Point Sublime to Old Faithful

July 1, 2017

On our agenda this morning was a hike to Point Sublime from Artist Point.  We drove by some sleepy buffalo on the way in to Artist Point.  For once we were the early birds.  Lower FallsThe parking lot was almost empty.  We marveled at the magnificence of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River before embarking on the 1.5 mile hike to Point Sublime.  It seemed to be mostly uphill and though it provided excellent view of the Yellowstone Canyon, once we reach the “sublime” part, we felt that we’d seen better along the way.Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone It was a lovely hike though and we met no one else returning as we hiked to the point.  We took pictures along the way, including one I titled, “Does this tree make my butt look big?”  Once at the point I set up our little flexible tripod and took a couple pictures of us.  We were pretty happy to be there all-in-all.  The canyon views were spectacular!Does this tree make my butt look big?

We stopped by Upper Falls overlook on the way back to camp.  This too, is a great place if you can just get past the hordes of tourists (of which; I keep telling myself; we are two).  When we got “home” I prepared Bill a deluxe breakfast of blueberry pancakes, warmed syrup, and sausage.  Yum!


We were both still a bit “done in” from our major hike the day before so this day was wisely spent in accessing hot showers and doing laundry.  There’s something to be said about clean sheets.At Point Sublime


Later in the day we set out to see some of the thermal features of the park.  Up until this point, I’ve kind of considered this my “Un-Yellowstone Tour”.  Much of what Bill and I have done, I’ve not ever done before.  We’ve avoided some of the more touristy places and gotten a bit off the beaten path.  Today, we thought we might hit some of the traditional “hot spots”.  Our first attempt was at Norris Geyser Basin where we got stuck in a traffic jam as eejits ahead of us WAITED for someone to leave.  We had no way out for at least 10 minutes.  Once our fellow travelers were able to park we decided to leave and not suffer that fate again.  Instead, we headed toward Firehole Canyon Drive.  There’s a great swimming hole off this drive and we packed swimming suit just for this occasion.  There was a great swimming hole.  It is no longer open.  At least it wasn’t when we were there.  I guess I’m not surprised.  It was way too much fun to continue to allow folks to frolic there.  I’m sure someone got injured.


Next, on to Fountain Paint Pots.  Those were some of my favorites as I recalled.  Once again, too many people.  Folks were parking upwards of a half-mile away from the entrance to get into the viewing locations.  It just wasn’t worth it to us to be crammed into such a mess.  We did drive through Firehole Lake Drive unimpeded just to visit some thermal features.Random Thermal Feature


The one thing I had wanted for Bill to see as an adult; because he could not recall it from his childhood visit; was Old Faithful Inn.  The inn was constructed between 1903 – 1904 from large lodge-pole pines from Yellowstone and surrounding area.  It is remarkable.  As we pulled up to a gas station just short of the inn, Old Faithful herself was erupting high into the air.  As we entered the inn, Bill invited me to dinner there.  We checked on making reservations and were told the next available slot was 9:15 p.m. but that if we wanted to take a pager, we could probably be seated within 40 minutes.  It was even suggested that perhaps we’d like to find a refreshing beverage and wait on the second floor balcony with a good view of Old Faithful.  Sounded good to us!


We settled into our excellent seats on the balcony and awaited the next eruption.  In our memories, Old Faithful erupted at least once an hour if not more.  When our pager went off we were tempted to stay since we “knew” she’d be going off any time now.  That being said, we were pretty hungry.  We made our way to the restaurant.  The buffet included trout, prime rib, barbequed chicken, red-pepper Gouda soup and other delicious side dishes.  I thought it was all excellent; even the salad.  I felt very spoiled having dinner in the lodge.  It’s the kind of thing I’d not think of myself and I was really grateful that Bill had proposed the idea.


After dinner (still operating on the belief that OF would erupt “any minute now”) we made our way back to the balcony.  It was around 8:50 p.m. when we caught a fairly minor eruption.  We made our way out of parking lot by 9:05 and began the 54 mile trip back to our campsite.  I volunteered to drive.


I have to say that the whole drive was beautiful at dusk.  The road first traveled up to nearly 8400 feet in elevation and then descended to the shoreline of Yellowstone Lake at about 2300 feet.  The view of the lake and the snow covered mountains was nearly mystical.  We wound around to Lake Village and the Fishing Bridge area and I began to feel more anxious.  This was where we’d seen a large herd of elk and now darkness was falling.  Although the sun was long-gone the sky was still lighter than the ground.  I came around one curve to see the silhouette of two cow elk perfectly imposed on the cliff above.  Farther down the road; now in complete darkness; I saw the gleam of two eye heading right at me.  Sure enough, a buffalo was claiming the on-coming traffic lane.  This wasn’t quite so much fun anymore.  We did arrive safely to our camp an hour and a half after leaving the inn.  No harm; no foul; and a great evening!

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