In the lobby of the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, near the front desk, was a sign that stated the approximate times the Old Faithful geyser would erupt. We watched it put on its magnificent display twice, and on two separate days. Both times the lodge’s predictions were accurate within five to ten minutes. The first day, we arrived early and there was only a handful of people camped out along the wooden boardwalk and benches, each of us waiting patiently for the predictable geyser to blow. We weren’t disappointed. Fifteen minutes after we arrived, and five minutes from prediction, the famous geyser erupted in a towering, geothermal cloud of white.
After we photographed Old Faithful, we packed our rental car and drove to our first destination, Yellowstone Lake, for a look at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel, a lodge built around 1891. And yes, the Colonial Revival-style building is yellow.
We were surprised to find Yellowstone Lake still frozen, but as we reminded ourselves, several Mays prior we were also surprised to see Lake Louise still frozen during a visit to Canada. Read more: Canada 2015: Jasper to Lake Louise, AB
From there, we motored to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, the canyon walls a beautiful tapestry of yellow, red, white, and pink rock formations, and bisected by three falls.
I snapped my last shot of the canyon and commented on how pleasant the weather had been since we arrived—in the mid-sixties and sunny. “Just last week,” one shop owner had told us, “it was thirty-nine and rainy.” For the rest of the day the temperature held, but not the rain.
Hoping to strike Artists Paintpots Trail off our must-see list, we steered into the parking lot, happy to see no crowds. But on the first leg of the trail, it began to drizzle. We decided to turn back. By the time we reached the parking lot, it was pouring rain. We’d save the hike for tomorrow. Next week: Artists Paintpots Trail.