This was a nice, sunny Indian summer day in the park. We started the day by getting caught in a traffic jam. Fortunately we were at the front end of it because there was a mother grizzly and her cub right by the side of the road and we were up close and personal. So awesome to see them and it was the first time for us to actually see bears in Yellowstone! Woo-hoo!
We finally moved on to just past Midway Geyser Basin where Scott hiked the trail we had both planned to hike before my body decided to rebel. We wanted to go to Fairy Falls but it was obvious that I wasn’t going to make that, so I encouraged Scott to hike the 5.8 miles while I sat in the car and read a book. I brought a chunky 600-page book on this trip and read most of it in Yellowstone. He took off and headed to the Falls. The trail wound around the back of Midway Geyser Basin and up into a small hilly area that contained Fairy Falls. He had a good time and the pictures look great.
We walked around Midway Geyser Basin together. Slowly. This is Turquoise Pool, which has a lovely blue color. As you may have guessed from the name.
This is the close-up view of Grand Prismatic Spring. Scott later looked on Google Maps and looked at it from high up and that was a cool view.
This is a cool view I saw from the boardwalk and told Scott to take a picture of and it came out looking quite nice. Such lovely vistas in YNP.
Next we headed to the Canyon area and hit the North Rim. Because it wasn’t very crowded and there were plenty of parking places in all those tiny little parking lots on the North Rim Drive, we stopped at each one to get out and look at the view. This is impossible in the summer. Each spot gives a farther away view of the Lower Falls but a different angle on the downstream canyon.
We also went to the South Rim to Artist Point because it’s also jam-packed in the summer. We saw an artist doing a self-portrait. He was dressed like a biker, painting himself as a medieval European nobleman with Yellowstone’s Lower Falls in the background. I found it a little incongruous but I won’t deny his artistic right of self-expression. I’m sure there were deep meanings. Anyway, we saw the Falls, took photos, and headed out to Hayden Valley to look for wildlife. Saw bison, including some crossing the road right in front of us. Then off to the Mud Volcano Area which is another area we had never seen. This area is vapor-driven rather than water-driven, so there was more sulphur and lots of steam. We walked around Sulphur Cauldron and then did a long slog around the boardwalk because I was really sore. This area has had relatively recent activity that has changed the countryside. The coolest thing was Dragon’s Mouth Spring. Steam pushes water out of a cavern opening and it thumps quite a bit, making really cool sounds. I loved that and we hung around there for a while.
We drove back to the hotel in the dark, had dinner, and headed home the next day. Even though we had some setbacks with the arthritis flare-up, we had a great time and found that fall is an awesome to visit Yellowstone National Park.