Yesterday didn’t go exactly as planned. As it is the long weekend we expected lots of people in the park so we got up early, got some gas for the car and got through the park entrance quickly. As I was accelerating away from the gate I heard a noise, looked back and saw my gas cap slide off the roof and bounce down the highway. OOPS! I quickly pulled over to go and get it but it was nowhere to be found. Now the road is 5 lanes wide here and I was in the middle lane. There were no pieces of it as if someone had run over it. We spent over 1/2 hour walking up and down each shoulder but no luck. So back to town to buy a new one.
Now when we had gone through the entrance there where maybe 8 cars waiting. By the time we finished searching and went back, there were now easily 100 and more piling in.
So we skipped going to the park. After we got the cap at a local NAPA store, we went to the visitor’s center, loaded up on brochures and maps, did a bit a shopping and spent the rest of the day planning our visit.
Today went much better. After a 30 minute drive we got to the Norris Geyser Basin about 9 am. Even that early the parking lot was almost full. When we went back at about 11 get our lunch from the car, there were vulture cars everywhere circling for someone to pull out.
Prepare for a lot of pictures of geysers, hot springs and mud pots.
We started the day in jackets as it was 3C when we got up but it quickly got into the 20s. The cool morning made for lots of steam.
Most of the geysers are very unpredictable. Some haven’t gone off in decades. Old Faithful is in a different area.
This area is called the Porcelain Basin.
The big steam vent below is called the Black Growler. It made a loud roaring sound as the steam poured out that you could hear from very far away.
Lots of colourful, very hot streams.
We did see one geyser go off, shooting water about 20 feet in the air.
Another loop of the trail had lots of colourful hot springs.
Below is where we had lunch. The red colour is not rock. They are thermophiles, microorganisms that thrive on heat.
At one point in time this must have been a very active geyser because there was lots of seating around it. It had gone dormant.
This looked like a snake slithering out of the shadows.
The steam did have a pretty heavy sulphur smell to it. We worried a bit about our cameras. This was called the Puff’n Stuff geyser.
This one tiny geyser used to be huge except that long ago tourists kept throwing coins in it and now it is clogged up.
Not much left.
We left and moved down the road a bit to a short hike to the Artists Paintpots.
We stared and laughed at this mudpot for a long time.
Some of the burps could throw blobs of mud about 20 feet in the air.
And then home.