Yesterday, all six of us sandwiched ourselves in Old Blue and headed South 55 miles to see Old Faithful. Along the way we stopped at lower geyser basin, seeing an assortment of steam vents, mud pots, small geyser wannabees, and various hot water features. We spent about an hour walking along the boardwalk which is built to allow easy viewing.
We arrived at Old Faithful Lodge about noon. The next show was scheduled for 12:36, but after a couple of small spurts and false starts, actually occurred at 12:52. Not spectacular but still impressive. We returned to the truck for a tailgate lunch which we had packed. After lunch it was off to the General Store for a look-see for a few minutes.
Then back to the truck and headed for the RV Park with a stop at Midway Geyser basin and a walk to Grand Prismatic Spring. There was so much steam it was difficult to see the colors or the depth. Bonnie put her foot in the river just across from where 500 gallons of boiling water enter every minute. She said it felt cold, but not icy.
We arrived back at the RV Park about 4 PM. Went downtown to a 60's era drive in and had one of the best hamburgers we have eaten in a long time, a fitting end to our last night in Gardiner.
This morning at 8:15 we left for the Watapi Valley, (near Cody Wyoming), and the Yellowstone Valley Inn, which is our next RV Park. Our trip through Yellowstone was scenic to say the least, but then it is hard not to be impressed anywhere in the park. Highlights of this portion of the trip was the sighting of a large Grey Wolf near the North entrance which stood still long enough for Juliann to snap a picture or two. The other memorable time came when we encountered a very large herd of buffalo who insisted on walking down the road while attempting to cross. It was about 30 minutes before we could work our way through and continue on. We continued on to the north edge of Yellowstone Lake and then east to Sylvan Pass. Elevation at the top was 8530' and quite spectacular. There was major road construction from the top to the East entrance to the park which delayed us another 45 minutes or so. Hard to imagine that anyone could build a road through this terrain which was mostly solid rock and very steep walled canyons on the south side. Tony thought he was having brake problems, but we couldn't find any problems. We told him that if he had trouble Don was ahead of him and just head for the back of his fifth wheel. After what seemed like a small eternity, we finally passed the construction area and were on reasonably flat road again.
We arrived at our park a bout 12:15 checked in and got set up. The park is flat and all gravel with no trees, but the scenery is amazing. Lots of different color stratified rock and large spires poking up everywhere. One group of rocks near us is aptly named Castle Rock. Lots of small ranches and Lodges appear along the Shoshone River. It certainly looks like cowboy country.
Dick and Gail Pellegrini, the last of our Trekies arrived about 1:30 to cheers, hugs, and handshakes. Our traveling family is now complete. We can get on with the business of heading east. After resting up a bit, we had a group steak barbecue, a toast to our trip, and off to bed about 9:30 or so.