Friday, August 2, 2013

Old Faithful

Since we arrived in Yellowstone in May, I had yet to visit the southern half of the park.  We decided to take a day trip to Old Faithful, so we could make sure we'd "crossed it off the list."  After a quick breakfast we hit the road and drove south on Grand Loop Road.  We passed Norris Geyser Basin, where we saw the tremendous plume of the erupting Steamboat Geyser.  It's the first time since 2005 that the geyser has erupted, and the steam and water could be seen from many miles away.  The ranger at Old Faithful who answered our question about what we'd seen told us it's the highest-erupting geyser in the world. 

We passed several other geothermal areas, including Midway Geyser Basin, and arrived at Old Faithful around 11:00.  I spent a few minutes browsing in the general store there - nothing I really needed - and we ate burgers and fries for lunch at the Snow Lodge grill. 

We then went to the new Visitor Center - it's only been open a couple of years - and watched a short film about the park. Then it was time to go see Old Faithful erupt.  There must have been several hundred people out there - quite a crowd. 

  After seeing the eruption, we went back to the visitor center for a while longer, then headed to a spot on the Firehole River for a little fishing.  We didn't stay - the flies were biting so hard they drew blood!  We decided to go back to the place on the Gibbon we'd visited the week before.  Unfortunately, the flies were just as bad there - but I didn't realize it until Don was already on the river. So I sat in the truck and read until Don hollered for me to come look at a huge brown trout he'd hooked.  I saw it - it was huge - but it got off his line before I could snap a photo.

Firehole River


When we got back to the campground, this little deer was grazing in our "back yard."  She looks like she's pretty thin.

Big Sky and the Gallatin River

Work has been the same as it's been all summer - a hectic repetition of each day, with hundreds and hundreds of tourists getting their ice cream, snacks, and souvenirs.  I look forward to each two-day "weekend" and either do a lot of resting or being a tourist.  I haven't felt like sewing much at all - strange, as I'd brought so many projects to work on and haven't even touched a single one

Last weekend Don and I went to the Gallatin River valley and Big Sky.  He's been wanting to fish the Gallatin, but since it's a two+ hour drive to get there, we decided to stay overnight in Big Sky. 

We had breakfast at the Yellowstone Grill in Gardiner, then made the drive through the park to West Yellowstone, and then headed north on the 191 to the Gallatin.  We stopped at a spot that was still inside the park, and he fished the river for a couple of hours.  Around noon we drove to Big Sky and had a huge platter of nachos for lunch at El Patron.  They were wonderful!

We checked into The Lodge at Big Sky, where we had a very large room with a view of Lone Peak.  The Lodge is a popular place in the winter for skiers, since it's so close to the runs on Lone Peak. During the summer it fills up as well, since the rates are really cheap. I spent the afternoon relaxing in the room while Don went back to the river. 

Dinner was also an enjoyable experience - we went to the First Place Pub in lower Big Sky, where Don had "hog wings" (pork shanks) and the biggest basket of fries I've ever seen.  I had a great order of fish and chips, and a lemonade made with 44˚ Huckleberry Vodka. 

The next morning we ate breakfast in the hotel - a free meal of eggs, toast, yogurt, fruit, and if we'd wanted, pancakes. Don fished a couple more hours on the Gallatin, and we went to West Yellowstone for lunch at the Red Lotus. A quick trip to the grocery store, followed by a stop on the Gibbon River, and we were home by 5.