Orlando Bingles’ Rocky Mountain High: Day 7

by Bingle on May.25, 2009, under Richard Bingle Family

The plan for day seven was essentially to be a repeat of day five. A drive around the main roads that form a rough circle within the park.

Brown colored black bear in woods

Somewhere between Mammoth and Norris, we encountered another “bear jam”. This time it was a brown colored black bear a couple hundred feet into the woods. We stayed there for a while before heading farther south.

The boardwalk at Fountain Paint Pots was open this time when we stopped (it looked like they may have been making some repairs to the boardwalk when we had stopped before). Most of paint pots were pretty “runny” and one of the signs along the boardwalk indicated that this was normal for spring when snow melt and rains provided plenty of water. Probably the most interesting feature here was Red Spurter which is a relatively new geyser (1959) and was bubbling dark red liquid.

Family at Upper Geyser Basin

We stopped at Upper Geyser Basin where Old Faithful is located in the hopes of catching Beehive erupting, but we were about 6.5 hours off in either direction. We walked around the large circular boardwalk surrounding Old Faithful and witnessed our third eruption from yet a different angle before heading down the trail to Castle Geyser and Giant Geyser and then back up past Beehive. None of these “big” geysers were erupting, but we did get to see several of the smaller ones spitting, including Plume Geyser which erupts in 3 to 5 bursts. On the way back towards Old Faithful, we got to see it erupt for the fourth time (this time from a distance).

We continued on our loop around the park and drove by Yellowstone Lake again. It was still mostly ice covered.

There were people pulled over where the rangers had set up the spotting scopes for the grizzly and her two year old cub on day five, so we stopped there. With the aid of our binoculars and a couple of helpful gentleman with spotting scopes we soon located a grizzly and cub (presumably the same ones as before) in the distance. As they were way too far away for pictures, we didn’t stay too long.

Black bear

A little while later, very close to where we had seen the cinnamon colored black bear on day four, Karen spotted a black black bear down the slope from the road. We had soon created our own mini “bear jam” for what the girls quickly named “Bingle Bear”, since if we hadn’t seen it, probably nobody would have known it was down there.

Ashley snapping a picture of moose

After watching “Bingle Bear” for a while we continued on. We turned into the Petrified Tree turnout in the hopes of seeing the moose again, but he wasn’t where we’d seen him last. Since it is only ¼ of a mile down the road to the tree we figured we’d just turn around down there. Good thing we did, because as we rounded a curve the moose was grazing just about 100 feet off the road. We got some pictures and then turned around (next to a lone buffalo standing on the beginning of the hiking path) and headed back to Gardiner, seeing a bunch more elk (including some bull elk) and a Great Grey Owl along the way.

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