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His First Experience of Yellowstone

Arriving at the Old Faithful Lodge


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2010 Yellowstone and Hawaii & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

My parents took us (my sister and me) to Yellowstone when we were 8 and 10 years old. But my grandson had never been here before.

Memories that I have include my father using a schedule that the park service gave him to see what geysers were going to erupt, and going to wait for them. And also walking the boardwalk of Biscuit Basin.My little sister, my mom and me in 1948 - Biscuit Basin

My little sister, my mom and me in 1948 - Biscuit Basin

10 June Continued

Flying In

Flying In


When we arrived, my grandson J. was extremely impressed with the smallness of the airport (one gate, two rental car places, a snack bar, and bathrooms was about it.)
100_5673.jpgJ's photo of the Yellowstone Airport

J's photo of the Yellowstone Airport

J's photo of the Yellowstone Airport building

J's photo of the Yellowstone Airport building


I had a rental car waiting and they gave me a white Sonata with
Idaho license plate

Idaho license plate


similar to mine that I had at home. I didn't take the insurance or any of the extras.

One thing that was a little different (if I understand it correctly) was that if I drove less than 75 miles, they would charge me extra for gas whether it was full or not. We got a map of West Yellowstone from the car rental place.

My grandson dragged his wheeled bag with my computer bag on top across the gravel/sand parking lot (gravel is not good for wheeled bags - you need a hard surface for them to 'wheel') and we put the stuff into the trunk. I was thinking it was time for lunch, but we were too anxious to get to the Old Faithful Inn to stop in West Yellowstone and went directly to the park entrance.

We got in free with my Golden Age passport. Otherwise the permit for a car would be $25.00. My grandson thought that was cool. The lady manning the entrance booth gave us a lot of useful information and told us how to get to the Old Faithful Inn where we would be staying. I asked her when check-in time was and she said she used to work there and it was 1400 but they would probably have our rooms ready because we wouldn't get there until about 1300. This was correct.

From the west entrance in Montana to the Old Faithful Inn is about 30 miles. There were even some informational signs along the way about the routes people took to get into the park.
Informational sign about the travels of Indians and Mountain Men in the river valley

Informational sign about the travels of Indians and Mountain Men in the river valley


Part of the sign says: Stagecoaches traveled this route from 1880 to 1917. Early service was from Virginia City to the Lower Geyser Basin. The 95 mile trip took 16 hours. Stages later met trains at Monida, Montana. In 1907 the railroad reached West Yellowstone.

The first animals we saw were some bison,
First bison sighting

First bison sighting

Bison

Bison


and then we stopped to take photos of an eagle's nest.
J's photo of the eagle's nest

J's photo of the eagle's nest


We also heard a raven
Raven saying “Balk”

Raven saying “Balk”


which J said was saying "Balk Balk Balk" (like to a baseball pitcher). We saw our first view of the geysers
First geyser view

First geyser view

after we turned down toward the Old Faithful area and we went by Biscuit Basin

Biscuit Basin area from the car - It was closed and cordoned off with Construction Site tape

Biscuit Basin area from the car - It was closed and cordoned off with Construction Site tape

J's photo of the river

J's photo of the river

J. also took a photo of a bluebird and I took one of an old fisherman with a Santa Claus beard fishing in the river
Santa Claus fisherman

Santa Claus fisherman

e2adc000-c0b6-11ea-80b4-157c6ae442ba.jpgJ's photo of Old Faithful

J's photo of Old Faithful


Parking at the Inn was a bit of a problem as it was kind of rainy and there was an veteran car rally there (The Red Rock Rendezvous Antique car rally) and the really old cars were under the porte cochere.

"Veteran" car

"Veteran" car

This was a tour where 13 drivers from around the country drove vehicles built before 1915 through the scenic roads of Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park and Colorado.

Map of Old Car tour

Map of Old Car tour

A newspaper story about them said, "Drivers generally hum along about 40 to 45 miles per hour and cover somewhere between 150 and 220 miles in a day, depending on road conditions, weather and the amount of time spent waiting for buffalo to cross their paths". When we crossed the country in 1964 and 1966 in our 1932 Plymouths, we did about the same speed, but we usually did a little more mileage.

FInally a space to park our rental car

FInally a space to park our rental car


Eventually I found a place to park and we walked in a registered.

Reception desk

Reception desk

I had a hard time getting a reservation here because I wanted two beds and did not want to share a bathroom with someone else. If you can possibly book here, this is the place to stay. But even if you can't do that, you should go and look at the inside of this National Historic Landmark. The nearly 700 feet in length and seven stories high Old Faithful Inn was designed by Robert C. Reamer, who wanted the asymmetry of the building to reflect the chaos of nature. It was built around 1903 and is one of the few remaining log hotels in the United States. In the lobby is a massive rhyolite fireplace, and railings made of contorted lodgepole pine.
Looking up in the lobby at the railings made of contorted lodgepole pine

Looking up in the lobby at the railings made of contorted lodgepole pine


675784035810075-Looking_up_a..ional_Park.jpgMy photo (left) and J's photo of the massive rhyolite fireplace

My photo (left) and J's photo of the massive rhyolite fireplace


They did not tell us anything about needing to pick up a ticket for the Ring of Fire tour the next day although they mentioned the tour.

They gave us keys (real keys, not the ones like a credit card) and we were in the East Wing on the front. That meant walking along a corridor, turning down another corridor, walking half the length of the East Wing to the elevator and then walking all the way back to our room. It was quite a hike for me.

There were no televisions, radios, air conditioning, or internet available at all. There was a phone.
Table in our room with coffee pot and ice bucket

Table in our room with coffee pot and ice bucket


There was a shrank/wardrobe, and this time it was not a TV cabinet (the one in SLC had doors that you could push back into the cabinet to reveal the TV), but just a place for clothes, and there was a little fan in there.
Wardrobe with my cane and seating area

Wardrobe with my cane and seating area

The bathroom was in a 20s style,
Bathtub and toilet

Bathtub and toilet


and I took photos of the tiles around the bathroom which had silhouettes of animals on them
8f5c98f0-c092-11ea-a65d-6f2f28ffac31.JPGDecorative tiles - wolf and bison

Decorative tiles - wolf and bison


Ergonomic soap - hole for holding it

Ergonomic soap - hole for holding it

I took photos of the soap (in the shape of a bear and one in the shape of a leaf)
Leaf soap

Leaf soap


9cee1bb0-c092-11ea-a65d-6f2f28ffac31.JPGSink with hair dryer and closeup of the soaps in the bathroom - this is the bear soap

Sink with hair dryer and closeup of the soaps in the bathroom - this is the bear soap


The sink and the mirror were outside the bathroom so someone could shave while someone else was using the shower. Our window looked out toward Old Faithful and you could see if it was going off from the window. It was screened so photos from there wouldn't be very good,
Thru the screen from the room

Thru the screen from the room


but was very convenient for my grandson who is much more mobile and he was able to run outside to take pictures very quickly
Old Faithful

Old Faithful


Plush animal in room (for sale)

Plush animal in room (for sale)


In our room was a felt buffalo that we could buy to support the park.

We went back downstairs
Back of Old Faithful Inn - through the screen

Back of Old Faithful Inn - through the screen


Directional sign by the fireplace

Directional sign by the fireplace


I felt that we had to have lunch but the Old Faithful Inn dining room wasn't open.

Off the lobby is a place called the "Bear Pit" Lounge;
Bear Pit

Bear Pit


We never tried to eat here. The website says: Adorned with etched glass panels inspired by the original wooden Bear Pit Murals, the lounge offers a pleasant locale for a drink, appetizers and fond recollections of the day.

We saw a sign that there was a cafeteria off the lobby, so we went into the deli, and got sandwiches (I had to sit down on my cane in the cashiers line because the woman in front of us was trying to make her kid promise to eat something if she bought it, and she took an incredibly long time doing that.) There was also a bake shop.

We ate the sandwiches sitting next to the entrance of the West Wing as I did not have the energy to go back to our room. J's was some kind of lunch meat,
Grandson's Sandwich

Grandson's Sandwich


and mine was a Dagwood sub, which was soggy.
My soggy Dagwood sub

My soggy Dagwood sub


I got cranberry juice to drink, and we shared a cinnamon bun
Too sweet

Too sweet


which we both thought had too much icing. We didn't try the ice cream.

J. ran out to take photos of Old Faithful when it went off at 1500.
Grandson's picture

Grandson's picture


I just took a photo from outside the Inn
Old Faithful erupting

Old Faithful erupting


My dad's photo in 1948

My dad's photo in 1948


Then we decided to drive down to Grand Teton NP so I could get my National Park Passport stamped. We stopped at Kepler Cascades and J. got out and took some photos,
100_5719.jpgJ's photo of Kepler Falls - looking down

J's photo of Kepler Falls - looking down

Bottom of the Kepler Cascades

Bottom of the Kepler Cascades


and then we stopped
100_5726.jpgShoshone Lake on drive down to Grand Teton Park

Shoshone Lake on drive down to Grand Teton Park


at the Shoshone Lake overlook. We went across the Continental Divide three times and I stopped once and took J's picture standing next to the sign.
Continental Divide

Continental Divide

Who scratched the tree?

Who scratched the tree?

Driving in Grand Tetons

Driving in Grand Tetons


We got down to Grand Teton - the John D Rockefeller Memorial Parkway.
John D Rockefeller Drive sign

John D Rockefeller Drive sign


First stop at Grand Teton - Flagg Ranch gift shop

First stop at Grand Teton - Flagg Ranch gift shop


Flagg Ranch was the first place we came to. It was raining a lot and there was a lot of standing water on the roads. We went into the lodge there and they said the ranger station where we could have gotten my passport stamped was closed. Since it was such bad weather and I was getting sleepy, I decided to turn around and go back.
Back to Yellowstone in the rain

Back to Yellowstone in the rain

Free for us with Golden Age Pass

Free for us with Golden Age Pass


Then of course it cleared up.

We stopped at Scaup Lake and took some reflection photos.
cf72b1e0-c092-11ea-a65d-6f2f28ffac31.JPGJ. at Scaup Lake

J. at Scaup Lake

Reflections

Reflections

Falls

Falls


We got back to the Old Faithful Inn (OFI) about 1900 after 117 miles. That takes care of the 75 mile problem
From the parking lot to the East Wing

From the parking lot to the East Wing


I thought it was time for dinner. I called on J's phone, but the first reservation we could get in the dining room was 21:15, and I thought that was too late, so we ate in the Fountain area of the General Store. Built in 1897, this was the first store in the Old Faithful area. Adjacent to the Old Faithful Inn, the unique burl wood highlights
Burled wood of the General Store

Burled wood of the General Store


original marble counter and fountain stools represent the National Park’s rustic tradition. (You can eat at the counter or they will bring your food to the table - we are at the counter.)
100_4611.JPGFountain and tables

Fountain and tables

Menu

Menu

Sitting at the counter having dinner - reflected in mirror

Sitting at the counter having dinner - reflected in mirror


They cook each meal to order so service isn't always completely efficient, but the workers try to please. I don't remember what we had for dinner but a cheeseburger and fries was $8.10.

It was still light, so I suggested to J that he do the loop around the hotel and look at the thermal features, and he did. These photos below are all his

First Old Faithful again, and then he saw
Beehive Geyser (not erupting at this time)

Beehive Geyser (not erupting at this time)


and many other pools and geysers
Chinese hot spring

Chinese hot spring


Bubbling hot spring

Bubbling hot spring

Ear pool

Ear pool


large_100_5784.jpgSawmill geyser

Sawmill geyser

Liberty pool

Liberty pool

large_100_5788.jpg
100_5791.jpg100_5793.jpg
d91b6fa0-c0bc-11ea-9afe-b99c503adf9c.jpgAlgae mat

Algae mat


Hot spring with algae

Hot spring with algae

Orange Spring

Orange Spring

Rainbow of death

Rainbow of death


Rainbow

Rainbow


Chromatic pool

Chromatic pool


Beauty Pool

Beauty Pool


large_100_5805.jpgAurum geyser

Aurum geyser

Doublet pool

Doublet pool


Grotto geyser

Grotto geyser


Castle geyser

Castle geyser


large_100_5814.jpg
Old Faithful and the Inn

Old Faithful and the Inn


While he was gone, I organized my stuff and left a wake-up call for 6:30 and ordered box lunches for the next day. He came back about 2100, very cold as he only had on a short sleeved shirt and a jacket.

We had no internet, but we downloaded the photos out of the cameras and did some editing.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 18:53 Archived in USA Tagged fisherman yellowstone bison grand_teton

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Comments

Good to see Yellowstone, even in the rain! We stayed in one of the cabins at the OFI - not as atmospheric as the Inn itself but much cheaper, and we could still eat in the restaurant there. I don't remember if we booked ahead but I'm sure we didn't have to wait till after nine!

by ToonSarah

We stayed in a cabin the first time we were in Yellowstone too - that was when they still fed the bears at the dump and the bears would stop cars on the highway and beg for food. We were camping through the west, but without a tent - just a ground cloth and sleeping bags, and the rangers didn't think we should be sleeping outside because of the danger from bears. So we stayed in a cabin. It was the 4th of July and my sister and I had sparklers - there were no other fireworks allowed.

by greatgrandmaR

Extra for gas that has not been used, that's odd..

I didn't know that they could tell a specific time for geyser to erupt :)

by hennaonthetrek

Maybe because there's nothing much to drive to around there.

The reason for the name of Old Faithful is because you can predict when it will go off within a couple of minutes. That's also true for other geysers, but Old Faithful's eruptions are close together and very predictable.

by greatgrandmaR

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