Tuesday, May 14, 2013

There's something going on with Old Faithful

Old Faithful was 48 MINUTES LATE. In my more than 40 years of going to Yellowstone, that's its worst performance ever. It was acting like some kind of puffed-up rock star telling his manager, "I'll go out there when I'm good and ready, and not before."

Fortunately, we had brought along wine and cheese, so -- and I want Old Faithful's managers to hear this -- we really didn't care whether it went off or not. Sitting on the portico of the Old Faithful Inn on a perfect spring afternoon drinking wine and eating cheese is its own reward. The geyser finally went off and, I must say, it was weak and anticlimactic. It probably portends a massive eruption of the super volcano on top of which sits Yellowstone National Park, and that would essentially put an end to most of civilization. Meanwhile, another nibble of Camembert, please.

Yellowstone was otherwise a tad disappointing. We saw no cavorting bison calves, the elk had yet to give birth, we saw no bears, and were otherwise disappointed with the animal turnout. And yet ...

A spring day at Yellowstone with good friends (Park and Sharon Price) that doesn't include massive animal sightings and involves a reluctant Old Faithful is still better than about any other way to spend those hours. We started with breakfast at the Granary with a panoramic view of Jackson Hole and the Teton Range and made a stop at Jackson Lake for some great photography. Dinner was at West Yellowstone's only upscale bistro, and we pulled into our driveway just as the last of a spectacular sunset was fading.

I've said it before ... that's a good day. Even if it was one of the last.

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