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I think that most Americans plan to see Yellowstone at some point in their lives. From it’s infamous geysers and hot springs, to it’s beautiful forests and waterfalls, Yellowstone doesn’t disappoint. The drive from Cody to the eastern entrance of Yellowstone National Park was about 50 or so miles. On the way, we passed by the Buffalo Bill Dam and couldn’t resist stopping and taking a closer look. The dam was built in 1909 and at the time was the biggest in the world. My favorite part of the whole thing was seeing how different the water levels were on both sides. It is very evident that a crack in this dam would create a disastrous flood. After about 15 minutes we got back on the road.
At Yellowstone, our basic itinerary for the day was to see Old Faithful and then move on to the Mammoth Hot Springs. We also agreed going in, to stop at any place that we deemed to be of interest. On the drive, before we reached the Old Faithful Geyser, we would stop at Yellowstone Lake and a wonderful waterfall just off the road. The total drive from Yellowstone’s eastern entrance to Old Faithful was about 70 miles. Yes, that is right, 70 miles. Yellowstone is ENORMOUS!!!!!!!!
In my research, I found out that Old Faithful erupts about every 90 minutes. Luckily, when we arrived, it was due to explode in about ten minutes. We sat at the viewing area and waited while it teased us a couple of times before the water really started to flow. It was a truly incredible site. The god made show lasted for about 4 minutes before it anti-climactically stopped.
In the area of Old Faithful, are dozens of other geysers along with many pools and hot springs. The National Park Service has built a boardwalk around most of these wonders of nature. We decided to take a 3 mile walk around the path to see some of them. While strolling along, we noticed a small geyser across the river from us. It looked like a little barrel and we later found out it’s name, the Beehive Geyser.
For a minute or two, the Beehive Geyser was erupting with water going into the air only about 5 feet. Quite suddenly and much to our surprise, the Beehive Geyser started shooting water up about 200 feet in the air. Not only was this taller than Old Faithful, but it also erupted for longer. When the ranger came over to enjoy the show with us, she told us that Beehive Geyser only erupts every 2 to 3 days. We just happened to be in the right place at the exact right time. Divine Inspiration!
The many pools, springs and geysers take on vastly different shapes and sizes. This area is unlike any I have seen before and is truly unique. Every hole in the ground looked and smelled different and came complete with it’s own sense of wonder. It took us about an hour to make the three mile loop back to the car. We then headed to Mammoth Hot Springs, which was another 50 miles away. On the way, we stopped on the side of the road and spotted a deer, who apparently was very popular, since me and about fifty other people took pictures of him.
When we finally reached Mammoth Hot Springs I was a little disappointed. In a way, it was more of the same from Old Faithful, but not as beautiful. All in all, we spent about thirty minutes at the Mammoth Hot Springs before leaving the park. The drive to Helena was about 3 hours and we made it there rather quickly and without incident.
Monday, the only thing we had planned, was a four hour drive west to Spokane, Washington. We slept in, and then went to the store for supplies, before getting on the road. After the predicted four hours in the car, we arrived in Spokane and checked into our hotel. This is the first time in a little while that we had been done early in the day, so we took advantage of it by resting at the hotel. Tomorrow we are going to check out Spokane for a little while before driving about four hours once again, this time to Seattle. Talk to you soon.
The Coomer Family
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