A Walk Around the Neighborhood

Training time has come to an end, the summer season officially starts tomorrow – Memorial day weekend.

At 9:37-ish this morning, Old Faithful (right foreground) and Beehive (left background) erupted simultaneously, an uncommon event!

My work view: at 9:20-ish this morning, Old Faithful (right foreground) and Beehive (left background) erupted simultaneously, an uncommon event! Beehive is actually taller than Old Faithful, but the perspective makes it seem shorter here.

I was intending to have this blog post up yesterday, but there was a special NPS sponsored training program up at Mammoth, almost two hours away from Old Faithful with all the road construction going on, so I was gone from 6 am until nearly 8 pm.

Castle Geyser on Sunday, spewing steam

Castle Geyser on Sunday, spewing steam

Wow though, I’ve never had any park job training like it. It was all knowledgeable speakers who gave presentations on topics pertaining to Yellowstone, from climate change to bison management to bills going through congress to recent and upcoming park events. Extremely thorough, and I know for a fact that some of the presentations cost quite a bit of money when put on for the public.

My walk from this afternoon, Castle geyser erupting in the distance under a stormy sky

My walk from this afternoon, Castle geyser erupting in the distance under a stormy sky

At first I thought maybe this was a perk of working for the YA, but there were concessionaire employees there too so it must be a Yellowstone thing (c’mon, any other parks want to start something like this up?). Either way, it was amazing and will really help me this summer when visitors have questions.

Spasmodic Geyser, serene and beautiful on Sunday

Spasmodic Geyser, serene and beautiful on Sunday

I’ve only had one day off since I started working (starting next week with the regular hours in effect I’ll be getting two), there hasn’t been time to drive to other parts of the park lately. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been having fun though. I’ve been walking around and seeing more of the “neighborhood” around Old Faithful.

Spasmodic Geyser today, living up to it's name.

Spasmodic Geyser today, living up to it’s name!

Yes, I live within walking distance of everything in today’s photos. It’s certainly not a bad neighborhood.

A tranquil pool near Spasmodic

A tranquil pool near Spasmodic on Sunday (yes, the white flecks are falling snow!)

I’m coming to realize that hydrothermal basins have moods. I went out to Morning Glory pool this past Sunday, and then again this afternoon, and got a different show both days. I bet I could take this walk every day this summer and not see the same things twice.

The water level is much lower today, because of the geyser activity next door?

The water level is much lower today, because of the geyser activity next door?

Geysers (and geyser basins in general) tend to go through cycles of greater and lower activity. Old Faithful, which erupts about every hour and a half without fail is an exception (that’s what makes it so famous), most geysers are unpredictable.

The unusually shaped Grotto Geyser, scientists suspect it's arches are ancient trees present when the geyser first emerged, that have been slowly coated with minerals over hundreds of years.

The unusually shaped Grotto Geyser, scientists suspect it’s arches are ancient trees present when the geyser first emerged, that have been slowly coated with minerals over hundreds of years.

Things seemed much more active today than on Sunday, I can’t say whether the whole day was more active, but the two hours I spent wandering around seemed to be.

Grotto's eruptions can last for hours, today it was already going when I was walking out to Morning Glory, and was still going when I walked back

Grotto’s eruptions can last for hours, today it was already going when I was walking out to Morning Glory, and was still going when I walked back

Lets see, what to talk about on a walk. How about the weather? When I took my walk on Sunday, there were occasional snow flurries, I’m not sure it got out of the 30’s. Today there were scattered thunderstorms, I made the wise decision to sit out the brief bout of hail indoors before venturing out.

Took this picture on Sunday to catch the dead white trees, bleached from thermal activity?

Took this picture on Sunday to catch the dead white trees, bleached from thermal activity?

There’s also been wildlife sightings. I saw a few bison on Sunday, and a pair of bluebirds. Today I spy a pair of exotic looking ducks on the creek, diving for food. Well, they’re probably not exotic, I’m just use to Mallards and so any other kind of duck is exciting and new for me.

What was dry on Sunday is bubbling like a cauldron today

What was dry on Sunday is bubbling like a cauldron today

I don’t have optical zoom to get pictures of them, that’s the one problem with having a phone camera – wildlife photography is extremely difficult. It’s the only reason I would think about upgrading to a point and shoot, but so far it’s still not worth it to me. I’m very satisfied with the landscape photos I get.

On Sunday (left), Tardy Geyser (background) is erupting while Sawmill Geyser (foreground) is silent. Today they've reversed rolls

On Sunday (left), Tardy Geyser (background) is erupting while Sawmill Geyser (foreground) is silent. Today they’ve reversed rolls

Thursday and Friday are going to be my two days off for the next two weeks. Hopefully I’ll get to see more of Yellowstone then. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the walk!

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Morning Glory pool!  Colors have not been touched in this photo.

Morning Glory pool! Colors have not been touched in this photo.

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Becky

At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.

45 Comments

  1. Tim on May 27, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    I got to see Morning Glory for the first time today. I was just taking a stroll and had no real destination in mind. Imagine by surprise when I stumbled across Morning Glory in all it’s awesomeness! Took some cool photos and spend some time there just reflecting.



    • Becky on May 27, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      Great Tim! It’s a special place for sure.



  2. Oystein on May 25, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Amazing photos. Keep them coming. Yellowstone is on my list. Good luck with your job now that training is complete. I am sure you will educate all them tourists.



    • Becky on May 26, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      I’ll do my best Oystein. 🙂



  3. Rene Kipp on May 25, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    As Jodee mentioned, it’s good that they teach the employees about the park in depth. I for one, have learned from your writing that the different colors mean different water temperatures. So you’re not just teaching your visitors, your teaching your readers. Next time I make it there, I’ll be sure to ask more questions!
    Rene Kipp recently posted..A New GameMy Profile



    • Becky on May 27, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      Please do Rene! Most people working here even if it’s just for the summer, are here because they really enjoy the park, and they’ll have learned things. 🙂



  4. Ed@Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets on May 24, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    We are so envious of your “neighborhood”. I know I keep saying it, but you DO have it made. And, as someone else mentioned, you are quite the tour guide. Thanks for sharing and giving us a peek into your life.

    BTW, we have had a lot happening. Check out my latest post. Our plans have been accelerated. Woohoo!
    Ed@Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets recently posted..Retirement…finallyMy Profile



    • Becky on May 25, 2015 at 12:22 pm

      Congrats Ed! That’s very exciting news indeed, I wish you the best. 🙂



  5. jonthebru on May 24, 2015 at 3:10 am

    (Note to self: minimum 7 days at Yellowstone and hopefully three or four weeks.)

    Nice job on recent posts Becky. You are quite the tour guide.



    • Becky on May 25, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      Hehe, you’re welcome Jon.



  6. Debbie in VA on May 24, 2015 at 12:52 am

    Looks like you have a great gig! While I’ve never posted a comment before, I’ve been following for a while. I wanted to let you know that I shared some linkie love over on my blog rvlostyet.com. Your blog is one that inspired me :-).
    Debbie in VA recently posted..InspirationMy Profile



    • Becky on May 25, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      Thanks for coming out of the woodwork and commenting Debbie, and thanks for sharing. 🙂 Sounds like your RV adventure is getting off to a good start!



  7. Tom Dunn on May 23, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    We’re leaving on the 12th for Colter Bay Village. We’ll be making several day trips up to Yellowstone. We hope to see you there. You mentioned in another post about labeling your pictures. You may already know this, but many phones have a setting for geo-tagging the pictures. That feature uses your phone’s GPS to include location data in the picture file. I have to enable this in settings. I then downloaded an app that will actually show where the pic was taken on a map. Really cool, especially for an old fart like me who started photography with film.



    • Becky on May 25, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      Biggest challenge with that out here is there are so many places where you can’t get a phone signal (and no signal = no GPS). Still though, does sound like a lot of fun. 🙂



      • Tom Dunn on May 25, 2015 at 4:54 pm

        There are two ways phones find location. One uses cell towers to triangulate your location. The other uses the Global Positioning Satellites directly. Most newer phones have a GPS receiver. Two summers ago I cycled the Greenbrier River Rail Trail in West Virginia. For most of the ride I had no cell phone reception. So I just used my phone for pictures. The location data still worked on the camera (native app). I couldn’t use GPS on my map apps because the map program needs cell connectivity to load the map (there are some map apps that let you download maps to use offline). Having said that you do still need direct line of sight of enough of the sky to access enough of the satellites.



        • Becky on May 27, 2015 at 7:12 pm

          Interesting Tom, I’ll have to see if mine is “new” enough to have this feature.



          • Tom Dunn on May 28, 2015 at 10:36 am

            I have an iPhone 6 now but my old 4S is what I used on my West VA trip and it location stamped my pictures. It didn’t work on the panorama pictures for some reason.



  8. Regina on May 23, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Thank you for the great photos. We start working in Yellowstone June 3 and look forward to seeing the sights from your photos in person.



    • Becky on May 25, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      Fun Regina! Where are you going to be at?



  9. Rob on May 23, 2015 at 11:55 am

    enjoy your pictures and narrative. Thanks



    • Becky on May 23, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      Glad you enjoyed this Rob. 🙂



  10. mike on May 23, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Great pics….what a score getting that job for the summer. I bet you can’t wait to do some serious hiking in the park. You are living the dream Becky. Have fun.



    • Becky on May 23, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      Yes Mike, I’m looking forward to hiking! Still need to get my bear spray before I do that, just to be on the safe side.



  11. Joe Mann on May 23, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Looking forward to being at Yellowstone in late June or early July. We begin our full timing adventure after June 11 when our home sale closes. We will live in our 40 Ft diesel pusher for the foreseeable future. We will hope to meet you then.



    • Becky on May 23, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      Congrats Joe, you must be very excited!

      Stop on by the bookstore when you get here and there’s a reasonable chance I’ll be around. 🙂



  12. Jim at Growing Faith on May 23, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Wow, your neighborhood is fantastic! Imagine, paying what you pay in rent, to live where you live. What a bargain! I know for apple phones they make little gizmos that hook on to the phone that allow you to do more with the camera. I’m not sure if they make any little lens gizmos for your particular phone/camera. It might be worth checking in to. I use an old point and shoot, and it works good for me. I enjoy reading about your life, and seeing your photos with the story. Thank you so much for sharing with us! 🙂
    Jim at Growing Faith recently posted..PersecutionMy Profile



    • Becky on May 23, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      Yep! I’m very fortunate to be here this summer. What a great opportunity. 🙂

      Yeah they probably do make something like that Jim even for my older model, I’d just rather save the money for other things.



  13. Jodee Gravel on May 23, 2015 at 9:08 am

    It’s great that the park provides real education for those who work there – investing in those who represent it to the public is money well spent in my book! Yellowstone is the poster child for national parks and I imagine there is a lot we don’t know that we don’t know! I love that you’ve had the time to get to know the “neighborhood”. I find all the geothermal activity fascinating, as much for it’s unique patterns as for it’s beauty. Your camera continues to capture great shots! Hope your first big weekend is lots of fun 🙂
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..Family in Tahoe and Driving the Eastern SierrasMy Profile



    • Becky on May 23, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      I hope my first big weekend is good too! It’s interesting how traffic in the Visitor Center fluctuates. Just before Old Faithful goes the store is empty because everyone is outside watching, then once it gets done we have big rushes, which slowly taper off as it gets closer to eruption time again. 🙂



  14. Ron on May 23, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Beautiful photos. You have a great Summer ahead of you.



    • Becky on May 23, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      Thanks Ron, glad you liked them.



  15. Dawn in MI on May 23, 2015 at 7:56 am

    I remember visiting Morning Glory with my family when I was a kid, probably mid 70’s. Nice to know it’s still there and just as beautiful In fat, thank you for reminding me how beautiful this whole park is. I need to go see it again.



    • Becky on May 23, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      Yes you should Dawn! Morning Glory has changed colors, but it’s still very beautiful.



  16. Janett on May 23, 2015 at 6:45 am

    So amazing and Morning Glory looks like a ‘green egg’ or is it really blue? I find it interesting how the trees just behind the bleached ones seem to remain unaffected. Thanks for sharing the walk…great pictures!



    • Becky on May 23, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      Glad you enjoyed this Janett! Morning Glory is green and orange yes, it use to be blue and green (see my first comment).



  17. Terri on May 23, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Gorgeous, Becky! And I love the new photo at the top of your blog! I’ll catch up with your posts – I’m sure you mention changing it somewhere! By the way, I’ve decided to not buy the house in NC after all. Have a phone interview with Best Friends Animal Society this Tuesday (wish me luck!!) for a cat caregiver position, and am going to Kanab, Utah in June for a bit over a week to check the place out and volunteer there. I’m going to only be 27 minutes away from Zion!! And the north rim of the Grand Canyon (which I’ve also been to) and within driving distance of Bryce Canyon, which I’ve NEVER seen, so I plan on being there for sunrise the second day I’m out there. I totally can’t wait, and am happy with the decision I made to not buy the house.

    Your “neighborhood” is breathtaking!!!
    Terri recently posted..If you think you can’t, you won’t. So, just do it.My Profile



    • Becky on May 23, 2015 at 12:08 pm

      Best Friends is pretty great, I toured it when I was at Zion last summer. In fact, one of the people who works there lives in his RV at one of the campgrounds in town, I stayed one night in Kanab on my way out to Zion and met him. 🙂

      Best of luck to you!



  18. JEFF and JAN SHEALY on May 23, 2015 at 5:49 am

    love your blog been following you since you began your journey…we begin our full time June 5th will see you on the road



    • Becky on May 23, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      Congrats Jeff and Jan! You must be very excited. Safe travels and happy trails!



  19. Mark Sundstrom on May 23, 2015 at 5:44 am

    What a nice spot to spend the summer! I’ve always been interested in the variation shown by the geysers. My favorite book on this is “The Geysers of Yellowstone” by T. Scott Bryan. I bought my copy at the Yellowstone Association bookstore at Old Faithful on 9/9/95 and I only know that because I’ve been using the purchase receipt as a bookmark. I’m sure it’s in your bookstore today.



    • Becky on May 23, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      Probably is Mark, I’ll have to take a peek when I go in today. 🙂



  20. Teri Live Oak, Fl on May 23, 2015 at 4:34 am

    Beautiful pictures.



    • Becky on May 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      Glad you liked them Teri. 🙂



  21. Ron Stacy on May 23, 2015 at 1:06 am

    Thanks for posting the great photos. I haven’t been to Yellowstone since 1963. I remember, as a youngster, the excitement of the gysers erupting. I recall Morning Glory being a bright blue. An exciting place to be for sure.



    • Becky on May 23, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      Ron, you’re remembering correctly. The colors of springs are produced by bacteria that thrives in high temperatures. The blue color indicates very hot water (the bacteria that reflect blue light do best in the hottest water), green and orange are colder, respectively. Morning Glory use to be hotter, so it was blue in the center with green around the edge, now it’s green in the center with orange around the edge. The temperature has gotten colder because of vandalism – people throw rocks, coins, and trash in the pool which sinks to the bottom and plugs the drain so to speak. Really sad stuff, although I still think it looks great in these colors.



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