Travel Journal, September 14, 2007
This was a lazy day. We stayed in the campground until a little after 2 P.M. piddling with various projects. I got ahead a ways on the diary entries of Gideon Welles, the Union Navy Secretary during the American Civil War, which I am publishing day by day in my Daily Chronicles of the American Civil War, currently posting from September 1863. After that I set up our new wireless router so that Karen and I can be online at the same time. We also took a walk around the campground. The horses below were on the range land west of the campground.
Before going into the park, we went through a few of the shops in West Yellowstone. We saw some interesting things — many of them too expensive, in my view. But we restrained ourselves and didn’t buy anything before we headed into the park for dinner at Old Faithful Inn.
Construction on Old Faithful Inn started in 1903. The architect and construction crews worked through the winter to have it ready for guests in June 1904. It’s really hard to get a single picture to show what the inside of the inn is like. This picture is a composite created from 21 photos. The beams are straight, not curved. It’s an effect resulting from the blending of multiple images taken from one spot, but it does give a good idea of what the place is like.
We had dinner reservations for 6 P.M. and got there quite a bit early. It was nice to be able to just sit around and relax, looking at various things and taking pictures. The next photo is of the dining room at the inn. It’s taken from a second floor balcony that overlooks the room. Our table was the second one through the doorway at the top of the picture. The meal was good, but pricey.
Before supper we were treated to a long and impressive eruption of Old Faithful, which we viewed from the balcony over the entrance to the lobby of the inn. It had been raining not to long before this, and we were reluctant to stray too far from shelter since we didn’t have any rain gear with us.
After dinner, on the other hand, there was a very short and less powerful eruption than the previous two that we had observed this trip. I had been asked to take some pictures of a group of people, using their camera, of course. After I took the first picture, Old Faithful started erupting, 4 minutes earlier than predicted and the eruption was so brief that I was only able to get a couple of shots before it started petering out. From our experience, it usually teases the viewers by spitting and sputtering a few times before it actually erupts. This time, it started erupting with no warning.
We made it back to the campground after dark. Fortunately, we didn’t encounter any wildlife on the road.