Padinago's trip to the USA and Canada in 2011

Day 17 - Yellowstone National Park

This morning it is dry but quite cold although it looks like it is going to rain. After breakfast in our hotel we leave for the park and today we will only drive to the south of the park and back. The fully lower loop is for tomorrow and hopefully we will have better weather then.

When we are already driving a short time towards Madison River we see across the road a bold eagle on a branch. We take the road to the south and turn to the Firehole Lake Drive. At the end we park our car and walk along the boardwalk to Firehole Lake. It is extremely cold here and we walk through the mist from the steaming water.

We drive on and go to Grand Prismatic Spring. Every time this is an amazing view! At that moment you realize that Yellowstone is a caldera (a super volcano crater whose roof of the magma room is not supported) of about 55 by 72km! You cannot start thinking about it...

As the weather gets worse we drive to the Old Faithful Village and have something hot to drink and have our lunch a bit earlier.

We drive to the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake where we get an amazing view of the Grand Tetons.
When we drive on towards Grand Teton we stop at Lewis Lake that is still, almost entirely, covered with ice. We drive on and stop at Moose Falls where at the bottom of the falls we take some nice pictures.

It really starts to rain now and we decide to drive back to Old Faithfull for a nice hot coffee. There we immediately wait for the geyser's imminent eruption. We try to have a good spot from where we can see the eruption. It is 5.10pm when the geyser shows his nicest view but suddenly the wind turns and we get in the middle of the geyser's steaming rain. Unfortunately!

We drive on towards our hotel and when we reach Madison we see lots of cars. We catch a glimpse of a bear, probably a grizzly, who disappears into the woods. We have a chat with some people and they tell us they saw the bear swimming across the Madison River. Again unfortunately!

A bit later we see next to the river a bold eagle in a tree but when we stop it flies away. Again no luck! It was the third bold eagle we saw today. It is definitely not our best day to see wildlife...

When we leave the park we stop for some groceries and get back to the hotel. After an invigorating shower we have our dinner at the Outpost restaurant.

Daytrip approx. 255 km

@ Firehole Canyon @ Lower Geyser Basin Great Fountain Geyser Fountain Paint Pot A Raven @ the Firehole Lake Drive Firehole Lake Grand Prismatic Spring American Avocets near the Grand Prismatic Spring Grand Tetons @ Lewis Lake Lewis Falls A swallow near our hotel