YELLOWSTONE 6

Our fabulous vacation to Montana and Wyoming continues and we finally 
reach the region filled with thermal springs, mudpots and hot water 
spouts; we are approaching the Old Faithful Lodge and the most 
interesting and recognized landmark phenomenon known as Old Faithful; 
I was totally unprepared for the unbelievable amount of geysers 
located in that vast area.

According to Wikipedia; A geyser is a spring characterized by an 
intermittent discharge of water ejected turbulently and accompanied by 
steam. As a fairly rare phenomenon, the formation of geysers is due to 
particular hydrogeological conditions that exist only in a few places 
on Earth. Apparently surface water goes down around seven thousand or 
so feet where it meets with hot rocks, reaches a boiling temperature 
and then races back to the surface as a steam bath.  This phenomenon 
is not exclusive to our earth, it has been observed on moons belonging 
to Saturn and Neptune. Geysers are generally found along fault-lines; 
therefore earthquakes are considered normal for the region.

The Old Faithful Inn is a masterpiece of art which is one of the 
largest log-built structures in existence but sadly because of 
Covid-19, the inn was closed to visitors.  The building is massive, 
contains over three hundred rooms and the general areas are 
constructed of wood.  In keeping with the historic roots of 1903, 
there are no televisions, wifi or air conditioners included with the 
accommodations.  It contains rustic wood architecture and massive 
stone fireplaces; when it opened in 1904, it featured electric lights 
and a steam heating system.

The architect for the project was Robert Reamer who was only twenty 
nine years old, and he designed the massive porch of the structure to 
be a comfortable waiting and viewing area for the many surrounding 
geysers to include Old Faithful. It is told that The Inn was designed 
by Reamer to be asymmetrical to reflect the chaos of the nature that 
surrounded the building.

Our small group was lucky to arrive a few minutes after an eruption by 
Old Faithful so we were able to score a nice seat with a view on one 
of the provided benches, and wait patiently for the next show.  Old 
Faithful was discovered by the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition 
during 1870 and was the first geyser to receive a name.  The elevation 
is 7,349 feet and it performs an unforgettable show about every ninety 
minutes.

The national park service monitors each eruption and enters pertinent 
data that is shared with interested people.  Old Faithful is one of 
about five hundred active geysers in the area but the park ranger 
office only monitors six of them.  If you have never seen Old 
Faithful, be prepared for an undisturbed performance, there are no 
bands, banners or announcements, no fanfare, just every ninety minutes 
or so, one of the most beautiful emissions of steam and water you have 
ever witnessed.

Luckily, a rainbow appears in my video; I was told it is considered 
lucky; viewing the performance is an unforgettable experience.
 
 

Brenda S. Brown 

 

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