Yellowstone - 9/8
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Grand Canyon Mud Volcano Old Faithful Keppler Cascades West Thumb Basin

We decided that after all we have gone through to get here, we should at least take the one day we have and see what we can.  So after breakfast, we started at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  As you will see from the pictures, it is a beautiful canyon although I don't think it really compares to the Grand Canyon.  However, I must admit I have never been to the Grand Canyon.

After a few stops along the canyon rim, we continued south to Mud Volcano.  This is an area in the park where there are bubbling mud pots.  The one called "Dragon's Mouth" was quite impressive as it "roared" like a dragon with each small eruption.

From there, it was on to Fishing Bridge to refuel our propane tank that was emptied during the night.  Heating a trailer in below freezing weather consumes a lot of propane so I took out both bottles to have them filled.  I wasn't so shocked that propane in the park was $1.85 per gallon.  What was shocking was the way they calculate the gallons.  Our bottles will hold 10 gallons total but for safety reasons, they can only be filled with 8 gallons.  As one tank was empty and the other around half, I needed about 12 gallons or somewhere around $20 worth of propane.  So you can imagine my shock when the attendant told me that it would be $37 plus tax or nearly $40.  When I questioned him, he pointed to their sign and stated that 10 gallon tanks are $18.50 each.  Well that's fine but a 10 gallon propane tank only holds 8 gallons.  And the other tank only took 4 gallons.  He explained that they charge by the tank, no matter how many gallons each tank requires.  So that's their policy and what was I to do since I hadn't read the sign or clarified the price before allowing him to proceed.  Of course if they intend on ripping off everyone, they could at least be sure that you know you are going to be ripped off before they do it.  You can be sure that from now on I will confirm the price prior to service.

Next we continued on to Old Faithful.  We had no idea when it was supposed to erupt next but figured it must be a while as the many benches lining the geyser were mostly unoccupied.  It was a cold day, probably only in the low 40's, so we found refuge in a nearby building.  It wasn't the famous Old Faithful Lodge were Theodore Roosevelt used to vacation but we didn't know it at the time.  There was a display that talked about the geyser and listed it's next scheduled eruption at 2:50 pm.  It was just after 2:00 pm.  We wanted to have lunch but the cafeteria was less than appetizing.  It kind of reminded me of a food court at the local mall that was serving yesterday's leftovers.  Not good.  So we got an ice cream cone instead and ate in the lobby of this building.

Now it was 2:30 pm so we decided to go outside and wait for the eruption.  The benches had filled considerably but we found a space to wait.  At about 2:45 pm, the geyser began to bubble and you could hear the excitement ripple throughout the crowd.  

And then it started.  But unfortunately for us, the area where we had picked to sit had the wind blowing in our face.  It wasn't a real strong wind, maybe 5-10 mph but it was enough to direct the steam our direction.  Thus we never really saw the geyser as we were trying to watch it through the fog.  On top of that, it was also enough wind to send the spray in our direction as well.  So we didn't see much and were rained on.  Not just water but stinky sulfur water that smelled like rotten eggs and stained our sunglasses, camera lenses, etc.  Hence, if you ever go to Yellowstone and see Old Faithful, make sure the wind is not blowing in your direction.

We made two stops on the way back to camp.  One a Keppler Cascades and another at the West Thumb Geyser Basin.  The Keppler Cascades is just a small waterfall that was pretty.  The West Thumb Geyser Basin is a collection of hot springs, geysers, and other thermal features that is on the south edge of Yellowstone Lake.  It was interesting and I took a few pictures.

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