I decided to drive to the Grand Prismatic Spring today. It was, as expected, busy. I just went with it and parked down on the side of the road with the rest of the rabid tourists :). It was not as smelly as I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, there were wisps of that over-boiled Easter egg smell, but otherwise it was just steamy. The walkways were very busy and I must admit that I was a bit nervous with the narrowness of the walkway. The tourists not very considerate of the width of the walkway and the near death experience that was right below. I managed to watch them as well as my own feet, and get great pictures along with trying not to worry about the plausibility of a sudden, burning death. I’m being overly dramatic, but it is a very narrow walkway with a lot of people on it trying to get that must have picture.
It was great besides my paranoia :). The drive there and back was not too bad and I got to see a Bison who was right next to the road. You do know that your supposed to stay at least 75 feet away, but everybody was pulled over and standing right next to this huge animal. Luckily for them it was blithely going about its lunch. A few Elk made an appearance, but I was persistent with my mission, the Grand Prismatic Spring. I wasn’t going to let anything slow me down. I’ll leave off Old Faithful for another road trip.
The drive was beautiful. This early in the season the tourist, myself included, craziness hadn’t taken full effect, but I’m waiting for July, then we will see. I got to see a few Elk and the ever present Bison along the Grand Loop Road. My friend Christy and I having never been into Yellowstone before and were unfamiliar with how the roads were organized, completely missed the turnoff for Hayden Valley and headed off toward Old Faithful. We tried to stop at the Prismatic Spring, but it was too crazy. So, on we went. We hit Gibbon Falls and stopped at Madison Junction for the view and a necessary bathroom break. We wanted to see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and it was great, but the pics are on another camera so will have to wait for the next post :).
So, we hit up a very smelly Mud Volcano and the Sulphur Caldron. Imagine Easter time and the fun and silly activity of boiling eggs so to color said eggs bright colors, your seeing it in your mind right? Well, ramp up the smell of hard boiled eggs to 1000, and don’t forget to add the ever present badly burned hard boiled egg smell, and you have the smell from those geysers. But, beyond breathing very carefully and trying to stay away from the shifting cloud of sulfur, it was really cool.
Mud Caldron area
Mud Volcano Map
Sulphur Caldron info
The best part of the Mud Volcano area though had to be the Dragon Mouth Spring. It really sounds like something is growling and steam is constantly gushing out, as you can see from the bottom middle picture. Pretty cool, huh?
It was an interesting day and I”m glad to be back home.