I should get the t-shirt that says that. Is there such a t-shirt? There should be. Yellowstone is awesome, by the way. It's just that when you do it in just a few days, it's also exhausting. But that's how my sisters and I roll. Go on a trip, jam pack everything in. Is there another way? This time we even dragged along my parents and youngest two siblings. The trip was full, and so this post might get a little long. Consider yourself forewarned!
First of all, to all that requested that I not get eaten by a bear... I didn't! We never even managed to find one, though there were some trails warning of bear activity. We also didn't manage to find any moose. I'm disappointed on both counts, but probably more about the moose. ('Cause with the bear, there's more of a concern of getting eaten.) My only other minor disappointment was that we didn't really get any hiking done. It was a minor disappointment because the bear warnings were disconcerting, but also because we did a lot of walking and saw most of the major attractions, so I don't know where we could have thought of fitting it in.
After my family all met up, we headed for Old Faithful. Now, my family had been to Yellowstone before, and I know we were at Old Faithful. I vaguely remember being in the Inn. Somehow, I do not remember watching the geyser itself, so I was excited to see it. I was also excited because there happened to be another blogger in Yellowstone at the same time, and we were going to try to meet briefly. (Note that she did get to see a bear. Safely. I might be jealous.) Our highly coordinated plan to meet consisted of, "Well, we'll be around Old Faithful at this time; hopefully we'll run into each other." Because, really, how else can you plan a meeting when you're on vacation and you don't know quite how long it's going to take you to get somewhere? It seemed workable to me until I got there and saw the crowd.
I thought that there was no way, but in the end it all worked out. I swear we only got a chance to talk for two minutes, but it clearly must've been longer because my family watched some movie about the park at the Visitor's Center and proceeded to spew random facts about Yellowstone for the rest of the trip. ("Is this still part of the caldera?" "You know that Old Faithful is going to stop erupting at some point, right?" "Oh, I think this is the pool that will eat your flesh if you stick your hand in!") Anyway, JBTC is as awesome as you would expect, and while I wish we could have met longer, I'm glad we met for a few minutes.
I guess I should include a picture of Old Faithful, huh?
We also walked around the geyser basin near Old Faithful and saw some other geysers and pools. I especially liked the river with steam coming up from the hot spots on the edges.
Following that, we went to a couple of other geyser basins and saw one of the prettiest blue pools I've ever seen, followed by some bubbling mud, followed by Gibbons Falls.
The next day we went to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and saw the Upper and Lower Falls. We went to the Sulphur Cauldron (I'll skip the pictures, it was just smelly yellow, bubbly water) and the Mud Volcano area. The Mud Volcano itself wasn't much, but I love the Dragon's Mouth (though I would have named it the Dragon's Lair). I remembered it from the last time and always wanted to go back. I didn't remember why I liked it so much, but it's just this cave that has steam coming out, and it makes this weird gurgling sound like there's a dragon wallowing in it. And the steam comes and goes like it's breathing or something. Awesome.
Also in that area was a small lake. It was boiling. See why Yellowstone's not like any other place?
Sour Lake (you can barely make out the boiling in the middle)
We finished up the day at Mammoth Hot Springs, which was also pretty impressive.
Okay, that's it for now. I'm getting tired all over again just thinking about it! There're just a couple of other things to wrap up, but I'll leave that for another post if I get around to it.