September 9, 2011: Yellowstone, Upper Geyser Basin

I’m not sure if it was my alarm clock or the roar of the old faithful crowd that woke me up, but since I couldn’t hear anything outside I’m leaning towards the alarm clock.  I blasted out of bed ready for another day of adventures in Yellowstone and jumped into the car rearing to go.  I sat around for a couple minutes until someone finally came to tell me we were going to hang around the lodge area and neighboring geyser basin for most of the day.

This sounded very pleasing since the old faithful area is ripe with large geysers and lots of hiking trails out to some remote viewing of erupting water.  I climbed out of the car and we headed off into the mysterious land of the Upper Geyser Basin stopping to watch old faithful blow off some morning steam.

There are many geysers that deserve a  viewing but if your looking for a grand time then they named one especially for you.  We set off to check out the Grand Geyser which is the tallest predictable geyser in the world……predictable in the sense that they can give you a 4 hour window, plus or minus 20 hours.  There was already a large crowd waiting when we got there but we found some unsettled seats and settled in for what was luckily only a 40 minute wait before all hell broke loose. I knew my brain was in for a rough ride when we saw another geyser favorite, Castle Geyser,  exploding in the distance.

This proved to be a real dilemma as we were pretty sure these fountains of destruction would only spurt their magic once in the daylight hours.  Luckily, I am well versed in the ways of my luck and knew there was really only one option for me…..I had to stay put as it was a certainty that if I made a run for the other geyser, then that one would stop as soon as I got there and Mr. Grand would proceed to erupt leaving me all dressed up with no geyser to watch.  This was of course the wrong decision as one member of our group did make it there and back in time to add both geysers to his extensive resume.  As soon as he got back and sat down, Grand gave us the show we had all been waiting for.

After the performance and standing ovation, I tried to sprint my way over to storm the keep at Castle Geyser but was repelled by the hordes of people also heading over.  I finally broke through but found the geyser in a sad state of affairs as it weakly spurted whatever it had left in its tank.  Screaming at it didn’t seem to help so I retraced my steps and moved on.

Only to see another fan favorite erupting in the distance….Daisy Geyser.  I was a little sad to be so far away when this one went off since  i had been planning for minutes to declare “Your no Daisy, your no daisy at all” when it erupted to quote Doc Holliday in the movie Tombstone.  I turned to the stranger next to me and said it to him instead but he seemed more disturbed than anything.

We wandered around in a geyser induced daze for a while and had to explain to everyone we met that we were not the geyser experts we appeared to be but merely well seasoned.  We eventually  walked on to the Morning Glory Pool which got some oooos and ahhhs before we headed back for a late lunch(ice cream).

After lunch we gathered around for some good old faithfulness, and after watching that explosion we headed back to our rooms for some naps before our fancy dinner reservation at the old faithful inn.  A prime rib buffet left me feeling quite satisfied and we walked back to our rooms in the pitch dark since even the bears deserve a shot at a buffet from time to time.  Dinner wasn’t on us though and we made it back safely for our last night in Yellowstone.

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