Yellowstone National Park (Grand Prismatic Spring, Old Faithful Geyser Sunset)
Since it was a Saturday and the 4th of July to boot, I decided to avoid Yellowstone for most of the day. I had a delicious sleep-in at my stealth parking spot. I was somehow smart enough to park under a shade tree so I didn’t get woken up in a direct-sun swelter.
I was way behind on blogging, so my plan was to find a nice, shadded spot to relax and type up a storm. I got lucky and found a restaurant which had a small gazebo overlooking the Yellowstone River. I ordered a takeout burger and fries so I didn’t feel like a squatter. Besides, it was the 4th of July, and nothing says America like a burger and fries. :) I ended up sitting at the gazebo for five hours. I had a wonderful, quiet afternoon writing, editing pictures and watching white water rafters floating by below me.
I planned to stealth car-camp at Old Faithful since I wanted to get a sunset video there and didn’t like the idea of driving in Yellowstone after dark. I would feel terrible if I accidently hit an animal because I couldn’t see it in time.
On the way, I stopped by my absolute favorite hot spring in the park: Grand Prismatic Spring. This spring is the largest in the park at 160 ft diameter and it is known for its rainbow of colors. The colors are micro-organisms which survive at different temperatures. Each color is a different type of organism. I normally take guests to the platform which walks right up to the spring, but it’s difficult to see the true scope of it from that close. There is a 2 mile round-trip hike which goes to a viewing platform above the spring, but they don’t allow motorcoaches in that area. It was my first time getting to hike up and the view did not disappoint!
As I was leaving Grand Prismatic Spring, I stopped for a sunset photo of the Firehole River and Midway Geyser Basin - one of the most geothermally active areas in the park.
I then headed to the Old Faithful complex and caught a perfectly timed sunset and Old Faithful Geyser eruption.
Spending the night in the area worked well since the Old Faithful Lodge was open for business. I just parked in the parking lot with the other cars.