Farland and Lauren Chang left us this morning to head down to Old Faithful before heading out to the Grand Tetons. After bidding them farewell we enjoyed a nice breakfast of fresh peaches (which Farland had picked up at a Costco several days earlier) and bananas. I then asked Tim — the paramedic at the campsite next to us — if he would look at Aytan’s leg just to make sure it was ok. Tim washed the wound with soap and water and rebandaged it and said that Aytan should be fine, so we were relieved; I don’t think my insurance covers limb amputations in national parks.
After puttering around the campsite a bit longer, we headed out to Old Faithful Basin to see the geysers and mudpots. Fortunately we arrived at Old Faithful just a few minutes before the next “scheduled” eruption, so we didn’t have to wait long to see one of the most overrated attractions in nature. I believe that Old Faithful gets far more attention than it deserves; it’s not the biggest or most-impressive geyser in the park, just one of the most regular. During my last visit to Yellowstone, in 1989, I was far more impressed by the overall geothermal activity in the surrounding areas of the park. My brother Mike and I would be hiking and just happen upon gurgling ponds of water and mud – unmarked — right near where we were walking. It was pretty incredible.
After we did the obligatory Old Faithful viewing, followed by lunch, Toby, Aytan and I spent the rest of the day touring more geysers, mudpots and other geothermal activity in the Old Faithful basin area and in other areas on the way back to our campsite at the Norris campground. (See below for more photos of some of the different geothermal sites we saw.)
Dinner was simple but tasty: Homemade chili a la Toby (two cans of beans, salsa and cheese), followed by roasted marshmallows.