After a cold September night in Yellowstone’s Madison Campground sleeping in a tent and Deb in the back of her truck, we were thrilled to learn our next night would be warm and comfortable. Deb’s sister, Cindy, called to say a relative’s plans had changed, he would not be joining the family weekend after all and we could have his cabin behind Old Faithful Lodge for a night.
We were very lucky regarding accommodations for our entire time in the park. We arrived with no reservations, except one for the wrong date at Madison Campground and, as it transpired, every day after the first night in our gifted cabin, we would inquire about cancellations as we checked out and every day we received the good news that another cabin was available. We spent a second night at Old Faithful in different cabin, then a night in a Lake Lodge cabin, and our last at Mammoth Hot Springs. It couldn’t have worked out better if we’d planned each step.
The Old Faithful Inn
From the photos I’d seen of the Old Faithful Inn, I expected grandeur, but what I felt on entering was more big and cuddly. The Ahwahnee at Yosemite is grand, others in Yellowstone were more upscale, but I’d describe the Old Faithful Inn as a big teddy bear of a hotel, friendly and embracing with a relaxed and outdoorsy historic ambiance. The dining room was large but casual and the coffee bar up 1 flight of stairs invited visitors to pick up a latte and relax in a rocking chair to watch the comings and goings below. Or go outside onto the deck above the front portico to relax and wait for the next eruption.
I wanted to see and take pictures of one of the rooms along the hallways off the lobby and the shared bathrooms farther along. Staff was cleaning when I ventured into a guest room hallway and they were happy to let me look. Having been in the big public ladies room near the lobby, I was pleased to see its beautiful tile-work also in the guest restrooms, along with commodious bathing rooms, complete with clawfoot tubs.
Geysers are hard things to photograph, water obscured by mist, the closer you get the less you seem to see. I found myself a spot at the end of one of the front benches and waited with the crowd for the anticipated eruption of Old Faithful Geyser. I think if it had adhered precisely to the posted schedule, it might have been less exciting. But it doesn’t, so each small preliminary spout elicits audible excitement until it finally goes off full force and there is no more doubt. It’s a very satisfying experience, to say the least.
Old Faithful at Sunset
After the show I sat for a while as the benches emptied until I was alone. Deb turned up and about that time my phone rang. It was my son calling. I confess I hadn’t told him I was going away, my running-away-from-home impulse in action. He lives 3 hours drive away from me, a text from Yellowstone the same as a text from home, our usual way of communicating. I figured no one would miss me. So I had the pleasure of telling him exactly where I was and what I’d just seen followed by the usual chat. I’d call that perfect timing.
See Dr. Fumblefinger's beautiful photos of the Old Faithful Inn, here.
Yellowstone National Park
Next week, Yellowstone’s Upper Geyser Basin.
All chapters of PortMoresby's Yellowstone.
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