On Day 6 of our family road trip adventure, we departed our cabin and Teton National Park and drove into Yellowstone National Park, crossing the Continental Divide at 8,391 feet elevation.
While we were really expecting our legs to be sore from our previous days bicycle ride, we were actually feeling great and ready to tackle more new territory, in particular Yellowstone and all of the different Geysers, like Old Faithful.
We arrived at Old Faithful around lunch time and mistakenly ate at the cafeteria instead of the fancy Lodge. However, our lunch table provided us a window view of Old Faithful and as soon as the Geyser starting spewing steam, we new it was time to run outside for an up close experience of water shooting into the air.
There are also many other geysers and sights in the area with elevated walking areas that help to provide an up-close experience.
However, the one experience we were really hoping to have by this point was being able to see some of the large animals that are known to be in this area, such as Elk, Moose, and Bison. So, as we finished our walking loop, we had a perfect timing visit to see the unpredictable Castle Geyser display its water and steam spouting show for more than 30 minutes. I also thought it would be great to capture a slow-motion video of Castle Geyser in action, which is when KK decided to photobomb my video.
Now in search of ice cream on this hot summer day, we decided to make our way up to The Lodge for a treat. Along the way, we came across a fake Bison and decided that this would have to be our substitute for seeing a real Bison. So, I led the family along the walking path, observing real Bison poop along the way, and then stepping into the grass in front of the fake Bison so that I would be able to have the kids pose for a picture. As I stepped up to the Bison, the head turned up at me with pointy horns aimed in my direction. I could then see its eye, at which time Kathy said something about life-like animatronics, and then the tail spun up into the air and everything registered in my head that the Bison we were standing only a few feet away from was really real...EVERYBODY, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!! Of course (and thankfully) this particular Bison had no interest in us at this time, but it sure was a scare. I guess you could liken it to walking up to a lion; would you ever do that?
The point and advice is that if you see a Bison (or other large animal) and it's not stuffed and mounted inside the visitors center, then it is probably real, so take your pictures from a distance.
Here is the Bison, which we almost go too friendly with (I approached up to the edge of the small clearing that he is standing inside of) and for better or worse, we never captured an up-close picture. Also, keep in mind that a Bison can reach its top running speed of 30 miles per hour in just three steps!
We lived to have our ice cream at The Lodge as well as drive to some of the other sights in the park.
And we finished up our Day 6 by staying at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel.
All in all, our big story for the day (including the kids story) was our event with the Bison. However, one of my favorite pictures from the day is this family photo at the Yellowstone River.