Saturday, August 12, 2017

Chavonne's Trip to Yellowstone

Chavonne Goes to Old Faithful

Yellowstone is one of the largest National Parks in the US.  At 3,472 square miles, it spreads into 3 states.  It has over 290 waterfalls, 10,000 hydrothermal features, 500 geysers, and over 67 species of mammals.  It is the 5th most visited park in the nation, getting about 4.2 million visitors a year.

Chavonne was so excited to visit Yellowstone.  There was so much to see, she wasn't sure where to start.  Early on the first day she was there, she woke up, put on some layers of clothes (in the morning it was in the 40's, but by noon it was in the upper 80's) and got ready for a day of exploring.  She decided that she would go to see Old Faithful and the basin that Old Faithful is in.

As we drive to Old Faithful, we spot an amazing little road that takes across a sandbar on Yellowstone Lake.  Yellowstone Lake is huge!!!  Covering 131 square miles, it has over 141 miles of shoreline.  And it is beautifully calm in the morning.

There are very small waves that lap the shore as Chavonne sits to take a photo.  The water is clear and cool, but not cold.  Such a pretty way to start the morning.

There are so many things to stop and see as we go to Old Faithful that we have to pick and choose.  We decide to stop at West Thumb Geyser Basin, since we see a huge thermal off to our right.  The trail allows us to walk past some small springs and geysers.  The steam coming off the springs is intense and has a not so pleasant smell.

As Chavonne is about to leave elk appear through the fog and steam.  A mother and her baby and a stag.  What a beautiful sight!

Finally after a long drive Old Faithful is in sight.  Old Faithful is part of the Upper Geyser Basin which has 150 geysers in it.

Old Faithful is the most famous, partly because it is pretty predicatable as far as it's eruptions.

It erupts every 90 minutes or so.  Water shoots up over 100 feet in the air for 1 to 5 minutes.  Chavonne arrived just after Old Faithful erupted, so she took photos without the geyser going off.

It is still amazing to see, and later, as she waited to see another geyser go off, she did get to see Old Faithful expell some 4,000 gallons of water!

Wondering around the basin is awesome.  There are so many neat little termal features.  Some of the springs bubble as the super heated water comes up from within the earth.

Some of them just seap water out over their edges.  And others continously steam.

Chavonne sits on the ledge near Blue Star Spring.  Although it is only 6 feet deep, the cool blue color in this spring is amazing.

But don't be fooled, this spring is hot!  At 192 degrees it is very dangerous.

Another feauture that Chavonne got to see was Beehive Geyser.  Behive is not as predictable as Old Faithful, but it is spectacular.  Chavonne had to wait almost an hour to see it erupt, which isn't bad considering the interval time between eruptions is 7 hours to a few days.

The cone of behive is four feet wide which forces the water out in a concentrated spray, kind of like a spary nozzel on a hose.

The water shoots up almost 200 feet and makes a roraing sound as it comes out.  The show lasts 4 minute or so and is then done.  Chavonne was so excited that she was able to see such a neat eruption on a fairly unpredictable geyser.

The rest of the day Chavonne drove through the park, stopping at random spots to take a look at things quickly.  Tomorrow she is going to go to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone!