Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Day 8- Hill Family Adventure

Yesterday wore us out so we got a later start and had a big breakfast of leftovers at home.

Our plan was to hit highlights or things of the beaten path. First up was the Monument Basin hike. This was a 1 mile hike up a 750 ft. elevation.
I was a bit apprehensive at first due to walking along the river so early in the morning. This was prime bear environment.
It wasn't an easy hike but we did it and it was well worth it. We didn't pass a single solitary human the entire time,
 just one little old snake!

The basin was very cool because there was no boardwalk or barrier. We could get right up next to the chimney pot geyser! The view was spectacular as well.

We HAD to go back and have a better time at the Boiling river so we headed up to Mammoth. Along the way we stopped at the Hoodoo rocks and climbed around. This area is unlike anything else in the park.

We had a snack lunch and headed down to the river. It was so nice this time. No rain, no hail. The water level was higher due to the rain the previous day and the current was stronger too, but still the perfect mix....in spots.

Back in the car we went and headed south all the way to the trail head of Fairy Falls. We hiked about a mile and then scrambled up a hill to get an amazing view of Grand Prismatic. Of course, we stopped to draw and paint. How spectacular!

We finished our drive by catching the Black Sand Basin. Probably the favorite here was Sunset lake.
7 miles, 103 floors today! Whew!

Back to West Yellowstone for dinner at Bullwinkles!  We had such a phenomenal expolring God's playground of imagination.  Makes ya think, was the whole world like this before the fall or the flood?  I can't wait to ask Him!

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Day 7- Hill Family Adventure

It was another early morning into the park. Unfortunately, it was cold and rainy. We headed south to all the major basins and tried to dodge the rain. Several times ineffectively. Luckily, Dad had purchased an umbrella and a few ponchos before going to the park.  WeTook a short cut-off drive first to see Firehole Falls.  (Go ahead, we sang the Fireball song all day substituting Firehole!)

The first stop was the Lower Basin.
Here we saw Jet Geyser and Spasm. We weren't quite as prepared for the damp, and we headed back to the car for a drive of Firehole Lake.

It seemed to be the theme of the day of just missing geysers going off right before we get there and only seeing them from a distance, the first being White Dome.

The rain had ceased for our stop at Midway Basin. We walked up the hill to the Excelsior Geyser Crater and Grand Prismatic, however it was so cold and steamy that it was almost invisible, our view was extremely obscured. What was cool, the colors were reflected into the steam.

Next we headed into Biscuit Basin where we saw Sapphire pool and Jewel Geyser.

Old Faithful had just gone off when we arrived. So, we watched two videos and looked at the exhibits. Of course, it was rainy during our morning view of the 10:53 eruption. It was still glorious and amazing.

Since we had a light breakfast and there was still rain, we visited Old Faithful Inn. The coolest thing about this lobby was everything was made of lodge pole pine and it was open all the way to the 5 story Crow Nest. We waited about 30 minutes and then had lunch in the Dining room.

After lunch the sun appeared and we set off on the 2 mile Geyser Hill hike. Some of our favorites were the Lion Group, Sawmill, Beauty pool and Grotto. Again, we just missed Daisy but saw her from a distance.

But most amazing was Morning Glory pool where we pulled out our sketch pads and colored.

On the way back Grotto was erupting like crazy and we could see the Grand going off in the distance. Castle was a cool formation but it was not scheduled to go off until 8:00 that night. The boys played on tree trunk see saws while we waited. We waited around for Old Faithful in the sunshine one more time.

We continued along the South Loop to the Mud Volcano. It was a long drive and by the time we arrived, so had the rain. Here our favorite was Dragon Mouth's Spring. He growled, smelled, hissed and pushed waves of water out of his mouth.

We rushed through the rest of the boardwalk remembering that we finished the day as it began. On our drive back to Canyon we were stuck in traffic due to bison watching. Then at the Madison junction we had more traffic. We learned not leave the park at 7.  However we caught one extra waterfall at the Virginia Cascade between Canyon and Norris.

We ended up back in West Yellowstone at 8:30 and Kendrick was falling asleep over his plate of Bison nachos. 13 hours in the park and 8 walking miles later we were done.

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