Saturday, August 11, 2012

First Day in Yellowstone Park

Staying in West Yellowstone, MT, we entered Yellowstone National Park from the west entrance. There was some road construction on the road leading to the Grand Loop Road, but eventually reached the Firehole Canyon Drive. The main attraction on the drive is the famous Firehole Falls as shown by Orinda. 

 Rick and Orinda loved the falls which are beautiful as the Firehole River drops 40' down a cliff of lava. It seems that many of the folks visiting the park may miss this falls since it is a bit off the main track, but it is well worth the minor side trip.

 We learned that the entire park has been dominated by volcanic activity and it was fun to look at the rock formations to see evidence of lava flows throughout the area.
Of course, one main attraction of Yellowstone are the wildlife. We have been through the park several times, but never tire of seeing the elk such as these shown here. We especially liked the elk lying down, but still keeping an eye on things as you can see. 
 Next stop was the Old Faithful area and we were just in time to see this wonderful geyser erupt. Here, the geyser is close to eruption as it simmers away.

 The eruption starts! Old Faithful shoots out some 6,000 gallons of hot water and erupts about every 90 minutes. Amazingly, there have been over 137,000 recorded eruptions.

 The geyser shoots up an average of 145' which was very impressive when you are sitting in the viewing area.  Temperature readings of the water in the geyser channels reach over 240 degrees.

After about 2.5 minutes of eruption, the geyser subsides getting ready for the next eruption in about 90 minutes. A new supply of hot water and steam enters the under ground channels, and heats. We can vividly recall coming to the same geyser in 1988 during our first trip to Yellowstone and find it still to be a great sight.

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