Thursday, August 24
Yellowstone was a bit difficult for me due to the unexpected missing-a-chunk-of-my-knee-and-now-cannot-bend-it incident. We finally left the Grand Tetons and headed over to the Old Faithful area for the day. Brandon and I have both been here before on individual family road trips, but figured that we should still stop by since we were in the area. We had to loop the parking lot three times before we managed to find an RV parking space. So, a general recommendation is to not get there at noon. While it took a little longer than expected, I did manage to hobble around and see a majority of the geysers. We even had good timing and caught Old Faithful just as we were leaving.
Friday, August 25
We had planned to stop at the other geyser basins on the way up to our RV Park in West Yellowstone the previous day, but weren’t able to find parking at any of them. Instead, we hit the midway geyser basin first thing the next morning.
It was neat being able to see the change in water temperature as water flowed from the upper basins to the river. The types of bacteria and algae that can live in the hot springs are very sensitive to temperature, so in general the deep blue or white pools are too hot for life, and cooler pools will appear yellow or dark red to brown. As the water spilled out of the basins and flowed toward the river, the shallow streams allowed algae mats to form beautiful lines and patterns.
We still weren’t able to find parking at the Paint Pots, so instead we drove all the way north to the Mammoth Hot Springs (in the rain). One of the main ones has been dry for almost 20 years now. Soon, plants and trees will start to grow back and retake the area if the spring remains dormant.