Friday, July 6, 2007

Day 7

July 2
Playing in YNP!

A quick breakfast & we’re off to the Old Faithful area! Stopped at the Continental Divide—it crosses the Grand Loop Road twice here! Aided a cyclist from Michigan who’d left her wallet at the Canyon Area after breakfast. Actually, Matt just told her she had to go back for it (she wanted to go on rather than do the hill again) and another stopped group put her bike in their truck & took her back. (We saw her after lunch & she’d found her wallet!)

At the second Continental Divide turnoff, Matt & the kids hiked up a trail & found a lodgepole pine perched across another downed pine & made a 50 foot teeter totter! Naturally, I hiked up to them without the camera! Fun stuff…

We just made it to Old Faithful in time for a Jr. Ranger Habitat talk with a very nice park ranger. Rachel got to pull a bear print out from under the bison hide & tell everyone whether it was a grizzly or a black bear print. She got it right! Luke answered a surprising number of questions—he must have been paying attention along the way! During the talk Old Faithful Geyser erupted. It really is quite an amazing sight.

After the ranger talk, we visited Historic Old Faithful Inn. It is an architecturally interesting lodge that is over 100 years old. The Inn was dangerously close to catching fire in the 1988 fire. It was soaked with foam to keep blowing embers from igniting the building. We hiked the Geyser Hill boardwalk and the loop around Old Faithful. As we returned, we saw Old Faithful erupt again. It was a little earlier than they had estimated!

Rachel & Luke finished up their Jr. Ranger paper and became official Jr. Rangers. Rachel wasn’t feeling well and wanted the ‘quiet presentation’ while Luke chose the ‘public presentation’. Everyone in the ranger station cheered for him! Rachel felt even worse & we realized it was either altitude sickness or dehydration. We got her into the air conditioning & hydrated her. After a picnic lunch & a LOT of water she felt much better. Whew!

We headed north on Grand Loop Road and stopped at just about every pull off and site between Old Faithful and Mammoth Hot Springs. We learned a little at each information station and saw more bison and elk. Matt enjoyed talking with Jim Holcomb, a retired National Park Ranger, at the Museum of the National Park Ranger. We all decided that the geyser basins and hot springs are stinky, but interesting.

Mammoth Hot Springs is the site of the original Ft. Yellowstone, where the army was when they guarded the park. We had ice cream and drove through the Upper Terrace area. On the drive back, we drove along the Firehole River. It was beautiful! We didn’t realize that there was a swimming hole. Too bad our swimming suits were in the camper!

After seeing the postcards & pictures of Grand Prismatic Spring, we were a little disappointed. Walking on the boardwalk doesn’t really give you a view of the multicolored rims around the spring. We settled for the postcard picture.

It was a LONG day with lots of driving and LOTS of in & out of the car. The kids were troopers though. We had a good day.

Tomorrow is down into Grand Teton National Park!


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