We tried breakfast at the Lodge Soda Fountain and then checked out of our cabin. Three nights there was the longest stay of anywhere on the trip. The cabin worked well for us. Clean and sparse, with no television – which helped make up for all the movies watched on the long van rides west.
We loaded up both vans and headed along the Grand Loop Road past Roosevelt Lodge again and up to Mammoth Hot Springs. Once there, we toured the boardwalks of the Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces on a spectacular blue-sky morning.
We then had another unique experience when we drove a short distance north into Montana and swam in the Boiling River section of the Gardner River. This occurs where underground hot springs emerge and dump into the mountain river, creating a hot tub effect. The kids loved it!
We grabbed lunch in the cafeteria back at Mammoth and then headed south along the Grand Loop Road, headed for Old Faithful. We experienced the famous construction delays on this trip, where we probably lost an hour or so. We stopped at Grand Prismatic Springs for photographs, but determined that we did not have time to do the 5-mile hike to Fairy Falls that reportedly provides a great view from above Prismatic.
We arrived in time to check into our rooms at the Yellowstone Snow Lodge and walk over for our dinner reservations at the Old Faithful Inn. This was one of the spurge meals on the trip and we had a nice time. The Inn itself is an historic masterpiece.
After dinner we walked out back to catch our first viewing of Old Faithful Geyer itself, which was right on time. A modest crowd gathered but the sun was already setting. We had no idea that we would see a crowd 10 times that size the following morning.
Full photo tour available at : https://pmusser.smugmug.com/American-Road-Trip/