Yellowstone ~ Old Faithful, Great Fountain and White Dome Geysers

July 5th ~ Yellowstone National Park

On the loop drive – Firehole Lake

The move up from the Teton’s to Yellowstone was uneventful, except that the park we wanted to stay in (Madison Junction) was already filled before 9:00 so we moved on to Norris Campground at Norris Geyser Basin. For $10 a night with a senior pass, we got no hook-ups, but a wonderful view along the river’s edge. 

OLD FAITHFUL

Our first priority was to drive back south for about 30 miles to visit both the Old Faithful Lodge and watch Old Faithful blow, of course right on schedule, which is every 44 to 125 minutes. The park service does an incredible job of predicting and posting the next eruption time.

The water can shoot from 106 to 185 feet into the air, but the average is 145 feet. Over 1,000,000 eruptions have been recorded.

A small part of the crowd waiting for Old Faithful to erupt

Old Faithful in all her glory!

Here is a short 27 second video showing the start of Old Faithful when she goes off:

Another of my favorite places in Yellowstone is along the Firehole River. Take the Firehole Lake Drive which takes you to both the Great Fountain Geyser and White Dome Geyser.

There are several colorful and interesting places to stop and take photos right next to the road. Little or no walking is required to fully enjoy these stops if you have someone with you who is mobility challenged.

Brilliant colors from baby blues and turquoise of the water to orange, yellow, green and rust of the extremophiles

GREAT FOUNTAIN GEYSER

Great Fountain Geyser

We missed seeing the Great Fountain eruption on this trip, but remember how special it was from our last time here. It only shows its might every 9 to 15 hours and we did not wait around. Even when it is silent, the wet deck is impressive with sunlight reflecting in the water.

WHITE DOME GEYSER

White Dome Geyser

Much more frequent eruptions (every 15 minutes to 3 hours) can be seen at White Dome which is remarkable for its 15 foot dome. Our timing was impeccable here as within a few minutes of our arrival, she put on a display.

White Dome sending up puffs of smoke

And there she blows

Near the end of the loop drive there is one more place to stop where you can take a short walk along the boardwalk.

Firehouse Lake Area

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As the sun was setting, a mist was coming up over the lake

When we returned to our campsite this evening, we were stopped at the entrance. Three park rangers were flagging us down. The lights on their cruisers going. As the ranger approached our vehicle with a somber face, we feared something major had happened.

Tim was thinking a bear attack, someone had been murdered or a bad accident.

Me – I was oblivious…

He started the conversation out, ” I hate to tell you…”

Tim held his breath.

The ranger continued. “…there has been a water main break. There is no water to the campground and the public bathrooms are closed. We have trucked fresh water in, and a porta-pot has been installed in each loop, but we are closing the park after tonight except for those who have prepaid for a longer stay.”

Well, fortunately for us, we had prepaid for three nights. With our solar panels, we are completely self contained and can survive comfortably for several days. People, especially those who were in tents, which were by far the majority at Norris, were leaving in droves. What that meant was we had a fantastic location in the middle of one of the premier National Parks, almost exclusively to ourselves for three nights!

These pictures were actually shot our final morning there, but wanted to show the setting to give you an idea of just how “rough” we have it 🙂 The river was right across the road from us and down a very short path.

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GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for the National Park Service. They have a sometimes tedious job of answering the SAME questions over and over again, yet by far the majority of them continue to smile, remain calm, and give a somewhat intelligent answer. My hat is off to those very dedicated employees and volunteers who somehow manage to keep (most) of us tourists in line, directed to the sites we came here to see, educated about the hikes we most desire and more importantly – keep us SAFE which included a brief description on how and when to use bear spray.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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33 Responses to Yellowstone ~ Old Faithful, Great Fountain and White Dome Geysers

  1. lulu says:

    Yellowstone is a marvel. Has it greened up considerable since so much was destroyed by fire?

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  2. My husband and I went to Yellowstone a decade ago. As scientists interested in the origin of life we were deeply moved and inspired by Yellowstone and it figured prominently in our book Embryogenesis Explained. I do hope we can get back there some day. BTW the Caribou Targee National Forest has three really nice campgrounds just west of Yellowstone. They are perfect to camp in and then go to Yellowstone for the day. We stayed at Warm River Campground because Yellowstone was completely full.

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    • In your scientific field, this had to be a treasure chest of info. Even as non-scientists, we found the extremophiles fascinating. Thank you for the info regarding the campgrounds in Caribou. We have now moved up north to Mammoth Hot Springs, and planning on exiting via the NE corner so we can take the Beartooth Highway. Good info for a return trip, or for anyone else heading this way though.

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  3. nanci dixon says:

    Your photos and videos are beautiful!

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  4. You hit the campground jackpot with that site! Your photos are breathtaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. joliesattic says:

    I couldn’t believe all the people. When we went, we were practically alone out there, but then it was in May, before school let out and there was still snow on the ground and on the roads.

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  6. joylennick says:

    Thanks for the run-down on Yellowstone. Have heard of it, of course, even though we have only been to New York, Buffalow and Florida in the USA..So many places in the world to visit. Need cloning! And tempus fugits…We’ve been very lucky though to have travelled a lot in Canada and lived in Toronto for eighteen months..Keep rolling…

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  7. Terry says:

    Lucky you were self-contained, how nice to have it empty at such a crowded time of year. Can not wait for my week coming in 3 weeks.

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  8. Widdershins says:

    Yellowstone is on out bucket list. 😀 … the videos were a treat. 🙂

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  9. Maxxtrails says:

    I have really enjoyed your blogs about Yellowstone and Grand Teton! I have added both locations to our trip south in late September.

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  10. Jim & Jane says:

    Perhaps you’ll turn out to be full time dry campers soon ! You are welcome to park next to us with your silent generator (solar) !

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  11. tippysmom2 says:

    I have yet to visit Yellowstone, but would love to! I, too, would prefer to go in the off season as I would think the crowds would detract a little from the experience. Can you imagine what it must have been like for the first explorers who came upon that area? You were extremely lucky in getting to stay at the campsite when others had to leave. Love that you have solar power so you don’t have to have hookups. I would think that would make your life a lot easier and less stressful. Looking forward to your next installment. Your pictures and videos were magnificent.

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    • We found that the first two weeks of September were ideal, but that Park is slowly shutting down for their end of the season. The weather was perfect, crowds gone, animals are feeling “frisky” and the trees were turning color. Go, Go, Go! Tim has done a great job getting the RV set up with a good solar system which is giving us a good measure of freedom. The early settlers were not believed when they returned home and described Yellowstone. It really is like no other place.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tippysmom2 says:

        I’ll have to keep that timeline in mind. I really would love to go. Won’t be able to make it this year. May try to schedule something soon though. They don’t allow dogs in the park, do they?

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      • We saw people walking dogs in the campsite but I don’t think you can take them on most trails.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tippysmom2 says:

        Thanks. I knew I had read something about that. They feel that even the scent of dogs in some areas of the park can throw off the balance of nature, or something like that. I figure it is really because some owners are really irresponsible and don’t clean up after them. I can also see how a dogs barking at the wildlife might keep them from frequenting the areas they normally would go.

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  12. curvyroads says:

    Great photos of the eruptions, and what a set of circumstances in the campground! Nice of them to reserve it just for you! 😉

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