Friday, June 3, 2011
Day 10 - Yellowstone - worth all the crappy weather!
We have complained about the weather and today wasn't a whole lot better but the park is truly worth it. We travelled the lower loop today which took us to Old Faithful Visitor's Center - a brand new facility with outstanding exhibits including a kids' science room with a manmade geyser. Wish we had A. and H. here with us to see this.
Each of the Visitor Centers (and there are 5 in Yellowstone) has a different theme - with this one's focus being on the hydrothermal activity related to geysers and hot springs - many of which we passed coming into the park. The park lies over an active volcano and so the various eruptions (both smelly and non) are ways for the earth to release the pressure before the whole thing blows up (which apparently did happen 640,000 years ago)
We also learned that the word geyser comes from Icelandic verb "geysa" - to gush. There are only about 4 other geysers in the world which are the size/magnitude of Old Faithful and it really was exciting ( as you tell from my expressions on the video) to see it go up.(better if viewed in large screen size).
Our next stop was the Old Faithful lodge built at the turn of the century. It was spared in the fire of 1988 when most of the rest of the area was burned out. It is an absolutely gorgeous building with a fireplace that rises through about 5 stories. For sister-in-law J. niece M., and granddaughter A., this is the lodge that was used as a model for the Disney Wilderness Lodge where we spent New Year's Eve, 2007!
The rest of the day was spent travelling to other Visitor Centers to hear about the great fire of '88 and regeneration in the park following (amazing how it has come back - different but just as beautiful).; as well as hearing about the ravens in the park, how they mate for life, live 25 years, and are just as smart as you might think.
Oh - and we got to see lots of these little guys.
We returned to our campsite in time to have a great meal which we could actually eat outside given that the weather had cleared. Tomorrow - SUN they say and we will head to the rest of the Visitors Centers thhn check out the highway to the Grand Tetons.