Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Yellowstone Day 2

Our traditional Yellowstone photo!
We didn’t wake up too early for once. We got moving about 7 am and spent the morning at Old Faithful. First, we walked around the Old Faithful Inn where we were staying. In the middle of the building is a huge dance floor. There are restaurants and stores around it, and the rooms extend out in several different wings. When you stand in the middle of the floor, you can look all the way to the top, and there are three more levels of rooms with balconies around the floor. The stairs keep going up, winding all the way to the top, but they don't allow you to climb to that dizzying height. It was fun to look over each of the three balconies down onto the floor below. Historically, the orchestra is said to have played high above while people danced on the floor below. All this was observed from the balconies. It is really pretty cool just to walk around the Inn.
This was our first time staying at the Inn at Old Faithful. We really enjoyed it!
This is our view at the Inn.
Seth liked sleeping on the cot.
This bison greeted us in our room.
The Inn is amazing inside.
The boys posed on the balcony for a picture.
It was hard to get a good picture because it's so dark inside.
There are many levels, but you can only climb three.
The Inn had a very antique feel.
Then we watched Old Faithful and finished up our Junior Ranger stuff. Mark and Dax are Bear Level Junior Rangers and Seth is on the Geyser level. Finally, we made the long hike all the way to Morning Glory Pool. Seth had never made this hike, and neither Mark nor Dax remember it. I think it's been six years since we walked the entire way. Along the boardwalk we saw quite a few eruptions, though some were from far away. We saw Beehive, Anemone, Giant, and Castle while we were around the Basin. The boys were excited even though it got a little long.
Seth, the geysers are behind you!
This mountain bluebird was so bright!
We like to walk this walk through the geyser basin.
It was difficult to tell what the osprey was carrying.
We learned that this geyser was probably formed from minerals crystallizing on small trees.
Dax really wanted to see Riverside Geyser go off. 
The boys hadn't been to Morning Glory Pool in a long time.
Seth is becoming a pretty good photographer!
The ranger had a hard time keeping people back from this bison at the Inn.
Mom made sandwich lunch in the car before we took the short drive to Biscuit Basin for our second hike. We hadn’t done Mystic Falls since Mom and Dad’s first trip to Yellowstone fourteen years ago, and we weren’t too sure what we were in for. In fact, Mystic Falls was most likely our families first hike ever. This hike wasn't so long, though, and the boys did very well. We made it to the waterfall, and it was really rushing. We took a few pictures, but we didn’t really see any big animals, just squirrels and chipmunks and a few pretty birds.
Mom made lunch for us in the parking lot.
Seth is probably our best poser. He wants to take a picture by everything. Then he asks, "Is that an Instagram?"
This photo was taken at the end of the boardwalk before heading into the forest toward Mystic Falls.
Seth is good at helping Mom.
Mystic Falls is pretty large.
You can never find a good photographer when you need one.
Dad took a nap as Mom drove the boys over to Canyon, stopping at Firehole Falls and Virginia Cascades along the way. The boys also enjoyed telling a progressive story two words at a time. It is one of their favorite games. At Canyon we didn’t do much. We stopped for our traditional picture at Artist Point, but there were so many tour buses that we were lucky to get any picture at all.
The boys posed at Firehole Falls.
We were in Yellowstone so early that there was plenty of snow!
Another photo by one of the boys.
We checked in at our cabin at Lake around four o’clock and then went to lunch at our favorite restaurant at Fishing Bridge. We hadn’t seen anything all through Hayden Valley, and in fact we hadn’t seen any wildlife really all day. Luckily, we had one more hike.

We’ve done Storm Point quite a few times, and we always love it. Since it was nearly 7pm when we started, we hoped we’d see something really awesome. We spotted a few duck varieties in the pond, but we had to keep moving because it was so late. After awhile we reached the marmot colony, but there were only two marmots there. That was a surprise since we usually see more than a dozen. As the trail turned back into the trees, though, Mark spotted three deer just off the trail. As we were watching them a snowshoe hare hopped behind us on the trail. Then we saw another one just off to the side. We kept going, and the sun was just going down when Mark spotted a baby elk. It was laying only about ten yards off the trail, and it couldn’t have been more than two days old. It lay very flat and still and didn’t move, but we only watched it for a few seconds and took a picture. The boys really wanted to hurry on so the mother elk would come back and take care of her baby. She was so beautiful, though! It really was a great end to a great day!
Storm Point is one of our favorite hikes in Yellowstone.
The boys stopped to throw a few rocks.
Seth hiked so many miles on this trip! We did 15 hikes in 4 days!
Storm Point Trail weaves in and out of the trees and along the shore of Yellowstone Lake.
We take a picture together on every single hike!
The deadfalls weren't cleared on this hike yet.

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