Dawning of a new month

October seemed to dawn dryer than the way September ended. Seemed that way because I realized the rain had turned to ice on the tent. Brrrr.

So what to do in this kind of weather? Why go to the campground office and book 2 more nights of course.

DSC03167 The tree at the office still had ice on it too.

We weren’t really hungry yet so we decided to head down to the penultimate tourist attraction – Old Faithful and then decide about food from there.

As we headed down the road towards Old Faithful we saw a bunch of cars pulled over but since we were driving right into the sun I couldn’t see anything. Suddenly Dave says ‘bear’. I pulled over and we grabbed our cameras and jumped out. I got to see a sow grizzly and her cub saunter into the woods as I was crossing the road to get a better view. Those were the first grizzlies I’d ever seen in the wild and that was pretty cool, but sadly I never got a picture.

As we headed south we came across this fellow hunting. I took quite a few shots of him as he parallelled the road for  while. This one is my best shot of him I believe.

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He caught 2 mice or voles or whatever. I don’t really know as he kept his head down while he ate them. I tried a bunch of shots while he was hunting and thought this one was pretty cool even though it wasn’t quite what I was going for. Being too lazy to set up the tripod will do that sometimes.

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I dragged the shutter as much as I could.

While we were watching the coyote I realized that there were quite a few pairs of cranes in the distance on this plain. Unfortunately they were a long way away and even though I know they were there it’s hard to tell in the photos and I had a 400 mm lens on at the time.

As we drove along the same plain we noticed some bison grazing with a bunch of thermal activity in the back ground.

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As we got closer I noticed the snow on the hills in the background. No wonder our rain had turned to ice.

I tired a panorama of the area to show how vast that plain is.

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Started out for Old Faithful again but hadn’t gotten very far when we came to Fountain Paint Pot Nature Trail. Here there was snow on the ground and the contrast looked pretty neat so we stopped to check it out.

After spending about half an hour here we again started out for Old Faithful and lo and behold, we made it there. We pulled into the parking lot and wandered along for a couple of minutes before we came to a boardwalk with a bunch of people on it. Dave and I picked a spot and waited to see the famous geyser do it’s thing.

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We stood around for about 10 minutes when it suddenly started to do it’s thing.

It’s a pretty impressive combination of sight and sound for a couple of minutes while Old Faithful erupts. But then it’s done and the crowds wander off. Dave and I went into the information center to look around. We stayed almost long enough for it to erupt again but we left before that happened.

We headed north again to go look for lunch and as we got near our campground it was snowing like crazy so we turned around and took a drive along Firehole Canyon Road. Was a nice twisty little road.

Firehole Falls was the nicest place to shoot along the road. There were a few other spots that held promise but in the light we had that day they just didn’t pan out.

We decided to go back to check out Firehole Lake Drive before we’d go find some food so was headed south again. It’s only about a 3 mile loop road but it is a one way road. Being cold there was a lot of steam in the air, especially when we got to the big lake.

Since it was 1 o’clockish we decided we’d better go get something to eat. Along the way I thought this was a nice quiet scene and we made a quick stop.

We headed into Gardiner for a late lunch/early supper since the road was finally re-opened. Lunch, like all the meals we’d had, was pretty good.

It was getting late in the day when we got to the Artists Paintpots. Oops, this is the Norris Geyser Basin. It’s a short walk in and it’s another unique area.

It was getting dark when we left and as we drove there was a spectacular sunset. Unfortunately, by the time I found a spot to park this is all I could get. The colour was pretty much gone by this time.

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This was the first night it wasn’t raining at bed time and it was fairly chilly.

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