The day (September 24) began with rainy and cold weather. We donned our parkas and headed to Old Faithful because we had only stopped there for lunch on our first day in the park. By the time we reached the visitor center the rain had abated and we decided to walk Geyser Hill boardwalk to get away from the masses that surrounded Old Faithful geyser.
We found the many small geysers – with creative names like Beach Spring or Aurum Geyser – fascinating, even though we did not have the energy to walk some of the much longer trails. Words are inadequate to describe the smells, sights, and sounds in a geyser area, especially when one spots a bison not too far from an inn that looks like a Santa Claus castle.
After lunch at the Old Faithful Lodge we headed back toward the lake. Not far from Grant Village a small group of people was looking into a stand of trees. They saw an elk cow! Naturally, we joined them. The cow was unconcerned about those of us as we remained by the roadside, but some tourists began walking into the woods to get better photos. Such behavior is not only potentially dangerous for the tourists, but also stresses out the wildlife we came to observe.
While most of Yellowstone’s trees are evergreens, the few aspens were at their golden peak and begged to be photographed. The yellow aspen leaves provided a colorful contrast to the snow-capped mountains at the other side of Yellowstone Lake.
And so ended our last full day in Yellowstone Park. I enjoyed the serenity of the lake area and the wonderful view from the dining room windows at the Lake Lodge. The only sounds I heard at night were coyotes howling in the distance. And that’s how it should be.