Christian Kemp's USA travelogs

< Previous | List | Next > Grand Prismatic Spring and Old Faithful in Yellowstone, then down to Grand Teton National Park

I took my sweet time getting on the road, and as such didn't get any kind of sunrise shots. My first destination of the day was Firehole Canyon Drive, a short one-way road that goes past Firehole Falls.

Back on the main road, I headed South; and soon came upon the usual cluster of badly parked cars that was the tell-tale of animal activity. Turns out it wasn't a bear, once more, but a bull elk grazing along Firehole River. I stayed a while, and managed to get a bunch of close-up shots. (Which in retrospect and looking at the EXIF data of my camera were very close-up, but I distinctly remember that there were other tourists approaching even more closely.)

Just down the road, I followed a short dead-end road to Fountain Flat Drive; which wasn't very remarkable save for the buffalo that were in close proximity of the road.

My next stop was Midway Geyser Basin, which is home to what might well be the most-well known spring in Yellowstone, Grand Prismatic Spring. The spring - light blue at its deepest point, and then changing to various hues of brown, red and yellow in the shallow and run-off parts was generating quite a bit of steam which drifted into the different directions the wind was blowing. This, along with the fact that the surface area is just too big to photograph from the boardwalk that is on almost the same height, meant that I wasn't able to get any shot as spectacular as the aerial shots that can be seen elsewhere. But then again, aerial shots are impossible for the vast majority of visitors, so at least I wasn't alone in my predicament.

My time in Yellowstone was coming to an end, I could feel; but I wouldn't leave without watching Old Faithful erupt. So with that being decided, I headed to the Old Faithful parking lot - by far the largest in the park - and then joined the masses of people on the benches that circle the most well-known geyser in the park. The spot that I chose provided ideal illumination and was sufficiently low that the benches on the other side of the geyser were out of view. I set up my tripod, and read a book while waiting for the eruption. This way, the 30 minute or so wait went fast, and I was glad to see that the height and direction of the jet of hot water coming out of the ground matched my chosen focal length and composition almost a hundred percent.

After this, I headed South towards the park exit, and then headed into Grand Teton National Park where I'd planned to spend the night. I spent the remainder of the afternoon at Colter Bay Village; taking a warm shower and washing and drying my laundry.

The evening was a calm one - I played around with the camera for a while in an attempt to get a usable "sitting on a stone along a lake-shore" self-portrait, and while I was sitting on said stones I looked to my right and was lucky enough to get a glimpse of some deer who had come out to drink from Jackson Lake, and then feed in the underbrush next to the shore. With that, I decided to call it a day.

Miles driven: 204mi (328km)

Campground Accommodation: - (-): -

Written June 4th 2008 in Luxembourg