Old Faithful

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The Yellowstone slice of this journey remains active and thrilling for the Lindfors–a delicious opportunity to explore America’s first, and perhaps most famous, National Park. From Sunday, August 22 to Wednesday, August 25, Steven and gang were north, south, east and west in the Park, using their comfortable accommodations at Grant Village (on the West Thumb of Lake Yellowstone) as their hub and refuge.

Quick Overview:

Juicy details:

Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls: The Upper Falls are 109 ft. and the Lower Falls are 308 ft.  Visitors have to stop at one or more Park lookouts to see the falls; they cannot be seen at the same time because of a bend in the Canyon that is rightfully known as the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  According to Steve, the family spent most of Sunday getting in and out of their car, pulling over at stops and lookouts to see all the beautiful sites the “Falls area” has to offer.  The kids really enjoyed the mud pots.   Sometime during the day they found themselves by gigantic Yellowstone Lake with enough time to practice rock skipping on a perfectly calm lake.

Old Faithful and his Buddies – Norris Geyser Basin &  Lewis River: Totally awesome. “We have been lucky this entire trip; hit it right a lot of the time!”  marvels Steve. The Lindfors were enjoying an awesome lunch at the Old Faithful Visitor Center and, as fate would have it,  Old Faithful erupted while they were munching. Right out the window.

Then, they stayed to actually watch the show outdoors and to get “up close”  and were rewarded by seeing not only Old Faithful  but a companion geyser decided to plume at the same time. I think it was Castle Geyser?” Steven searches.  “Is that lucky or what? It’s hard to keep track; we’ve seen so many cool things.” You can tell he’s having trouble processing the wonders he’s seen in just this one half day.The pictures say it all. We saw Beehive Geyser, one of the highest shooting geysers and then, later, we saw two blasting at the same time, pretty near each other.  It was just so neat.” Experiencing the incredibly “organic” geothermal activity in the Yellowstone area should never be taken for granted. When you’re in the planet’s most prolific area of activity, you know you’ve reached sacred ground–or at least ground with an incredible story. In Yellowstone there are an estimated 10,000+geothermal features and  200- 250 active geysers.

The River and the Lake. “We were driving along and came upon a lot of cars pulled and parked to the side of the road. No big deal in Yellowstone, but we saw kids going along the side of the highway in swimsuits. So we pull over to check it out.  Kids are jumping off rocks into the river!”  Steve is psyched.

Jump!You guessed it. Steve, Steven and Eric run back to the car and change into their swim trunks; Janet grabs the binoculars and camera and proceeds to document what is simply “a spontaneous good time.” Steve referred to this escapade as cliff diving –but I think he exaggerates. He said he checked things out first and the river seemed deep enough.  Again, the pictures say it all. (This time I was the one incredulous.) I asked Steven if he ended up jumping in the river too and he “fessed up.” “The kids were fearless,” he bragged. “It was a blast. What can I say? What’s not to love?”

Shopping and Old Faithful Inn.  Janet has indulged shopping in the National Park gift shops all along, this one did not disappoint–none of them have disappointed, we are assured.  The family enjoyed hanging out, touring the historic Old Faithful Inn: climbing its incredible lodge pole-pine stairway, scoping-out the hotel’s huge rhyolite fireplace and 7-story lobby, open balconies and enticing hallways.  A true classic in rustic architecture.  The Old Faithful Inn is one of the few remaining log hotels in the country, built in 1903-04.  The area around Old Faithful Inn give tourists a peek into the Park’s lodging history.  There are several historic structures worth visiting.

The Lindfors actually stayed at Grant Village which they also liked. Being so close to the lake made it easy to kick back. Reflect.  Catch a breath and skip a few stones.  Explore nearby Fisherman’s Bridge and the Village itself.

It’s Tuesday night, they’re all tired after their day of geyser hopping, shooting the rapids and shopping. Tomorrow they continue their journey across the  Yellowstone Plateau, south to Grand Teton National Park and famous Jackson Hole Wyoming.  They’ll be staying at Forever Resort’s Signal Mountain Lodge; it sits on the shore of Lake Jackson, overlooking the spectacular Teton Mountain Range.

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