Lake Yellowstone - Old Faithful - Mammoth Hot Springs
The evening before I asked the hotel receptionist when sunrise would be. 5:30 a.m. was the answer so we got up really early. The cabin was so cold that we decided not to shower and quickly washed and dressed. I then discovered that the car windows were frozen over but what could I use to scrape ice? I used a cassette cover which worked perfectly. We drove to Hayden Valley but not knowing exactly where we were, we parked and waited for the sun to come up. With the sun, the animals will come - so we were informed. Unfortunately, the sun didn't start to appear until 7 a.m. by which time, we were frozen to the core and feeling pretty silly. We weren't even awarded with an animal sighting although we heard coyote (or was it wolf) howling. The valley was filled with morning frosty mist.
Giving up hope of seeing anything, we drove back to Mud Volcano which was pretty spooky in the mist. Now that the sun was up, we saw herds of bison and wapiti on our way around to Old Faithful. As Old Faithful erupts almost every 75 minutes we decided to walk up Geyser Hill first to see the eruption from ahigh. On the way we bumped into the parents of an old school friend of mine who I hadn't seen in years. Of all the places the meet each other again!! At the Geyser Hill Viewpoint we waited for the eruption with about 10 other people. After the impressive eruption, we wandered back down the hill and was greeted by a coyote on his way up the hill. It was unbelievable that such a wild animal would be unpreturbed in such a tourist ridden place.
We followed the wooden walkway around the basin. The pools - Heart, Beauty or Morning Glory - are the most spectacular with their deep blue and orange colours. As we arrived back at the Old Faithful Inn, we noticed that most people were gathering around Old Faithful - a sure sign that the geyser was going to blow. We had seen Daisy Geyser erupt from a distance but to watch the spectacular up close was incredible. Old Faithful gives a good show! As we drove out of the area, we noticed another geyser - probably Castle - erupting.
On the way to Mammoth Hot Springs we stopped at the Grand Prismatic Pool which was very disappointing. This pool can only be marvelled from the air so it is definitely not worth stopping. Having seen enough geysers for one day, we didn't stop at Norris Geyser Basin but carried on past the Obsidian Cliff and Swan Lake to Mammoth Hot Springs.