Yellowstone (Bogs, Geysers, and O.F.)
- CDT Miles: 1,976.8-1,988.1 (11.3)
- Total Hiked: 1,112.9
- Elevation Range: 7,350-8200
“Old faithful!” – Dennis (in Dennis the Menace)
Twas a nice morning getting going. My tent fly was dry for a change, the sky offered up some pretty colors, and I felt some renewed energy from sleep after yesterdays long day. Mosquitos still the living worst. Even had time to pretend at being a photographer…
To start off, we entered right into the boggyness that surrounds the southwest shore of Shoshone Lake. Like squish squish squish bog. It’s really seemed that for a while now we’ve had to get our feet wet right away early in the morning. At this point, we just laugh and move on. The morning sunlight felt like it was hitting us horizontally.
And, it was cool that after only a bit, we saw some classic Yellowstone steamers. I’m not sure about the terminology of all these features: Geysers, thermal pools, etc… We’d see some cool ones today…
Leaving our bog walk the trail took us up into the forest briefly and then it opened up again as we neared Minute Man Geyser. We were loving it! As we went along, I had several times I’d just chuckle to myself. Such bizarre things.
Fun start today! It was about time to de-layer after this as we started uphill. Had some cruising to do before we reached the Firehole River and then a cutoff for Lonestar Geyser. We’d heard this one was pretty awesome, but only erupts like every 3 hours or something. We figured we’d hike the 0.3 miles trail, take second breakfast, and hope for the best.
It didn’t magically go off right when we arrived. Instead, we sat and started eating. It sprinkled on us a tad… rain, not the geyser. But, only lasted a few minutes. Then we had a nice long break there hanging and waiting. At first it was just us, but eventually a bunch of others joined too. Snickers read the log book and figured out that it “erupted” a few times over the last few weeks at 10:23am according to previous visitors. That’d be another half hour of waiting, about an hour in total maybe, but we said, what the hey, let’s just wait. Definitely worth it, cuz sure enough, that’s right when it started going off (thanks Snickers)!
So that got us pretty pumped. And now we were excited to get into “town”. About 4 more miles of forest and downhill trekking and we started to see evidence of civilization. Roads, buildings, trucks, etc…
It was a little before noon when we made it to Old Faithful Village. First thing on our to-do list was to find the lodge that Cheer had booked our cabin through and see about checking in. We were about 4 hours early, but they let us! Such a win to get that chance and so helpful for us with time constraints. Here’s our little cabin (well, half was ours), which inside resembled a small hotel room except the bathroom and showers were more shared campground style.
Next up was food. Cheer and I went to the cafeteria and got some very tasty victuals. You may be wondering, what about Old Faithful? Didn’t y’all see it right away? Well, this whole village is somewhat surrounded around the spectacular geyser and goes off every 91 minutes a sign said. So throughout the day we saw several eruptions (still not sure if that’s the word you use for it). Each time, hundreds if not thousands of folks circle the perimeter seating areas to view. Honestly, we were a little hesitant of these big crowds so for the most part watched from afar. And I didn’t really get a good pic of it going off. Guess y’all will have to visit in person (or maybe you’ll just have to wait to the next post and I may just have braved the crowds to get a vid)!
Cheer and I did some laundry across the village at the Snow Lodge, checked out the resupply options at the general store, and then ate again at the cafeteria. About this time, I’d gotten a text from a friend. We’d been communicating over the last few weeks since I knew he worked in the park and we hoped to meed up if schedules aligned. My buddy Luke who I’d worked with at the Utah Conservation Crew texted me saying he just got off and was heading my way. I didn’t know where from or how long it’d take. Service was very spotty, so our plans were very much up in the air know knowing how it would pan out. I told him where I’d be and waited, uploading blog posts and looking ahead and such.
Maybe around 6 or 7pm, Luke rolled up in his self-made camper truck and we had a joyous reunion. Over a few beers (Old Faithful Pale Ale and Bozone Amber Ale), we caught up, told stories, and learned about each other’s most recent adventures. He co-leads a youth conservation corps crew here in the park and backpacks pretty much the second he gets off work. Sounds likes a pretty sweet experience to me.
The evening ended finding Cheer and Snickers and the four of us got ice cream watching Old Faithful go off from the deck on one of these giant lodge buildings. Very fun to have these two worlds collide. Luke had driven over an hour to get to this part of the park and see me and I was super thankful for his whimsy and generous spirit of showing up. Awesome.