Saturday, July 13, 2013

Old Faithful Again and Again

We just returned from Yellowstone National Park where for a total of 5 days we camped and visited and re-visited my old stomping grounds. Speaking of which, we were lucky enough to see an unexplained stampede of buffalo in some far hills while out driving. We did a lot of driving. Far too much driving. After awhile we didn’t even bother photographing all the bison, elk, and deer we encountered in and around the roadways. Once we saw a mama bear and her two cubs. Even some of the geo-thermal features began to look the same. “Didn’t we already see this hot pot yesterday?”

That’s why when we were at Old Faithful—often ending up there, as our daughter is working at the site—seeing the geyser go off a total of 5 times, we decided on our last pass through to skip watching it (people were lining the basin which they do when eruption is imminent). Yet, unbelievably, the employees never seem to get enough of Old Faithful. Each of the 5 times (almost 6) I observed employees come to the windows or if outside stop what they were doing to watch it go off. I asked a couple of them—Do you ever get tired of watching it? No, one answered before taking a picture of Old Faithful erupting with her cell phone, each time it is different. One older park employee who worked in the cafeteria said he loved watching it—then hustled back inside as there is a “geyser rush” afterwards. The people lining the basin, hundreds of them, after standing in anticipation for up to half an hour—as it sometimes can be “late” —hurry over to buy ice cream and soft drinks.

So, yes, I regret not seeing it go off six times. But my last viewing was spectacular. It was near sunset and was late. It seemed to be saving itself. It shot off higher and gushier than ever. It rainbowed right into an orange sunset catching every last bit of sunlight in a lavender sky.

Those guys were right. You never get tired of watching it.

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