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Yellowstone in Winter

“Sunrise, Sunset in the Geyser Basins”

Old Faithful geyser erupts

Old Faithful erupts in the morning light

Our morning began with a breath-taking hike through the Upper Geyser Basin, home to the renowned Old Faithful. As the sunrise gilded the skies, our anticipation began to build, much like the pressure under the thermal features located within the park. Although the Upper Geyser Basin is a meager two square miles in area, it is home to the largest concentration of geysers in the world!

Gathering on the boardwalk, we waited for Old Faithful to mesmerize us. As plumes of steam bloomed and drifted in the light breeze, we began to feel and hear a deep rumbling beneath our boots. Patiently waiting allowed us to reflect on the nature of time and the order of wilderness. Old Faithful did not disappoint, as we watched the geyser perform a spectacular show.

Icy branches from the landscape

Sparkling rime ice coats everything the steam touches and makes the entire landscape magical.

As we made our way in the snow coach to Grand Prismatic hot spring, a collared matriarch bison (#03) and her family group blocked the road. While we watched, four bison crossed the road and jumped a four foot fence! Initially, the tall fence separated a yearling bison that seemed hesitant and unwilling or unable to jump it. It ran frantically back and forth along the fence several times trying to get to the rest of its family before finally making a giant leap and clearing the fence. Unbeknownst to the young bison we cheered and applauded for it from within our snow coach.

Black Sand Pool provide another memorable experience. We were encouraged to “nap” on the obsidian sand beside the geothermal feature. As we laid down we began to feel mysterious thumps beneath us- not unlike what we imagine the footsteps of the giant from Jack in the Beanstalk to sound like. After several rumblings, we heard bubbles erupt from the surface of the pool. Living up to it’s nickname, Thumper, the Black Sand Pool provided us the opportunity to see, hear, and feel the power of the forces beneath us.

The group lays on the ground around Black Sand Pool

Thumper, also known as Black Sand Pool, reveals its hidden power beneath the surface.

When we arrived at the Lower Geyser Basin, we ran quickly to view the spectacular and very large Fountain Geyser. Its surface waters were churning and spewing forth showers of mineral-rich water. The tall and joyous eruption of Fountain seemed to encourage the neighboring Jet Geyser to begin to bubble, boil, and spray at the same time! Our eyes were not wide enough to see the magnificence that was occurring before us. Moving along the boardwalk we admired Red Spouter, the Leather Pool, Fountain Paint Pots, and the Celestine Pool. As the sun began to set in the distance, we bubbled with our own enthusiasm as we relayed how awesome these experiences had been.

Fountain geyser sends showers of water down on us.

The group watches Fountain geyser erupt.

Seeing Fountain geyser erupt was such an awe-inspiring surprise.