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09/21/2001: Friday 9/21/01
The sky dawned clear this equinox morn. The frost glistened on the cars I saw through the dirty glass and torn screens of the cabin window. Karen woke chipper, I woke slowly. We left the smelly, shabby cabin at 10ish.
Entering the West Thumb Geyser Basin in the morning
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West Thumb geysers are big, but mellow.
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"Paint pots", colorful algae, and yellowstone lake just beyond
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Deep geyser pools full of clear, hot mineral water
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We headed west to the West Thumb Geyser Basin. I tried to find some quiet time, staring into, listening to, feeling the steam from, melding with the fuming cones, holes, and mellow geysers there. Waves of tourists came and went. Karen worried that I was morose. I was quiet, introspective, and just very there. Zen. I needed that. We left at noon, and drove up to the Divide Picnic Area. We ate beneath tall trees waving in the breeze. Then, on to the main tourist attraction, Old Faithful. This area is very built up. We checked the prediction, and watched the hole blow at about 2:15.
Obligatory snapshot of Old Faithful
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A view inside Old Faithful Inn, the world's largest log cabin
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More detail in the Old Faithful Inn
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The Old Faithful Inn behind a bubbling geyser spout
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We were both tired and craving cappuccino. We asked at a gift shop, and were directed to the Old Faithful Inn. Now, this Inn is well worth visiting. The largest log cabin ever built. Fancy use of twisted pine branches. Really cool. They also have a real cappuccino kiosk on the second floor, overlooking the lobby, and adjacent to the deck from which Old Faithful can be seen. We had cinnamon scones and 2 double cappuccinos on the balcony. By this time of day, flannel shirt sleeves in the shade with a warm cup in hand was perfect. We then walked around the near geysers. Each has its own personality. My hat once blew off of Karen's head. She had to go a few (forbidden) paces off of the boardwalk to retrieve it. Fortunately, it was in a fairly stable area. We looked into dining at the Inn, but the wait was already 2 hours.
Elk by the water. Note the recovering forest, which burned off in the late 1980's
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One Elk
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Two elk (female across the water)
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We drove on out to West Yellowstone, MT. On the road out, we saw several groups of Bison, and a couple of groups of Elk. West Yellowstone is in the process of closing down the summer trade. Hotel rates just dropped this week. Gift shops are open for only a couple of more weeks. In about a month, the snow business trade starts up.
We stayed at the Branding Iron Inn, and walked through town to dine at the Three Bears. We plan to spend tomorrow in the Park, and the night at either the North or South ends. Then out, to wend our way home.
Next: Saturday 9/22/01

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