Day 6 – October 2, 2016 – Sunday
Well, after I bundled up for the cold rain and left the Old Faithful Inn last night, I was stunned to find the sky full of stars!! The storm must have cleared quickly because everything was still soaked and there was a lot of mist/fog around. As I headed toward Madison, I contemplated going back to shoot Castle Geyser at 330am but decided against it because so much moisture in the air would probably fog the lens. But for some unknown reason, when I came to Firehole Lake Road, I decided to take the turn. I don’t know what drew me in, but I came upon what I found out later was White Dome Geyser. Although it was a bit spooky out there, I set up as I usually do now (iso 6400, 25-sec. @ f/3.2 for a 17mm 2.8 lens, manual focus and exposure) and was ready to start taking shots to fine tuning the focus, when the geyser started to erupt!! I hurridly tripped the shutter and lit the water/steam with my headlamp. I hadn’t even checked the level or what was actually in the frame. This was truly winging it…and it actually came out decently!! It stopped pretty quickly and took a few more of the steam, but I began to get edgy, threw the camera in the car and shut my door. I used the headlights to see if anything were out in the night, but never did see anything, so I thought I’d try some more, lighting the steam and, it erupted again!! How fortunate was I!! Someone made me stay longer at the inn and turn onto that road at just the right time. On the drive to the campground later, I was scared out of my wits by a bison popping right out of the forest!! I thought they only hung out at huge meadows…I guess not! When I returned to the geyser later today, I spent some time there recording times and found it erupts about every 20-minutes, some eruptions were than others. Today, in spite of the constant rain, showers, downpours, with a little sunshine thrown in, I photographed at Terrace Spring and the Firehole Lake Road but not much at either. Huge traffic jam today, twice. I drove through Firehole Canyon and then headed south only to find a herd of bison walking on the road!! They went by me eyeball to eyeball, and when I headed back south later, there was a several mile back up caused by the same herd! Luckily a park ranger managed to get them off the road. Back to the Old Faithful Inn to recharge my camera battery and arrived just 2 minutes before an interesting, scheduled historical tour of the place. While the camera battery charged, I kept nodding off in a chair overlooking the lobby. Sleep deprivation is mounting.
Had Bison Meat Loaf again tonight before heading over to Biscuit Basin to check it out even though rain was threatening again. I was taking mostly abstracts but one area that looked really promising had steam blowing onto the boardwalk making it impossible to do any photography in that area; I’ll have to return when the wind is blowing in the opposite direction. When shooting one of my last shots, I turned around and there was a single thin cloud from the total overcast that was lit pink by the setting sun! I ran over to where there was a line of green leading to some steam and the sky with the pink cloud above. They always say to look behind you and that surely applied for this one because I took maybe 15 seconds to run over, set up and click off a few shots and it was gone!! Got lucky again because the rain began right after that and I sought shelter at the Old Faithful Inn. Downloaded most of the second card onto the computer and will eventually make my way back to Madison and my awaiting camp site.