Donnerstag, 18. September 2008

Day 9 - Yellowstone National Park (1)

Today we drove from Jackson Hole to the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park. For this we had to cross Grand Teton National Park once more. Our first major stop at Yellowstone was the West Thumb Geyser Basin. First we dropped by at the vistitor center and watched a movie about the fire of 1988 where significant parts of the park got devestated. Fortunately, the park has recovered quite well since then.

At West Thumb Geyer Basin we could see hotsprings, mud pots and geysers. The following pictures should give you some impressions of West Thumb Geyser Basin. The wonderful colors are due to different thermotolerant and thermophilic organisms for which Yellowstone provides a vast habitat.

From West Thumb we drove to the Old Faithful are . When we came their we already saw a lot of people sitting on benches and waiting for Old Faithful to erupt. As Old Faithful is erupting on a quite regular basis (about every 90 minutes) we knew that the eruption must start every minute.

The eruptions of Old Faithful are about 180 feet and last for a couple of minutes. Old Faithful is by far not the largest geyser in Yellowstone National Park, but the most popular one as its eruption can be predicted quite precisly. The largest geyser in the park is Steamboat Geyser. Its major eruptions are about 400 feet. Unfortunately, the interval for its major eruptions is up to 50 years and for this our vacations just were too short ;-).

After having seen Old Faithful erupt we visited the visitor center and watched again one of the movies and were then just right for the next eruption of Old Faithful. We then walked around Upper Geyser Basin and just came right to the eruption of Castle Geyser. It erupts less frequently than Old Faithful and can also not be predicted as precisly. However, its eruptions are taking much longer and it is much more colorful.

When being in the Old Faithful area a visit of Old Faithful Inn must not be missed. Old Faithful Inn has been built in the early 19th and is an impressive wooden building with a 6 floor high lobby.

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