At long last we had a lie in this morning. I’m still tired though. We didn’t manage to leave until about half 11, but it was nice to have a lazy morning. It was about an hours drive to Yellowstone National Park and as we entered the park we were presented with a map and the park newspaper. The general gist of the first half of the newspaper was DO NOT APPROACH THE WILD ANIMALS. We think they managed to get this message across pretty well with their technique of continuous repetition… apparently bears are dangerous. Who knew? As with most National Parks, there was a relatively slow speed limit in place, necessary for the safety of the visitors and the animals. I can now say that I have experienced several “Bison Jams”. Our first stop was the Fountain Paint Pots, they sounded quite interesting and as we passed by the colours in some of the springs were amazing.

A pretty blue spring with lots of steam.

We followed the boardwalk from the car park, careful not to stray off onto the “DANGER VERY THIN SURFACE CRUST. BOILING WATER!!” as we walked around the various colourful springs, geysers and pools of bubbling mud.

Bubbling mud at the Fountain Paint Pots.

I’m not feeling very descriptive, so please enjoy the pictures.

Spasm Geyser

Another pretty blue spring with some steam

...and again.

After leaving the Fountain Paint Pots we drove on to find Old Faithful and the visitor centre, helpfully the visitor centre is right next to Old Faithful. We had some time before the next predicted eruption, so explored the exhibits in the visitor centre, the gift shop and watched the ubiquitous introductory video. At about 2ish we headed outside to find a good spot for the eruption, we managed to get some of the last front row seats as well as seating ourselves in a section that was getting a talk by a park ranger… win!

Old Faithful - steaming gently

He told us some stuff about geysers and said that he would stop when Old Faithful got going. They can roughly predict the eruption cycle but they predict with a 10 minute leeway either side. After a few little sprays of water and steam, Old Faithful started to erupt in earnest with jets of water and clouds of steam reaching several stories into the air. I took a video while Liz took pictures, the video would be posted on the blog, but I can’t work out how to rotate it, and it is also HUGE and I wouldn’t be able to upload any more photos, ever.

Me with Old Faithful in the background

After enjoying Old Faithful we headed back into the Visitor Centre to ask where the Morning Glory pool was, having seen lots of photos of an amazing rainbow coloured pool. The lady at the desk directed us along a 1.4 mile trail that would take us past a number of other thermal features to get there. Sensibly forgetting to take any water or even to stop for a brief drink we set off, taking pictures of various springs and geysers along the way.

Morning Glory Pool

The Morning Glory Pool was impressive, but we were dismayed to learn that it is gradually getting less colourful, because people keep throwing things in. These things lower the water temperature which in turn kills the more colourful bacteria that live in the higher temperatures and create the more vivid colours. After our oh so sensible decision not to take drinks we both spent the walk back uncomfortably hot and thirsty and bought drinks in the first shop we could find before heading back to the car. We had decided that with lots to do, we would visit the Grand Prismatic Spring and the Dragon’s Mouth Spring in the morning on the way to Mount Moran so started the drive back to our hotel. Getting out of the park took some time due to a few Bison jams (they were just walking down the middle of the road) and a brief pit stop inWest Yellowstoneto buy a giant and cheap suitcase to hold all our purchases from the trip.

Liz in the suitcase.

Once back at the motel our evening was consumed by the mundane tasks of blogging and doing laundry as well as finding places to stay for the next two nights using the motels really slow internet.

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