If you are a photo crazy soul like me, you will like what we have in store for you today:) After our exploration of the Upper Geyser Basin at Yellowstone,Yang was crabby as we got to our campsite at Madison campground a little too late. The bath houses were closed and we really wanted a hot shower to beat the chilly winds. We didn't intend to rough it out, but hey...can't complain. We kept our smelly and "wanna be" smiley selves cozy in our camper van as we tucked ourselves off to sleep early in preparation for an exciting early morning adventure! Let's just say this was a night of 'camping' and not 'glamping' shall we?
We didn't really sign up for too many activities on this trip. But there was one group experience that caught my eye. I stumbled upon a Photography Safari activity offered through the historic Old Faithful Inn. What better way to pamper myself on my 30th birthday than to go on an early morning safari with other shutterbugs clicking away to glory at dawn (Yang sighs, "only you my dear....only you!"). Well we were awake at 5:00 am and ready for a safari by 6:00! Bu Ya!
The safari is led by a Yellowstone guide who is also a photographer. This was the highlight of our trip and having done the tour, we managed to cover certain spots that were not on our original itinerary! As a novice with my camera, I learned all these cool tricks and settings on my SLR that I didn't know existed...so double bonus and a win-win. Our guide Betty was cheerful, patient, and friendly. Definitely recommend the tour to anyone looking for a unique experience.
Black Sand Basin
Close to the Upper Geyser Basin, we started our tour here at dawn, to photograph the popular 'bobby sock trees' that you will see interspersed throughout this region. Black and white never looked this good. These trees gave such an eerie yet classy feel!
As the sun shone on us, we made our way to Madison junction, hoping to spot some wildlife along the way. We stumbled upon Elk grazing in the fields early in the morning. Don't miss the majestic bull elk guarding his female power pack!
Check out those antlers. What a visual treat!
Early morning happy smiles!
We learned about the wonders of the 'shutter mode' when shooting the beautiful Gibbon falls.
Yellow Bus Travels
Oh did I mention the cute little thing we traveled in for our safari?
During our journey, we heard interesting tales about the restoration of these historical buses and their re installation at Yellowstone park. Check out this link below for more details...interesting read!
Firehole Lake Drive
Behold the beauty of the iconic Firehole Spring. Breathtaking!
So remember we promised to tell you the science behind the distinct colors that you see in these geothermal areas, especially in the hot springs? They are caused by heat-loving microorganisms called thermophiles. The green, brown, and orange colors are created by cyanobacteria, which thrive in waters as hot as 75 degree Celsius. The season and sunlight levels also affect the colors of these waters (#yinyangfactcheck).
Fountain Paint Pots
We were entertained by the dynamic Fountain geyser. You feel on top of cloud nine when you make it on time to see this special geyser erupt. it goes off once in 6 to 15 hours. That's quite a wide time range, but we got lucky to see this beauty from the beginning to the end!
Sigh these colors and the patterns...take me back to this gorgeousness please?
Another highlight moment of our safari was seeing bisons that morning. These huge sturdy creatures made our day.
Old Faithful Inn
We ended our tour at the historic Old Faithful Inn where we also grabbed a quick bite.