Sunday, March 17, 2013

Old Faithful? Why Yes, It Still Is.

Old Faithful erupting in Yellowstone National Park

 Old Faithful is a Yellowstone icon, and for good reason.  Not only does it faithfully erupt around every 60 minutes and lasts for around 2 1/2 minutes each time, but when you are watching it in person, you can feel just how much power Mother Nature has right under your feet.
Kids behind burned out lodgepole pine trees in Yellowstone

I have always been fascinated by the effects of fires in the park.  I have been visiting the park since the early 1970s, and I have seen fires both take and give life.  Some plants, like these lodgepole pines my children are hiding behind, are dependent on fires to reproduce.  They have seeds that are only released from their cones under the intense heat that a fire can generate.

Steam venting from Monument Geyser in Yellowstone

This cone geyser--Monument Geyser--was on top of a mountain at the end of a two mile uphill hike.  It was well worth it as we were able to explore this geyser basin all by ourselves, and the panoramic views from on top were awe inspiring.

Callie, Gavin, and Kaye warming their hands on a steam vent in Yellowstone

The weather was still a bit chilly so Callie, Gavin and our good friend Kaye stopped to warm their hands on this natural hand-warming vent in the same geyser basin.
View of Porcelan Springs in Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone

I guess views from above were a common theme for us on this trip.  This look at Porcelan Springs in Norris Geyser basin was taken right from the boardwalk.
Contrasting sun and shade over the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Deep gorge of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
It may sound strange, but I am always hoping for storms when we visit Yellowstone.  The reason is because of views like these.  There is no place better than Yellowstone for contrasts around every turn.  These pictures were taken by Callie at The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

View of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River

This is a picture of the famous Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River.  The falls drop 350 feet and you can hike to both the brink at the top of the falls and to the base.  There are a ton of great hikes in this area with breathtaking views and amazing geologic features you can't see anywhere else on earth.
Sunset over Lake Yellowstone

We'll finish off this trip with a sunset over Lake Yellowstone.  This was a great trip, but I want to point out that this was only 2 1/2 days in the park.  I know that I could spend an entire year in Yellowstone and see something new every day (and here's hoping I get that chance one day), so whether you only have a couple of days or a week to visit, I heartily recommend it!

Please let me know if you would like any more information on this trip or would like to pick my brain on any travel ideas.  

Stay tuned next week as I highlight a family trip to somewhere more tropical in nature!   

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