Left work early Wednesday & boarded a plane to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Not only running a marathon this weekend – my 10th – but also celebrating a birthday.  Chose to spend this year in Yellowstone & Grand Tetons National Park 🙂

Short one hour flight from Colorado (vs 8+ hours drive), set up camp at the Flat Creek Inn & hit the road early Thursday – destination Old Faithful, 2 hours away in Yellowstone National Park.

The day’s weather was notably different from Colorado, misty rain & cool sub-60 temps.  Unfortunately, Grand Tetons’ iconic peaks were completely obscured by cloud cover (would have to wait ’til Sunday).  Another hour further, Old Faithful.  Took a quick walkabout the Visitors Center, only 20 minutes ‘til this mighty geyser was scheduled to blow.  Secured a premium spot & waited for geyser magic.

A thin white plume seeped from the ground, followed by larger puffs of white gas, then all diminished.  The act re-commenced, this time water gurgled within the large gaseous plume.  Another brief break & the show known as Old Faithful began.  Approximately every 91 minutes, this geyser blows – spewing boiling water from Earth.  AMAZING!  What a birthday show!

Next stop: Grand Prismatic Spring

Listed #2 on gaperguide.com’s Top 5 Stops in Yellowstone – I was not disappointed.  Because of the day’s cool weather, dense sulfuric fog formed from vapors pouring off colourful geysers in Midway Geyser Basin.  The misty weather & geyser littered landscape was reminiscent of last year’s Icelandic adventure.  SPECTACULAR orange & blues – crazy vivid hues.  LOVED it!

Located in the Midway Geyser Basin is the brightly colored Grand Prismatic Spring.  It is the largest hot spring in the U.S. and the 3rd largest in the world!

Weather report for the weekend – rain, rain & more rain.  Sounded like today might be my best chance to see Yellowstone – so stayed on the road & headed another hour west to Lower Yellowstone Falls.

The lower falls are 308 feet high, almost twice as high as Niagara Falls!

Parked a pull-off early & trail ran Red Rock & North Rim 2 miles to get a closer view of the Falls (& help altitude acclimate for Saturday’s Mesa Falls marathon).  STUNNING VIEW of the Falls!  The 2 mile return run UP however – now that was challenging 🙂

Didn’t see Yellowstone’s famous buffalo but did up my bear tally to 3 for the summer.  A black bear crossed in front of my car – super exciting to see these huge predators when you’re not hiking (remembering last month’s 2 grizzlies in Glacier).

Finished at Mud Volcano before returning to Jackson via Yellowstone Lake & West Thumb.

Full 12 hour day – mountains, geysers, waterfalls & a bear!  Happy Happy Birthday to me!

 

 

 

Old Faithful

 

Lower Yellowstone Falls

 

Mud Volcano

 

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