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Aug 9, 2009

Yellowstone vacation, Day 4-5

Our final day in Yellowstone was focused on visiting the geysers between Mammoth Hot Springs and Old Faithful. We woke up early to visit the Mammoth terraces before the crowds (but also before the sun came out, unfortunately). Still, we were impressed. They look so fragile, yet so powerful and steady (they have obviously been around for many years!). The combination of colors and forms, and the steam coming out give the terraces a surreal look. Very unique.
Mammoth terraces
Mammoth terraces Yellowstone
Mammoth terrace Yellowstone
After a late brunch, we headed back South. Our first stop was at the Sheepeater Cliff, a cliff with interesting rock formations. However, the main attraction for us (particularly Daniel) was the river closeby. He enjoyed playing in it, walking, throwing stones, etc...
Daniel playing in the river at Sheapeater Cliff
Wyoming river at Sheapeater Cliff, Yellowstone
After at least 30 minutes, we somehow managed to get him back in the car with limited complaining, and drove to the Norris Geyser basin. It was great timing for Daniel's nap, and once again, our little boy did a great job with his sleep schedule, waking up right after we parked at Norris.
The large Norris basin was also very interesting, another large collection of geysers of all shapes and forms.
Norris basin
Norris Basin, Yellowstone
Norris Basin, Yellowstone
Norris Basin, Yellowstone
Norris Basin, Yellowstone
We also visited 2 "paint pot" areas (Artist Paint pot and Fountain Paint pot), known for their colorful, boiling mud geysers. They are fascinating to watch, entertaining adults as well as kids for hours...
Artist Paint Pot
Artist Paintpot, Yellowstone
We ended our visit with the Grand Prismatic Spring, which we found was the highlight of all our geyser visits. The colors in the late afternoon light were just perfect and the size of the formation impressive. This geyser section should definitely be on everyone's list.
Prismatic geyser
Prismatic geyser, Yellowstone

We made our way back to Old Faithful, where we enjoyed our last evening, eating bison and yummy chocolate cake.

Appendix, Day 5
We left Old Faithful early the next morning, to make it in time for our flight in Jackson, and drove through Grand Teton once more. The view of the Grand Teton mountains coming from the North is even better than coming from the South. It was a really great drive. We also saw a fox, not quite the moose or wolf we wanted to see, but at least something different than a bison.
Our flights went well. Daniel slept in both (because we had delay again on the 2nd one, and we found a playground in the Salt Lake City airport to keep him busy - and tire him out as it seems). We arrived home in the early evening, refreshed and excited, with a lot of photos and memories.

View other parts of our trip here
Day 1: SFO-Jackson,WY. Drive to Old Faithful via Grand Teton.
Day 2: Old Faithful-Canyon-Lake
Day 3: Lake-Tower Roosevelt-Lamar Valley-Mammoth Hot Springs

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