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The luckiest of days

January 16, 2016

The morning began with light snowfall and grey skies in Upper Geyer Basin. As we rounded the corner of the visitors center, there it was: Old Faithful. We weren’t certain if we’d timed it right, but Old Faithful geyser did not disappoint. Just as we finished talking about geology, three dull “thumps” could be heard, and then great clouds of steam and water started shooting into the sky. Thus began our lucky day!

Our hike through the Upper Geyser Basin gave us several other exciting and unexpected geyser eruptions in addition to Old Faithful: the little Anemone, Grand and Turban, and finally Riverside Geyser!

Riverside Geyser

Riverside Geyser

Throughout our journey north from the Old Faithful area back to Mammoth, we scored six coyote sightings, witnessed herds of bison “snow ploughing,” and experienced the rumbling of the Earth’s crust while lying around the Black Sand pool (a hot spring). The whole day we felt and witnessed the delicate balance of life in this beautiful, yet harsh environment.

group laying on the ground

We could feel the thumping of small steam explosions while laying on the ground at Black Sand Pool.


One of the six coyotes was listening for prey – small mammals moving beneath the snow.

Just north of Norris near the Ranger Museum our guide, Wim, made us aware there was a fresh kill of an old bison. Sure enough, surrounding the carcass were 4 wolves! Two gray, one white (the alpha female), and one black one (likely the alpha male, as he had a radio collar). We watched through the spotting scopes, across the snowy field, as the large black wolf tore into the flesh with his powerful teeth. We were witnessing the Canyon Pack in action. The overwhelming sentiment: “What a perfect way to end a perfect day!”

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2016 4:32 am

    So much adventure in just one day! Keep it coming.

  2. Royden permalink
    January 17, 2016 5:46 am

    What an incredible score of wildlife, geysers, and other geological phenomenon! I love the posts and pictures. So glad Yellowstone is sharing its beauty and wonder – wish I was there! Thanks for sharing you adventures 🙂

  3. Leasa Hodges permalink
    January 17, 2016 5:49 am

    Black sand pool…..very cool!! Looking forward to “bison plowing” pictures!

  4. peggy saah permalink
    January 17, 2016 9:50 am

    Love the stories and the photos. Keep them coming

  5. Ginny Byrne, Ravenscroft School permalink
    January 19, 2016 6:17 am

    The Canyon Pack…a new one for us to hear about. You were lucky to witness the kill. Each trip so different with experiences…enjoy hearing about yours. Send more! Ginny Byrne

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