Day 57: Yellowstone and Grand Tetons
Based on the advice of the park rangers I got up early, but not too early, to hit a couple of spots on the way into Yellowstone, but still get parking at Old Faithful. As it turned out, it was a chilly morning which was perfect for seeing the hot springs, geysers, and other features of Yellowstone. I stopped at a couple of places and took photos of the various pools and stopped at the Fountain Paint Pot, Midway Geyser basin, and the Grand Prismatic Spring. All of the spots were incredibly beautiful, especially with the cold air accentuating the steam.
After those stops it was on to Old Faithful. I was already dreading the crowds, but luckily I was early enough that the crowds weren’t that bad and I was easily able to find parking. Bonus for going early. As luck would have it as I walked up the boardwalk to Old Faithful they made the announcement that the geyser would go off “sometime in the next 20 minutes”. So I found a viewing spot that wasn’t too crowded and waited. Sure enough in the 20 minute window the geyser erupted with a nice stream of water.
After Old Faithful I walked around the area which has been completely built out with trails and boardwalks to keep the visitors safe. I wander around and then see another geyser start to go off. I think “Cool, I’ll go check that out in a bit” but it kept going and the crowd was gathering. I managed to snap a few photos from afar with the Old Faithful Lodge in the background: I kept walking around the loop and got the the geyser (which had finished its eruption) and read the information plaque. Apparently the geyser, called the Beehive Geyser, only erupts every 5 hours to 10 days! How lucky was I? And I have to say, it was much more impressive than Old Faithful. I get why Old Faithful gets all the attention, but this geyser, if you see it, is MUCH more impressive. After that it was time to find a campsite. All of the reservations in the Tetons were taken by the time I planned the trip, so I have to hope for the best waiting in line for the first-come-first-served campgrounds. I decide to head to the Gros Ventre Campground as it is the largest, but also closest to Jackson town and the airport where I’m picking up a VIP tomorrow! Luckily I get one of the last sites that will accommodate a 35’ RV and I set up camp. It’s around 1pm, so I make lunch in the bus and then head into Jackson to explore town. Jackson is a cool town. One part tourist town, one part fancy ski town. It’s a mix of Aspen and Estes Park. I walk around town for a bit and then head to the Snake River Brewery to sample some local brews. After the brewpub I walk around town some more and then head back to the bus. I walk Pepper. Feed her, and then hang out for a bit before driving back to the campsite and making dinner. After dinner I read for a while and then crash. Tomorrow is a big day! I pick up my last, and most important bus passenger!