Trip report - fifth day - part 1

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    Posted by Andie ( on July 08, 2005 at 00:19:36:

    One day on every trip, we set aside for the Upper Geyser Basin and this is the day. We are up and ready to leave the cabin by 7:00 AM. It is partly cloudy and chilly, but no rain, snow, or sleet. We have breakfast at the Geyser Grill and wish for “Lower Ham’s” – we wonder whether it will be open earlier later in the season. We stop at the Visitor Center to catch the latest predictions and learn that Grand is due to erupt two hours on either side of 10 AM. YIKES! We may already have missed it. We leg it as fast as we can go. Fortunately a bull bison which we saw earlier blocking the walkway, has moved on, so we are not delayed by that. We notice a crowd near Beehive, but people are also gathering at Grand. The benches have water on them (of course), so we wipe as much off as possible and I rummage in the pack for a winter hat and use that to wipe the bench dry. As soon as we sit down, a geyser gazer passes by with radio in hand and we hear him being instructed to change the Grand prediction to 11:30! This is a new experience and while we look at each other and try to decide what to do, we see Oblong is erupting.
    After Oblong finishes, someone’s radio says Beehive Indicator is going, and sure enough, we are fortunate enough to see Beehive, albeit from a distance.
    By this time we are back within the four-hour window for Grand, so we settle down to wait. We have crackers and Oreos with us – my husband’s Yellowstone staple – and water, so we have lots of time. Lots of people come and some get up to leave, in spite of urging by myself and others to stay and see “the best show in Yellowstone.” I can’t imagine coming to Yellowstone and not seeing Grand. Meanwhile the pool fills and empties every 20 minutes. It is cold enough that there is a lot of steam, making it unlikely that we will see the telltale “bulge” in the water surface, but at last there comes a time when the water flow looks really promising, and sure enough, we have a geyser! This was a one-burst show, but a really fine one. A couple sitting near us turn and thank me for encouraging them to wait. I take a few pictures, knowing they will not do this justice.
    When the show is over, we head towards Morning Glory. We detour to Riverside and see that we have plenty of time before the eruption window. After taking a look at Morning Glory, and commenting that it seems a little bluer today, we take the trail towards Biscuit Basin. There are several beautiful thermal features along this trail and most people never see them. As we stand admiring the impressive blue pool of Artemisia Geyser, we are surprised by an eruption of what we think must be Atomizer. We continue a short distance farther down the trail, and then, checking watches, decide to backtrack to Riverside.

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