We left Canyon this morning and drove to the Mud Volcano area. Along the way we saw a large heard of bison sauntering through Hayden Valley. We then went over to the West Thumb Geyser Basin. I don’t remember visiting this area before, but it was amazing. This basin is nestled right along Yellowstone Lake. This makes for beautiful color combinations — the green trees and grass, deep blue water, rust colored thermophiles, chalky white dirt… it was well worth the trip. There are many hot springs here that exhibit the deep greens and blues that Morning Glory Pool is known for, but these features do not show the signs of vandalism that you see at the Lower Geyser Basin. The pools and other features here at West Thumb are concentrated very close together as well, which means less walking.
We then drove down to Grant Village. We met some rain and a little hail there. Next, we drove toward the east entrance a little ways before heading back to Lake to check in to our cabin. We ate dinner at the sandwich counter at the general store at Lake. While we waited for our burger and roast beef sandwich, we realized the kitchen was contained in a small room the size of a little closet. When I went to counter for a refill of our sodas, I commented on the small kitched. The waiter said, “Oh, it’s small alright — it’s just one pannini machine.” He said that afternoon they had received a single order for 30 sandwiches, and it shut them down for most of the lunch crowd.
After dinner, I walked around the historic Lake Hotel for a while. It is the park’s oldest operating hotel at over 100 years old. As I walked through the lobby, I noticed the pretentious classical music, then realized it was provided by a live string quartet. Beautiful colonial architecture, great views.