Old Faithful to Colter Bay

Colter Bay Village Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 14 › view all entries
First burst of steam ...
Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest ~ more than 136 square miles with more than 100 miles of shoreline ~ and most beautiful bodies of water in all the Rockies.  Unfortunately for us, today was very, very cold and we couldn't enjoy this natural wonder because we were too busy trying to stay warm.  Mile after mile clicked by and all we could think about was, "Where can we stop to warm up?"  If the weather had been just a little bit more agreeable, this would have been an incredible ride, I'm sure.   Our ride around Yellowstone Lake, however, is one of those memories that conjures up thoughts of things like "freezing" or "shivering" or miserable" etc.    If the good Lord is willing, we will return to this incredible place one day when the sun is shining and the temperature is around 75 degrees.
Burst of boiling hot water shooting out of the ground ....
 

We stopped at Yellowstone Lake Village where lunch was being served in the main Lodge.  Oh, pure bliss ~ a massive open fireplace with a roaring fire met us as we hurried out of the cold.  Don't talk to me.  Just let me stand here with my backside turned to this fire.   When my skin feels like it might have third-degree burns, I will move.   After about fifteen minutes or so, I was able to feel my fingers and toes again.  Lunch was served.   We walked through the cafeteria-style line, got our food, and sat down at one of the large tables.   Jan and I got out our maps and studied the next leg of our journey.  Because of the cold, our main objective was to make sure we had a warm room ready and waiting for us before dark.
Bikes parked in front of Cabin 484 at Colter Bay Village
  We never make reservations ahead of time, but we considered this to be an emergency.  There was no way we could ride after dark in this cold, searching unfamiliar roads for a possible vacancy.   None of the lodges in the Park had any vacancies, but the nice young man at the check-in desk told us about a place called Colter Bay Village.   A quick phone call confirmed a room for us for the night.  Hallelujah!

There was really only one thing we wanted to see in the Park today ~ Old Faithful.   A visit to Yellowstone National Park just isn't complete without seeing this natural wonder.   Old Faithful is located in an area of the Park known as the Upper Geyser Basin where the largest concentration of geysers in the world is found.
Clouds floating over the Tetons
   Old Faithful erupts more frequently than any of the other big geysers, although it is not the largest (Steamboat Geyser) or the most regular geyser in the Park.   Because of the damp cold, we couldn't really enjoy touring this area to see the other geysers.  We instead walked into the visitor center and gift shop to find out when Old Faithful was expected to erupt.   Approximately every 91 minutes and usually right on time.   When it was close to time, we took our place on the observation benches and waited.  And waited.  Then a small burst of steam bubbled out of the ground, followed by more steam and then more and more until boiling hot water was shooting straight up into the sky.   An eruption can last up to five minutes and can expel over 8,000 gallons of scalding water to a height of 180 feet.  WOW!  It was worth the wait.

Although the weather was miserable, the wildlife was stirring in the Park, perhaps looking for their dinner.  Traffic was at a dead stop ahead, cars and pickup trucks were pulling off on the shoulder of the road and we thought, "Maybe a bad automobile accident?"  It turned out to be a herd of elk, very close to the road and not bothered by anyone or anything.   Magnificent animals.  Strong and healthy and at peace in their protected surroundings.

Colter Bay Village is located inside the Grand Teton National Park which adjoins Yellowstone Park.   When you drive out of the Yellowstone exit, you are entering the Grand Teton Park.   All we had to do was read the well-marked road signs to find our way.  When we checked in at the office, we were given our cabin number, two keys, and the weather forecast.  SNOW!   Four to six inches of the white stuff was expected at 8,000 feet and above.   I only wanted to know one thing ~ is the heat turned on?   We had been assigned to Cabin 484 which was situated towards the back of the Village, but near the restaurant.   Two radiant propane wall heaters, one in each bedroom, warmed the cabin up nicely.  There was no television or telephone, but we had hot water, clean towels and clean sheets.  As far as I was concerned, this little cabin was heaven on earth and equally as nice as any five-star hotel.


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First burst of steam ...
First burst of steam ...
Burst of boiling hot water shootin…
Burst of boiling hot water shooti…
Bikes parked in front of Cabin 484…
Bikes parked in front of Cabin 48…
Clouds floating over the Tetons
Clouds floating over the Tetons
Colter Bay Village
photo by: kingelvis14