Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fairy Falls Trail

Today we headed straight for Fairy Falls Trail in SW Yellowstone hoping to get on the trail before the Labor Day weekenders showed up.  We did well and did not see a soul on the trail until on the way back!  No more solitude for the rest of the day though:)

Animals we saw today:  Sandhill Cranes, Bald Eagles, Bison, Coyote, Geese


Saw 4 or 5 sandhill cranes across a field driving into the park
 The Fairy Falls trailhead started just south of the Midway Geyser Basin and paralleled the basin for a mile before turning west so we got to enjoy some early morning geothermal activity along the way....
 These folk are actually walking on a boardwalk in the Midway Basin.  Looks a bit eerie doesn't it?
 Then we saw a flock of geese on the edge of the basin
 The walk was pleasant and easy today but we are constantly on the lookout for bears.  We would like to see a bear from a nice safe distance of course!  The trail takes us through a 25 year old burn area.
 After 2.7 miles Fairy Falls came into view.......
 This is a 200 ft falls

 After seeing the falls we walked further to check out 2 geysers, one on either side of a hill a half a mile from the falls.........
 These geysers seem to be constantly active.....no waiting for eruptions here!  We thing this is the one called Spray Geyser.  We could not get near it.......
 So we followed the steaming creek over to check out the other geyser......
 A very colorful creek..........
 With very hot water in it!
 When we arrived at Imperial Geyser, we could not only walk up to it, we could walk around it....
 Very nice!  It would spray constantly for a few minutes then die down for 15 seconds and start all over again......
And it had mud pots......
 Which were fun to watch and listen to.
 We had the place to ourselves and did not see anyone until heading back!
 Saw this cute little guy enjoying breakfast on the way back......
 And this eagle join it's mate..........
 Where they exchanged some conversation.......

 Before relaxing!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Geysers and More and Yellowstone!

I knew this was going to happen folks.  How can someone who loves to take pictures stick to 20 a post??  This was just our first day of a 2 week visit to the park.  If there are too many pics then just skim through but I could not narrow them down anymore!

The first animal we saw after entering the park was a bison walking near the road but I did not like the pic so much so we'll start with the elk we saw next in a meadow.  This bull was chasing the cow around the meadow.......

 Until he got tired and decided to sit for a spell
 Then we saw the second bison and I really like this pic with the geysers in the background
 We saw a third lonely bison before arriving at Old Faithful where we happened to arrive just in time for an eruption!  Very nice.  That is the lodge in the background.
 Then it was off on foot to explore the geyser field there.......just awesome!  Some of the geysers were monitored and predictions were made for when they would erupt and were posted at the visitor center  but the predictions were just that and some spanned several hours. So we decided to check out as many as we could and hopefully catch some going off.  We had great luck!  It was an amazing morning!
 We walked miles on a raised wooden walkway so as not to disturb the area.



 Grizzly and elk tracks next to each other near a couple of the geysers....
 This was obviously a trail they used often.  There were warning up about a grizzly and her 2 cubs in the area.  We did not see any bears today.


Morning Glory Pool
 Behind this pool you can just see some geese to the right.......
 Their version of going to a spa;)

Grotto Geyser

This is Castle Geyser and it was an amazing eruption, it went off for at least a half hour!
 Here we are in front of Castle Geyser



Depression Geyser
 This is Anemone Geyser, it did not look like it had gone off for a while as it seemed to be quite dry.  Then as we were looking at it, it suddenly started spouting up boiling water.  No warning, made me jump!

 As we headed back to the lodge, we saw crowds gathering around Old Faithful and got to witness another eruption from a different angle!

 We spent a good 4 hours checking out the geysers and pools in this area, had a quick lunch and moved on to the Black Sand Basin .......

 And then on to Biscuit Basin.......
Saphire Pool
 Then we thought a short hike would be a nice finish to our first day and choose Mystic Falls trail which started off Biscuit Basin.......
 This is about a 60 foot cascading falls and here a few views.......


 We then took the Firehole road and checked out the Firehole pool.....
And saw a coyote on our way out!   What a day!