So we packed up and went for a walk. Watched an Osprey dive twice and come up the second time with a fish. The bird actually went UNDER the water and came up. Pretty cool to watch.
Then we walked up to the little Ranger Station by the campground and came in just in time for a "Become a Better Birder" presentation by Ranger Anna. We sat in on it and learned that Osprey carry their catch (fish) face forward because it's more aerodynamic. "Dumb Eagles don't," as she so eloquently put it. Very interesting.
We signed Grace up for the Junior Ranger program and they gave her a little newspaper full of activities to do. When she completed them, she would get a badge that said, Junior Ranger. Activites included hiking a trail, circling animals she saw, geyser activities, attending a Junior Ranger presentation, and taking the Junior Ranger pledge. Pretty fun.
This is Ranger (didn't catch his name) doing a Junior Ranger presentation on antlers vs. horns.
And we headed back to camp to go about our day.
Some people really know how to rough it.
Our plan was to drive south to Old Faithful and see what we could see along the way. So we made a lunch, strapped everyone in and headed off.
There is something about getting your first glimpse of steaming earth. Kind of like getting your first glimpse of the ocean.
Calla would have to wait until later, I guess.
She'd have to wait to see this guy, too.
We took one of the side routes. Maybe we'd see some wildlife. Or some other fun stuff. And we came upon this: White Dome Geyser.
Reading about the difference between a cone geyser and a fountain geyser.
A quick picture.
And back to the car.
But wait! What is that?? Is it erupting?? Yes it is!! Wow!
"MOM! MY FIRST GEYSER! I SEE MY FIRST GEYSER!"
Calla actually woke up just in time to see her first geyser, too.
And off to Old Faithful. Now that all the kiddos are awake. Old Faithful erupts about every 90 minutes.
We piled out of the car and I got Violet in the carrier. And it started to sprinkle and there was a stiff breeze. The little turkey doesn't keep hats on to save her life, and her only hooded shirt was so dirty from an evening at camp that I just couldn't bring myself to put it on her.
But they say necessity is the mother of invention. And daddy-o had a hooded sweatshirt.
I see it rumbling.
And just as it stops raining:
Really quite spectacular.
Since it wasn't raining anymore we decided to do the geyser loop.
The only babywearer I spotted besides daddies wearing frame backpacks:
I ran into her the next day, too. Her little guy was still happy as a little clam in that pouch.
A tourist-y picture of the whole family. Thank you to the passing tourist who took it for us. :)
And is that another geyer up there? Erupting? Yes it is!
Hot water shooting out of the ground. Pretty amazing. Grace will tell you it smells like macaroni. She even wrote that in her Junior Ranger activity.
These are pretty neat. I think it's a spring. See the bubbles?
And they are gone. And the water goes down some.
And if you stand there for another 30 seconds, it does it again.
Lions Group geysers. And a bunch of steaming landscape in the background.
I can't say I got tired of looking at the steaming pools. They are just gorgeous. Every one of them. And every one of them is different.
And look at that! Erupting geyser #4! One of the Lions Group erupted after we'd passed it. (Calla, it's the other way.)
This is just a drainage plain. But all those black mounds you see are animal poop. Elk and Bison to be exact.
On the way by it Grace said something like, "What's that, mom?"
To which I responded, "That's a lot of poop."
And the lady standing there with her video camera said, "I got that on tape."
What does one say to something like that? I'm now forever in someones video library saying, "That's a lot of poop." Could be worse I guess.
And another touristy picture. We were good at those.
And the stroller folks. Going up and down big hills. Not that I have anything against strollers. I just haven't missed mine for the last three years.
And a stop at the gift shop. Calla got a bear bell and Grace got a flash light.
Cracked me up as we were walking out of the store:
"When we see a bear, you ring your bell and I'll flash it with my light."
And we saw the same bison on the way back. On the other side of the road.
Daddy thought maybe he was getting paid per picture. The guy is probably rich by now.