Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Old Faithful

Do you remember those little flip books when you were a kid? You put your thumb along the right side and ruffle the pages of the book, making it look like you're watching a movie.

I could make my own flip book with the photos I took of Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone. Then I wouldn't need to pay $4.50 from the Yellowstone gift shop. Actually, I didn't buy a flip book, though I did rifle through one when we were standing in line.

But I did take several of my 568 photos before, during and after Old Faithful's eruption.

(We have a family joke about overzealous photography. When I merrily click away, my family will remind me of my priceless set of photos of the Rose Parade in Pasadena. They were taken on a family vacation when I was a fifth grader. There are dozens of photos of the brilliantly-colored, flower-filled floats ... all in black and white. In my parents' defense, it was much cheaper to develop black and white film back in the day.)

While my Old Faithful photos aren't in black and white, they aren't the best. The sky was filled with fluffy white clouds, so the plume blended into the background. And as the geyser erupted, there were dark clouds racing up behind us, casting a shadow. But we weren't going to wait another 90 minutes for the next eruption, so it just had to be good enough. (And Randy is again thankful for the advent of digital photography. He couldn't afford me otherwise.)

I'm guessing the guy to Randy's left got better photos than I did. He had three cameras with him, including the long lens. I'm sure there were hundreds of photos taken of that particular eruption, since most of the people in the semi-circle around Old Faithful had cameras with them.

It is one of those stops in Yellowstone that you have to make, since Old Faithful is easily the most famous of the attractions. But it wasn't my favorite by a long shot.

These were contenders:

Blue Star Spring near Old Faithful. What can I say? I love blue.

The vivid colors at the Grand Prismatic Spring are the result of pigmented bacteria. Who knew bacteria and minerals could be so pretty?

Hundreds of yellow water lilies filled the Isa Lake at the Continental Divide, elevation 8,262 feet.

The sign said we were standing at the peaked roof of the continent and the upper watershed for two of the nation's most extensive drainage systems - the Snake and Columbia Rivers and the Missouri and Mississippi. Isa Lake drains in two different directions.

As the sun was setting, a storm was rolling in as we drove along Yellowstone Lake and back to our motel in Jackson, Wyo.

But my favorite snapshots in our 12-hour excursion into the park was the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

America the Beautiful? Yes, it truly is.


  1. Beautiful! And Chris always says the same about me - "Thank God for digital cameras or we would be broke developing Jent's film"!
    Loved the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone the most also!

  2. I had to do a double-take on the river...it looked like snow! I never knew Yellowstone had it's own Grand Canyon....I went to Yellowstone at age 7 or so, and remember Old Faithful, but that's about all. Beautiful photos, Kim! I had to laugh about the Rose Bowl Parade pics...so thankful we have the technology now that we do.

  3. I didn't know about the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone either. Thanks to my niece Paige (Lisa & Kyle's daughter)! She and her husband Russ had just been to Yellowstone, so I asked her for the highlights since I knew we only had 1 day. (They had a 4-month old baby along with them. They were brave, but I hear she was a good traveler!) Digital photography is amazing! I drug my feet initially, but I can't imagine life without it these days. Still, I'm that little girl who clicks merrily away. Now I can just be more selective in what I print!

  4. We took Amanda when she was very small and it was beautiful - I didn't enjoy the last few days, thinking I ate something that didn't agree with me - was so sick - turns out I was pregnant with Jordan!! Would love to go back and see it all again.

  5. @Karen: I would definitely recommend another trip back. We certainly didn't see it all. We only had 1 day to do it, but we crammed a lot in our 12 hours. I also loved the Grand Tetons (coming up later in the week!) Thanks for taking time to comment! (Glad the "something you ate" was worth it in the end!! At least you didn't feel badly on vacation for nothing!)