that we were charmed.    : )


We walked on along the boardwalk, learning about the various hot springs and colored pools…..


And marveled at the shapes created by the silica deposits. At the end of the section of boardwalk that we were walking was Morning Glory Pool, so named for the shape and colors of the water. So lovely……



Along our walk, we spotted a bison and had to take a picture (from a safe  distance, of course). 


We headed back to find a seat next to Riverside Geyser and sat in the shade to wait for it to erupt.


We were not disappointed!


This had been a charmed afternoon filled with all of the geyser watching that one could hope for.

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