Friday, September 16, 2011

On to Old Faithful Geyser and Lodge

 Driving from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful Lodge, we drove along the Firehole River and River Drive. This is a beautiful, short drive along the river and these falls which cut directly through lava flows from the old Yellowstone volcano.

After the falls area, we came to a large meadow and started to get an idea why the river is called the Firehole. This large hot spring emptied right into the river and was probably about boiling temperature. The river is a classic high mountain river and is very cold -- imagine catching your trout and then cooking it right in this hot spring.This is a story that came from the early trappers that told of this when going back east -- of course, no one believed them. After seeing this in person, we certainly can believe it (although you can no longer put anything in one of the hot springs).

 The meadow was home to a herd of buffalo which we were happy to view from a distance after seeing the damage a buff did to another visitor's car. These are impressive animals and it is great to see them in the wild. You can see the calf to the extreme right of the herd.

This fellow was a bit closer than the rest of the herd and a number of people were getting pretty close to him.We did not think that was a very good idea at all since apparently the buffalo can run as fast as a horse for a short distance. Sure hate to be be in front of this guy when he came at me!

The head of the meadow was made up of a very active geyser area and it was very interesting to see the steam rising into the air next to the river.

We arrived at the Old Faithful Lodge about 45 minutes before the famous geyser was expected to erupt. As we waited, all of a sudden this buffalo decided to come by and watch the geyser too. He strode right up the walkway and as you can see, he was very close to people. The buffalo ambled through the area and walked out of the area.

 We decided that a nice cup of coffee was in order and sat down on the second story porch of the lodge so we could watch the eruption in comfort. Orinda also made sure she had one of the excellent cookies served in the cafe!

Old Faithful now erupts about every 90 minutes and is certainly worth the wait. Even from the porch, which was several hundred feet away, the geyser is impressive. The geyser shoots a couple hundred feet in the air and apparently uses about 8,000 gallons per eruption.

We were very fortunate to have a beautiful day to explore the geyser basin and the Old Faithful geyser was just like in the postcards. The geyser lasts for a fairly long time (a couple minutes) and is fun to watch. We decided that the next eruption would find us in the closer viewing area.


Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

More great pictures. I always enjoyed watching the buffalo.

squawmama said...

Old faithful never fails to bring a chill to me... so majestic!!!
Enjoy the day!