If you have ever watched a pot as it begins to boil, or sap drip down a tree until it captures a fly, or somebody running towards you from miles and miles and miles away, and you didn’t lose your mind, start to fidget, or contemplate the meaning of life and why you were choosing to live yours doing that thing, you might enjoy waiting for Old Faithful to explode. I so wish I loved it more. The actual eruption WAS pretty amazing, maybe I should just focus on that. Yes, let’s just focus on how truly high the water shot, how much of it there was, and how nature was creating the experience without any help.
Pull up a chair, because I am about to tell you what is really cool. The walk around Old Faithful is really worth it. There are tons of small guises everywhere with water as blue as you can imagine. And interestingly enough, tons of different layers and colors of rock making for a truly gorgeous walk.
NORTH RIM TRAIL
HIKE: 2.5 miles (maybe)
ELEVATION: 348 ft
Unfortunately the entire North Rim Trail was not open, fortunately, we didn’t care. When you start with an amazing view, overlooking a waterfall, you can’t really go wrong. We started at the trailhead and made our way to the left of the first observation deck. After walking about half a mile, we made it to an overlook. Have you ever sat and looked at birds as a hobby? Me either, but my mom has and man is she good at finding them. She saw an eagle in mid flight and then found its nest on a ledge that was so far
My mom has always had the ability of Sherlock, she can spot things that everyone else misses. Perfect example, looking out over the mountains, everyone else sees different shades of rock, she points out an eagles nest from a few football fields away. Basically, don’t try to sneak anything past her … she might not say anything to you, but she knows. lol
ANYWAY, from the observation deck we decided to make our way down, way down, a pretty dang steep grade to a second observation deck, one that puts you at eye level of the waterfall. It was absolutely gorgeous, totally hard, and of course, as always, worth every step.
LILY POND HIKE with A STOP AT ARTIST POINT
HIKE: 5 miles
ELEVATION: 250 ft to Artist Point and then who knows
The north rim had such amazing views, we had to check out the south rim, especially after we saw the name – Artist Point. The views are absolutely amazing along this hike. Let’s get personal here for a minute. I am going to let you in on a little secret. I am scared of heights, always have been. I’ve never let it hold me back, but man my knees shake, my hands shake, hell my hair probably shakes.
There’s no railing on the path and for about half of it, you are walking along a ridge overlooking about a thousand foot drop. I triple love hikes like that, hikes where you go through woods, and end up with an amazing view. So good, so good.
One note, Lily Pond didn’t really have as many Lillies as it did a huge smattering of moss and algae. Which smelled oh so good. I mean, wow, please bottle that and give it to your worst enemy immediately. The trail is in a little bit of disarray as well, but again, you are in the woods, in Yellowstone … so … you can’t really go wrong.
Everyone eventually gets a nickname and my mom definitely earned hers for about the 500th time. Two Poles Turnage. Will. Not. Be. Stopped. She’s the best.
MUD VOLCANO, BABY BEARS, and AN ELK//DEER?
On the way out of the park that day, we stopped to see the mud volcanos - pretty neat stuff. Land Before Time would be the point of reference I would give you with a touch of Jurassic Park. They smell fairly bad, but cool none the less.
At some point during our hike we must have run across a four leaf clover without knowing it because on our way out of the park we saw not one but two baby bears and a momma bear. It was just like I imagined it would be but with less attack, teeth, me playing dead, and a lot more adorableness.
To cap it all off, as we were driving home a gorgeous elk ran in front of our car and then pranced against the sunset for us. I am telling you it had to be a four leaf clover, lepricon, or just amazingly dumb luck. Whatever it was, it was great and I loved every scary moment of slamming on my breaks and then snapping as many pictures as possible out my window.