Geyser Grill, Black Sand and Biscuits

Geyser Grill signLunch at The Geyser Grill

The Geyser Grill at Old Faithful  is a fast food restaurant. It’s pretty typical of the restaurants at attractions or Theme Parks. You stand in a line, order from a menu of hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries or maybe a salad and get a souvenir mug for your soft drink. I didn’t know where or when I’d find another restaurant so I stood in line for almost an hour. It was just my luck that 3 tour buses pulled in right before I got to the grill! Still, once I placed my order it was up in minutes and it was fresh. With that many customers there wasn’t time for anything to sit under a heat lamp! Somehow I managed to find a table but I didn’t linger. Based on the cautions I received from the concierge at the resort I wanted to be on my way back before dark.

Ordering a meal at Geyser Grill

Black Sand basinBlack Sand Basin

With a full tank of gas and a full tummy I left Old Faithful to see what was ahead on the Loop Road.  About 1/2 mile from Old Faithful I saw a sign for Black Sand Basin.  I hadn’t seen anything about that in my guidebooks so I made a quick stop out of curiosity. I remember the black sand beaches in Hawaii so I wasn’t sure what to expect here. It certainly wasn’t a beach!


Spouter geyser

Colorful ruin offA geyser right next to the road was sputtering and bubbling. This is SPOUTER GEYSER and erupts almost continuously. No big plumes like Old Faithful but its constantly dancing and gurgling away. There are a variety of colorful hot pools and a board walk. I looked around but due to the time decided to skip the walk for now.

Steam covers teh boardwalk

 Biscuit Basin

Biscuit Basin Sign

BoardwalkUp next is Biscuit Basin. Named for the biscuit shaped formations around the edges of some of the thermal features. After an earthquake in 1959 most of the “biscuits ” were destroyed. My GaperGuide said they were starting to reform but I didn’t see any. There’s plenty of parking and a heavy wooden walkway so you can get up close  and personal with the thermal features. There’s plenty of mini geyser action here and clouds of steam.



Biscuit Basin Run Off

Natures Hot Tub

Yellowstone, The First National Park

America’s First National Park

America’s first national park is named after the river that runs through it. Yellowstone National Park is a nearly 3,500-sq.-mile wilderness recreation area atop a volcanic hot spot. Within the park’s massive boundaries, visitors can find mountains, rivers, lakes, waterfalls and some of the most concentrated geothermal activity in the world. The park has 60% of the world’s geysers, as well as hot springs and mud pots. It is also home to diverse wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, bison and elk.

The Lower Loop

The Grand  Loop Road is a figure 8 that can be divided into the upper and lower loops. When I picked up my Gaperguide I was told that some people have driven the whole loop in one day but it was not recommended. I might only get here once in my life so I didn’t want to rush through it.

Once again I was up at dawn. The ever helpful Valet brought my car around and I headed out with Yellowstone my plan for the day.  First I would have to retrace some of my drive from yesterday. It’s approximately 60 miles From Jackson to the South Entrance to Yellowstone National Park, most of it through the beautiful Grand Teton National Park.

Mountains and Lake

On The Road To YellowstoneJackson Lake

The Tetons are so beautiful. I should have put the pedal to the metal and booked it to the South Entrance to Yellowstone but I couldn’t do it. I had to keep stopping for more scenic photos. The Jackson Lake area is another spectacular location. I was also a bit nervous about what the scents would be like in Yellowstone. I’ve been to hot springs before and the smell of sulfur (rotten eggs) can be almost overwhelming. What would it be like in a super volcano? I’d never read anything about smells but I’d read a lot about the geysers and thermal vents.

Yellowstone’s South Entrance

Snake River basin

Yellowstone National Park SignMy Gaperguide warned me to slow down. The entrance to the park was coming up. I stopped for the Yellowstone sign and got out. I looked out over the Snake River Basin and spotted my first puffs of steam . The wind was in my face so I sniffed cautiously. It wasn’t bad. I had to really concentrate to pick up any sulfur order at all. That made me feel much better about this excursion.

Thermal Vents at South Entrance