Day four in Yellowstone consisted of touring the Midway Geyser Basin, hiking to Fairy Falls, exploring the Old Faithful area, getting caught in a Bison traffic jam, and spotting another Grizzly Bear.
To start the day, we traveled to Midway Geyser Basin to view, amongst other sites, Grand Prismatic Spring (Yellowstone’s largest thermal feature). The springs and pools at Midway are some of the most colorful in the park. At times blue and red steam, rising from the pools, reflects the colors of the waters. Combine its vivid colors with its massive breadth, and Grand Prismatic Spring is probably the most beautiful of all the springs we’d seen at the park.
The low vantage of Grand Prismatic from the boardwalk left us wanting for a better perspective. Later on in the day, hiking to Fairy Falls, we branched off of the path, climbed up a steep hill, and were rewarded with a fantastic view of Grand Prismatic Spring.
Next on the agenda was the Old Faithful area, where we caught the 5:41PM eruption of Old Faithful. The famous geyser spewed for about 30 seconds and then returned to its resting state – steam exhaust. After the main attraction, we toured the famous Old Faithful Lodge and explored the other thermal features of the area.
On the way back to camp that evening, we ran into some significant wildlife. First, we caught sight of either a wolf or coyote darting in and out of the forest. Then, we happened upon a long line of cars stopped at a heard of bison slowly crossing the road. The multitude of bison and their respective calfs held traffic there for about half an hour. I witnessed one driver attempt to squeeze his vehicle between two bison, only to have the larger bison take a head-swing at the side of his car. That was enough to keep me between the painted lines.
Later, down the road and only about half a mile from camp, we spotted a Grizzly Bear ambling its way toward the highway. The great thing about this sighting was that Angela and I were the first people to spot the animal. Typically, you only see something like a Grizzly or a Moose after several tourists have pulled off the highway. The bear seemed to be heading right for us, so after a few photos, I thought it wise to get the heck out of there. The proximity of this sighting to our camp was uncomfortably close.
At camp we boiled water, made a meal of dry camp food, and enjoyed a few adult beverages. Over our entire stay in Yellowstone, we took pleasure in consuming a smattering of excellent local brews: Teton Ale, Old Faithful Ale, Sweetgrass of the Grand Teton Brewing Co. and Headstrong Pale Ale of the Big Hole Brewing Co.