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  • Writer's pictureJeanne Marie

Off to Yellowstone National Park, Thursday, July 21

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

Breakfast was at 7 am, but our packed bags needed to be outside our door by 7:15 am. Our shuttle left at 8 am. We did get up early enough to have breakfast and go back to the room to check that we didn't forget anything before the shuttle ride.

Because the north entrance to Yellowstone was still officially closed, we had to take a 3 hour shuttle ride around to the west entrance. At the halfway point, they stopped for a bathroom break. During a check of the bikes, the guides noticed one missing. A man approached them and said that he saw a bike placed along a guardrail on the highway that we had just taken. Two of the guides drove back to see if they could find it. They were gone at least an hour searching for the missing bike, but alas, they did not find it. What did we do while they were gone ... take pictures!

So after a long break and van ride, we made it to Madison Campground in Yellowstone National Park for lunch and our ride to Old Faithful. The ride from Madison was only 20 miles with 900 feet of elevation gain along the park road. Unfortunately, the park road was filled with rvs, campers, and lots of cars. They warned us that we might come across bison walking around and the cars will just come to a dead stop. It wasn't much along the way, when we came to a long line of parked cars and we saw the bisons, a whole family! The safest place to watch them was waiting alongside a car instead of biking by them.

Biking along the Firehole River and about halfway to Old Faithful, we stopped at the Midway Geyser Basin which contains a small collection of mammoth-sized hot springs. The Grand Prismatic Spring is nearly 370 feet in diameter and with water temperature up to 188 degrees, it is the third largest in the world. It was named due to its beautiful coloration, deep blue center followed by pale blue. There is a boardwalk that takes tourists around to see all of the hot springs. The pictures just don't capture the variety of colors.

We finished our biking day at Old Faithful and we missed the eruption by 20 minutes. It seems to erupt every 90 minutes, so that gave us time to explore some of the other natural geothermal activity in the area. We walked a small loop to see more springs. You feel the heat from the springs and the ground around them are fragile. Lots of signs telling people not to climb the fences or step on the ground around the craters. Interesting enough, the bison can walk safely on the ground around the springs without damaging them or their hoofs.

These are some of the springs that we saw. The top middle is the Grand Geyser which we watched for quite a long time while waiting for Old Faithful. The bottom center and right photos are from inside of Old Faithful Lodge. Below is a video of one of the springs.

We waited longer than expected, but we did get to see the eruption of Old Faithful and it was worth it.

After it was over, we headed back to the van to see where we would spending the night. We were staying at Grant Village, The Grant Village is located in Yellowstone and is has rustic accommodations - no air conditioning or television. It was cool at night, so we didn't mind. What we did mind was the additional guest during the night. Around midnight, Mark woke to a scratching noise. I turned on the light, but we saw nothing. He looked on the desk and saw one of his granola bars chewed! A mouse in the house! About 10 minutes later, we saw the lights come on in the next room (connecting door) and heard someone screaming that they saw something! Meanwhile, we placed all of our food in the refrigerator and tried to go back to sleep. I had my phone plugged in on the desk and Mark saw it light up when the mouse returned and traipsed over my phone on the way to find that granola bar.

A view of Yellowstone Lake from Grant Village.

Map of the day's biking:

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