Adventures beyond time

Adventures beyond time

Friday, January 11, 2019

Yellowstone in Winter, More of Day 3

After the morning excursion, our driver dropped us of at Old faithful, just shy of the entrance to the Snow Lodge. We had Old faithful almost all to ourselves in the snow. We watched her erupt, then walked all around the short loop that goes behind her.

This is the path to Old Faithful from the parking lot where our driver let us off
Steamy thermal pond near Old Faithful
Old Faithful gearing up

Walking the path behind Old Faithful

Benches are provided for those who want to sit and wait for the eruption
We had lunch in the grill after our hike. It was packed with snowmobilers, some of them were youngster about 10 years old. There were surely more than 200 snowmobiles in the parking lot, although 200 is the total allowed in the whole Park on any given day. We heard that the outfitters had said they had machines and people who wanted to rent them. Since no rangers were working, they would go for the extra income.

Lunch was good . . . organic quinoa and kale soup :) I worked on a drawing and they read for a while. We met up for a hot buttered rum and light dinner in the lounge before suiting up again for our Steam, Stars, and Sounds tour after dark. The night sky was totally clouded over. There was not a single star to be seen. It was as dark as dark can be once we were out of sight of the Lodge on our Snow Coach.
View from my room in the afternoon
Meeting in the uncrowded lobby before dinner.

Ready for the steam, stars, and sounds of the night.

Our driver-guide, Chuck, took us to Firehole Lake geyser area. The wind was brutal and the temperature was about 10 degrees. Still it was magical. With flashlights, we walked out to the geyser area. All four of the thermal features of Yellowstone are found in this area . . . geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles (steam vents). When we arrived at the mud pots we all turned off our flashlights and just listened to the muddy earth boiling around us in the darkroom-esque black with the cold and the wind wrapping around us.

Then we heard steam and waterfall-like noises just beyond where we were standing on a boardwalk. The Great Fountain Geyser was erupting. It goes up 75 to 215 feet and erupts every 9 to 15 hours. We watched it by flashlight until we had all had enough. What a magnificent piece of luck to see to, and at night!

Chuck served us hot chocolate when we got back to the bus. We learned that Chuck, like Pam, was born in 1968. He was a salesman of medical spine implants until he sold his company and retired early, opting to be a cowboy guide by summer and snow coach driver by winter. Okay!
Waiting for my hot chocolate.
A second-of-the-day hot buttered rum called to us when we got back to the lodge. What a Sunday!

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