This was our very last day in Yellowstone and since we had seen the north half of the park already we decided to head south. We knew we wanted to see more geysers and hot springs so we did the touristy thing and headed to Old Faithful first thing in the morning in hopes of avoiding crowds. Let me tell you something, there is no such thing as avoiding crowds when it comes to Old Faithful. We did arrive about 20 minutes early and got a spot for our seats. The kids lost interest in waiting about 10 minutes in so they played in the trees behind us while one of us held our spots. At the time of eruption I can confidently tell you there were more people sitting and standing on that boardwalk than I thought could even fit. We did also go into watching it hearing that it is slightly underwhelming. For us this was true. We saw it erupt which was cool, but it's so short and not as high in real life as you imagine. Afterwards we both kind of thought "eh" and headed off to see more geysers.
The hot springs had completely captivated me in every way. The colors were unlike any I had ever seen. Even before I saw them in person I knew they would be my favorite part of the trip. Our oldest and I talked about how it looked like God had spilled paint on the earth and let the colors run to create the beautiful edges. The other thing that was amazing was how deep you can see within the hot springs. Each one goes dow so far and the water is so crystal clear. We hiked around the geysers near Old Faithful for about an hour or so while our youngest napped. Every one was so unique and so breathtaking.
Our last stop was the only thing I had ever wanted to see at Yellowstone. Grand Prismatic was something that Iv'e waited to see in person for a very very long time. We did try to go early in the morning before the crowds but there is so much steam coming off of them from the crips morning it's better to just deal with the ocean of people. There is an AMAZING little hike you can do that allows you to look down on the hot spring and lets you see it in it's entirety. It does get extremely crowded but the view is worth it!
However this is when I talk about how important it is to just be grateful for the moment, the company and the experience regardless of how it all plays out. I had waited and dreamt of doing that hike for months leading up to our visit. However, our youngest was over life in a pack (you cannot let kids run here, so dangerous). On top of that our 5 year old had finished hiking over 15 miles in 3 days. Needless to say both kids were over life and going on another hike was not happening. Instead we waited in some of the worst traffic to the most overcrowded parking lot. We quickly got out and did the short boardwalk that goes alongside the two hot springs.
You guys. It was EVERYTHING I had imagined. To say that it is beautiful is a grave understatement. The colors do not do it justice and really are that vibrant in person. It is the most surreal thing I have ever seen and will be probably will hold the title of most beautiful natural site for a long time. It's also so much more massive than you could comprehend. To me if you see nothing else there, this is something that should be on your list.
Our day ended in the early afternoon because we got the opportunity to boondocks below the Grand Tetons (more to come on that)! So after three VERY FULL days we boogied out of Yellowstone and said goodbye to the most incredible vacation. Every person needs to find a way here, you will forever be changed by the experience.
Happy Adventuring Friends!