National Parks Tour: Yellowstone National Park (cont.)

Thursday, September 9, 2021 (cont.).

The next scheduled eruption for Old Faithful is estimated for 5:27. There are plenty of spots on the benches right in front of it but there is no shade. We decided we were going to wait instead of going back to the Lodge. We also chose to sit in a shady spot under a tree that is fairly close to the action. A large tree limb and a tree stump kept us from having to sit on the ground.

There are several geysers in this area including Castle Geyser and Grand Geyser. You could see their steam in the distance. The Park staff keep an outside sign updated with the names of the geysers and their estimated times for eruption – key word being “estimated.”

While we waited for Old Faithful to put on its show, one of the other geysers erupted and we could see some of the spout from where we were sitting. As the time got closer to 5:00, more people started showing up to occupy a space on one of the benches. A few, like us, chose the shade of trees a little farther back.

At 5:18, Old Faithful made its appearance. First you could see more steam, then you saw it start to bubble, and then it exploded. People clapped and cheered. Round of applause for Mother Nature.

Video of Old Faithful

According to Park literature, Old Faithful erupts between every 40 and 90 minutes with an average show of 4 minutes. The water temperature is around 200 degrees F. The height of the spout is determined by the water table. The spout is usually higher in the Spring when the water table is at its fullest. It was named in 1870 by Nathaniel P. Langford, a member of the 1870 Washburn Expedition-who named many of the thermal features of the Upper Geyser Basin. The geysers erupt because Yellowstone National Park is a volcano.

Even though Yellowstone National Park actually blowing up has little chance of occurring in my lifetime, the information in the Visitor Center was sobering – The volcanic eruption of Yellowstone could be expected to kill as many as 90,000 people immediately and spread a 10-foot (3-meter) layer of molten ash as far as 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) from the park. The volcanic ash would block off all points of ground entry, and the atmospheric ash and gases would stop most air travel. Sulfuric gases released from the volcano into the atmosphere would mix with the planet’s water vapor. The haze of gas would dim the sunlight and also would cool temperatures. Falling temperatures would decimate crops and throw the food chain into disarray. Shiver.

But, until catastrophe does happen, we will continue to clap and cheer as Old Faithful allows Yellowstone to let off some steam.

The show over, we head back to the Lodge restaurant to use our dinner coupons. I ordered the Wild game Bolognese and Chuck ordered the Bison short-ribs. Dinners came with salad and dessert. Everything was boxed up and bagged so again we took it all back to the room. The food was excellent but the portions were very large. I’m saving my dessert for tomorrow morning. In retrospect, we should have used one dinner ticket on Wednesday night and one dinner ticket on Thursday night and split the meals. Live and learn.

The room felt hotter than the night before. I hoped it would cool down as much as it did last night. I worked on getting my photos to download. Chuck read. If you like to watch television, you are out of luck in these rooms. No TV. Better have something downloaded to a device. As I mentioned, my Verizon network was okay but I heard others say they had no service with their provider. I never was able to connect to any WIFI.

Next Up – Jackson, Wyoming

Travel Trivia

Yellowstone National Park

It is the world’s first national park.

The park is located within 96% in Wyoming, 3% in Montana, and 1% in Idaho.

Yellowstone is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

There are more than 300 active geysers in the park.

There are 92 trailheads that access approximately 1000 miles of trails.

Yellowstone hosts aroundfour million visits each year. More than half of these visits happen during June, July, and August.

More people are hurt by Bison in Yellowstone than are hurt by bears.

Wyoming – The Equality State

The Crow, Arapaho, Lakota, and Shoshone were some of the original inhabitants of this area. The land that is now southwestern Wyoming became a part of the Spanish Empire, and later Mexican territory, until it was ceded to the United States in 1848 at the end of the Mexican–American War. French-Canadian trappers from Québec and Montréal ventured into the area in the late 18th century. John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, itself guided by French Canadian Toussaint Charbonneau and his young Shoshone wife, Sacagawea, first described the region in 1807.

The region’s population grew steadily after the Union Pacific Railroad reached the town of Cheyenne in 1867 and it soon became a territory. Wyoming became the 44th state on July 10, 1890.

Wyoming was the first territory that gave women the right to vote. On September 6, 1870, Louisa Ann Swain of Laramie, Wyoming became the first woman to cast a vote in a general election.

In 1902, James Cash Penney, the founder of the J.C. Penney Stores established his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming.

The first female governor in American history was elected in Wyoming. Her name was Nellie Ross and she was the wife of Wyoming governor, William Bradford Ross. After her husband died in office, she was elected to finish his tenure.

In Wyoming, it is against the law to wear a hat that interferes with other people’s view in theaters or places of amusement.

Forty-eight percent of the state is owned by the US government. The federal owned holdings include an Air Force Base in the capital city, the National Grasslands and the famous national forests.

The Wyoming pronghorn is the fastest land animal in the western hemisphere. These animals can travel at speeds of 60-70 mph.

The horse on the Wyoming license plate was modeled after “Old Steamboat” – a bronco in the early 1900s that was said could not be ridden.

A person may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April without an official permit.

Bigfoot has been allegedly sighted several times in Wyoming in the Wind River Mountains, Yellowstone, Teton Forest, and Snow King Mountain near Jackson. The only known monument in the United States built in honor of a prostitute is located south of Lusk, Wyoming. Called the Old Mother Feather Legs Shepard Monument, it was erected in 1964.

*Trivia provided by Wikipedia, Yellowstone National Park literature, and Globus

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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