Yellowstone, Day 7

Last full day in the Park – return to Geyser-ville. Drove down Firehole Lake Dr. Missed Great Fountain by an hour, but waiting 40 minutes to see White Dome erupt.

Down to Midway Geyser Basin. Strolled boardwalk by Grand Prismatic Spring, reportedly the most beautiful pool in Yellowstone – also the biggest and deepest.  But it’s obscured by steam, and we can barely see the yellow edge, let alone the colors on the signs. From the boardwalk, Grand Prismatic is a bust.

So we drove to the Fairy Falls trailhead, hiked in about a mile behind the Midway basin, then up a faint trail on the hill beside the basin, to a rocky overlook – THAT’s what they’re talking about.  GRAND Prismatic – overwhelmingly beautiful with barely any steam from the bird’s eye view. Hiked back down, continued on towards Fairy Falls side trail — too far, so we sat on logs and had a picnic lunch. Leftover fish & chips, turned into a fish sandwich.

Meanwhile, ravens play Hitchock scene on our car.

Then on to Old Faithful Visitor Center. Our geysers runneth over – after a week of poorly timed eruptions, we have 3 likely to blow within 2 hours, +/- 30-60 minutes.  How to choose?  With advice from a ranger, we hike quickly (25 minutes) out over Geyser Hill to Riverside Geyser, which erupted at 2:40 over the river, with a rainbow spouting in the spray, for 20 minutes. Yay!  Wow!  So we walked back 15 minutes to Castle Geyser, oldest in the park, which erupted at 3:30 (just past predicted 3:20 time). Wow! Water shot out of the Castle for 20 minutes, then water & steam for 10 minutes, followed by billowing steam for longer than we watched. We missed Daisy Geyser, but headed back to the visitor center in time to see Old Faithful one last time.  Tallest jet yet, and biggest crowd.

Returned to West Yellowstone, via Firehole Lake Drive. Nope, never saw Great Fountain erupt.

Stopped in the town for gift shopping, dinner at 3 Bears restaurant – salad bar, BBQ ribs & chicken, beef sandwich. Back to condo to pack, finish wine & whiskey.

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