Monday, February 6, 2012

Travel - Yellowstone and Old Faithful

     There are national parks out west that I call my 'Big Three'. They are - The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite. Deb and I have been fortunate to have visited them and I like all three for different reasons. The Grand Canyon has to be the most overwhelming visual sight leaving me completely silent when I looked over the edge for the first time. Words can't describe it and my photos can't show how awesome it is.  You have to travel out west and experience it first hand.
     Yosemite is a natural site so large most just travel into the valley to view the granite monoliths and waterfalls. The first thing we saw driving into the park was Half Dome. I needed more time and will have to revisit as there is so much to do and see. I'll blog more on these places at a future date.
Old Faithful Geyser
      Deb and I found that Yellowstone was our favorite national park in which to interact. Yellowstone seems to give so much back. While you're hiking or driving throughout the park you're not just viewing the landscapes, cliff walls or flowing rivers. You're standing on the ground of a boiling caldera. There are geysers spraying water into an emerald sky. The lower falls in the Yellowstone River roars down the canyon. Steam vents hissing, mud pots bubbling and wild animals roaming freely across the wilderness. And the rustic Old Faithful Inn is like no other hotel we've ever stayed.
    On our second day at the Inn, I woke around 5:30 a.m. I headed down to the massive lobby to just sit back on a quiet morning and looked over the wooden structure waiting for the sun to peak over the surrounding hills.
With bears, wolves and other wild life roaming the park I thought it best to be able to see where I was before venturing on the boardwalks that are built for safer walking. It was mid summer, but at this early hour I saw two others as I made my way along the trail. I stopped to view all the different natural features. Looking back over my shoulder off in the distance, 'Old Faithful Geyser' was in her full glory. 

Bison have the right of way, who's going to argue.

     The best part was that there were no crowds surrounding the geyser as they are at mid day. Just the geyser and me on this chilly morning. What a sight and I still had another hour before breakfast and a sightseeing tour around the park. I could have walked for hours and not have gotten tired or bored. Time was limited as I walked alongside the Firehole River and I saw four more geysers erupt that morning.
    After breakfast we boarded a bus and saw bison, eagles, coyote, elk and mule deer along with many other furry and feathered creatures and breathtaking landscapes. It was nice having a guide riding along filling in all the unique aspects of the park I didn't get from books and the internet sites that I had read before taking the trip.
     It was a satisfying visit in Yellowstone, and there is so much more to experience. We will travel back, but there are many other places in the United States for us to see.

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