Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Old Faithful Geyser Basin and a Rare Beehive Eruption

 The Old Faithful Geyser basin is an amazing place. With the Firehole river running right next to it, you can see scalding water run right into the cold river. There are a number of geysers, hot springs and bubbling pools along a walk of about 1.5miles.

 The path crosses over the Firehole river and the contrast is remarkable between the cool river and the steaming geyser basin just a few feet away.

 This is a typical bubbling geyser that is sending boiling water up in small spurts. The noise that these make sounds like a rapidly boiling pot on the stove.

 This is the Beehive geyser, and it is pretty obvious how it gets its name. This geyser is said to be one of the most impressive in the area, but erupts infrequently, so we did not expect to see it in action. You could see steam and some water rise from the top, so we thought it would be neat to actually see it.

About 30 minutes later, we were walking back across the Firehole River toward Old Faithful, when all of a sudden, the Beehive let loose! This was a very impressive geyser and rose a couple hundred feet in the air. The geyser lasted several minutes and we were very fortunate to be able to see it. Indeed, we have been through this area several other times and this is the first time we have ever see it erupt.

 This gives some idea as the size of the geyser basin. The wooden walkway is very nice and keeps folks off the fragile geyser crusts where you could fall through into the scalding water below. With that thought in mind, we made sure to stay on the path.

 The Old Faithful lodge dates from 1903 and is magnificent. This huge, log structure is a great place to drop in for some coffee (be sure to try the special cookies as well!). I don't know of any other place in the world where you can stay in a first class inn and look out over active geysers -- as well as see buffalo wander in the front yard.

 Of course, we had to get back to the Old Faithful geyser again to see it close up. Here, the geyser is just starting and is shooting water up about 40' feet of so. The eruption continues to build for several minutes.

Finally, the geyser is erupting and dominates the area. While I suspect the Beehive geyser erupted for a longer time and perhaps was somewhat higher, the reliability of Old Faithful is what makes this one very special.


Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Lucky to see the Beehive blow. Enjoying the pictures:)

squawmama said...

Wow how fortunate for you to get to see Beehive erupt... Glad you're having a great time! It is a spectacular place ~
Have fun