Yellowstone – Day 3 – Grand Faithful

Yes, I realize it’s Old Faithful, but we also saw Grand Prismatic today as well so I blended the title. We saw two of the bigger attractions.

Heather and I pop up and go down to use our 2 free breakfasts we got while checking in. You get seated like normal restaurant style, wearing masks. Sit down, take mask off then you get to pick from 4 different types of breakfasts. Heather and I both got the egg with bacon and hashbrowns. They were a little slow taking our order but once they did the food came fairly fast. We were lucky we came when we did cause it started to fill up.

Got back to the room, girls were barely moving. Heather and I got everything ready for the day, lunch, clothes, camera, etc. I wanted to be gone early….we left the hotel at 9am. Not early.

So of course we played Holiday Road AGAIN….

You might notice a little frustration on my face early in the video. I was upset we didn’t get moving earlier and was proved right instantly. The line to get into the park was way back into town. It took us a good half-hour to get to the gate and they had all 5 lanes going. Of note, just because you have already purchased a park pass, doesn’t mean you have to be in the far right lane for the pre-purchase only lane. They just do that so hopefully those people can move along faster. I would say it really didn’t move a whole lot faster for some reason.

So we get into the park and sure enough we get into another traffic jam for bison. The moms and little ones were still at the side of the road but at least they weren’t blocking the road. Still, it held up traffic. We are now about an hour in and I have to go to the bathroom so we come upon a pull-off with a toilet. There are a few other people there with the same idea so we wait our turn and then use the facilities and get back in line, not too far back from where we left mind you. It wasn’t a whole lot further beyond this point that traffic started to move again.

In these situations, it’s best to just role down the window and take in the view. Try to take in the nature and be calm and slow. I tried really hard to do this even though I was worried the places we were trying to get to may have been filling up.

So we get to Madison Junction and thankfully cars are splitting off in different direction so they are not all going to Old Faithful or Grand Prismatic. Grand Prismatic was first along the way and there is two places to view it. Either you park in the parking lot or along the road and take the boardwalk to walk right up to it, or you walk a little farther to the Fairy Falls Trail parking lot and view it from above. Both areas were really full so we decided to move on to Old Faithful.

They are working on the bridge going over the highway so I was again nervous it would be really backed up. It wasn’t bad at all and not only that, but the parking lot wasn’t bad either. So I found a place to park….Clark Griswold style….

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First Ones Here!

Yep…first ones here. I parked way in the back of the lot where there were hardly any cars around at the time “And at the end of the day, when the lots all full and everyone is fighting to get out of here, we’ll be the first ones out too!”

It brought me even greater joy when Heather and the girls couldn’t believe I just did this.

We find out through the Yellowstone app I have that the next eruption should be around 11:50am. At this point it is after 11 so we load up on sunscreen cause it’s already very warm and load up on water. We find the public bathroom and find a place to sit.

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Waiting for Old Faithful

As we are sitting there, Kaitlyn is worried about her ankle and wants the pre-wrap so she can maybe wrap her ankle but thinks it’s back in the car. So I go back to the car. I don’t think I said this to the girls, but at one point when I’m jogging I start to sing, 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.

I can’t find the pre-wrap so Kaitlyn is out of luck. As we are sitting there, a geyser off in the distance is going off. They can’t predict this particular geyser’s time with as much accuracy and they give a much bigger time window than Old Faithful. In the following picture, you can see it go off in the far left of the picture.

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So we watched that one go off for about 8 to 9 minutes. When that one was done, another one went off a little closer to us.

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We believe this was called the Beehive Geyser. So again we sat and watch this one erupt for a good 5 minutes or more. We keep watching that go off in the distance and Old Faithful is going past her time to erupt and Ella exclaims fairly loudly, “Old Faithful? More like Old Doubtful” To which everyone around us begins to laugh.

The Beehive was getting to the end and Old Faithful finally started to erupt.

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After watching how long the other two erupted, Old Faithful was a little underwhelming. Still, we can say we came to see the most famous geyser. We waited for the crowd to disburse. Heather and Ella tried to find a place to go to the bathroom but everywhere was really busy at this point as it was lunch time. There were lines everywhere. So they pressed on without going.

We took the boardwalk and viewed the springs and geysers around the area.

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Kaitlyn’s ankle was really bugging her and Sophie was starting to overheat so we had to cut off our tour a bit shorter than I was wanting. We came across Castle Geyser which would just keep bubbling up like this every few seconds.

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We make our way back towards the parking lot. I was hoping to show them the lodge there as people had said it is so cool to see the inside. Unfortunately, the lodge was closed until the following weekend so we couldn’t go in. We went to the General Store to look for souvenirs. The girls were having trouble deciding on what to get and I mentioned Old Faithful will erupt soon and after that it’ll get busy. Sure enough, it erupted and so did the General Store after that. We quickly made a few purchases and got the heck out of there. I will say, we probably timed Old Faithful out perfectly cause it was much more busier at this point and we were ready to leave.

We asked the girls if they wanted to eat in the parking lot or find a picnic area on the way to West Thumb. They decided a picnic area so we left.

After checking a few stops, we came across an area to eat.

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West Thumb is a nice area out of the way from everything. The only bad thing was most everything around there was still closed from the winter. We had hoped to look for souvenirs here where it was quieter but no luck. It was a little drive but still was pretty and peaceful.

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Here it looks like Ella is yelling but she is actually being an extreme camp counselor/tour guide.

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This next one was called Fishing Cone. Many years ago, fisherman would catch a fish and toss them in the hole to be cooked.

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Fishing Cone
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West Thumb, part of Yellowstone Lake.
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We filled gas at $3.22/gallon and headed back towards Grand Prismatic. Along the way I was searching for neat things to stop for along the way. I noticed that we could see the Grand Tetons at one point so I had to stop to take pictures. The girls were sort of done doing things at this point.

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Grand Tetons in the distance
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and Keppler Cascades….

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Our last stop for the day and decide we are going to do the Grand Prismatic overlook. We stop at the Fairy Falls Trail parking lot which has much less cars than it did before. It’s probably around 5pm at this point.

We take the gravel trail to the overlook

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Kaitlyn steps wrong and sort of re-injures her ankle a bit but is able to press on. There are still plenty of people walking the trail and of course eventually the trail does go up the hill a bit but this is what we were treated to…..

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Below is the other view we would have had. You can see the boardwalk goes right up to the spring.

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Caught a butterfly while taking in the view.

While we were waiting there, we noticed something was going on with a couple and were part of this….

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Story set-up here. For some time, we have been giving Kaitlyn a hard time about her “Pit Viper” knockoffs (sunglasses). Here you see them in this picture….

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We have also been watching Schitts Creek on Netflix lately. Actually it is me and Heather’s second time around. If you watch, you know David Rose and some of his outfits he wears. As we are walking back, a guy in a poncho looking thing like David Rose would wear walks by us and says, “Nice Pit Vipers”. I start laughing! Kaitlyn says, “Ah HA!!” and Ella begins to say, “Did you see what…..” and Heather quickly grabs Ella because she knew exactly what she was about to say and he was not out of ear shot yet. That made us all laugh cause we knew she was about to comment on his outfit and that a person like that giving a compliment, does not count.

A few more pictures before we leave…..

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A picture of a bison, cause they are everywhere….

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And we try to leave the park. Sure enough, 2 or 3 miles from the Madison Junction, we are stopped….AGAIN.

We slug along and slug along and finally we come to the bison. Once again, these things are everywhere and at this point the jam has to be passed the junction. Wouldn’t you know it, we get up alongside a bison that is right beside the road and the lady in the passenger seat motions to the driver to get the camera so they continue to creep along and then STOP right by the bison to take the picture. We are following close behind and just as they are leaving the bison begins to walk toward us so we quickly sped off, sort of ticked that we are not sure if the bison was going to stop at that point. Again, don’t be that person. You’ll see plenty.

Again, it takes us 1 1/2 hours to go 14 miles but we did leave a little earlier than the night before and we didn’t have to check in. So we got to our room and walked down the road to the Slippery Otter Pub. We had to wait 45 minutes but we didn’t mind tonight as we figured we would have to wait anywhere. This place was great. The lady knew how tourists role so she had 5 glasses and 2 pictures of water sitting on the table for us. She recommended some drinks for Heather and I. She said to be patient as she had a large table but she was still very attentive.

Don’t know if we were starving again but the food was spectacular. Ella and Sophie both ordered something with the intent of splitting it 50/50. Some of it was wings of which I had a few and thought they were some of the best wings I’ve had in a while. Very good meal.

Heather and I went to the hot tub after we got back for a bit while the girls showered up for the night. One more day to go in Yellowstone tomorrow.

Continue reading the adventure with DAY 4!!!

One thought on “Yellowstone – Day 3 – Grand Faithful

  1. Pingback: Yellowstone – Day 2 – Beartooth Pass | Vacationing Dad

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