I am pleased to bring you Saturday's edition of Not Eaten By a Bear Yet. Yup, still in Yellowstone National Park. The thing about walking around a bunch of people who are gazing at geysers is if somebody lets one rip, you couldn't tell the difference between a toot or the sulphur. The smell of sulphur is really strong. Coupled with carbon dioxide, the sulphur and a high altitude, it's not unusual for your nose to bleed. Small price to pay for paradise.
I generally get up around 5 AM, throw on my down jacket and walk the 15 minutes it takes me to go from Old Faithful Inn over to the Snow Lodge. We picked Old Faithful Inn to stay at because it's historic but we didn't end up with a room in the historic part. We got the newer wing, but the toilet still has its problems. We have a view of geysers from several windows, but it might have been more fun to be in the original inn. All those rooms, and the lobby and restaurant, are original log construction. It was built in 1903 by 100 men, and it took about a year.
On the other hand, the Snow Lodge was built in 1999, but it has Internet service and Old Faithful does not. As I mentioned earlier, it also has better food and a better menu. It's situated directly across from the new Visitor's Center, which opened 2 months ago. We joined the Yellowstone Association, which you can do inside the Visitor's Center, and they gave us a stuffed wolf as a gift. Not a real stuffed wolf. In fact, we haven't yet seen a real wolf, but we did spot a coyote in with a group of bison.
It's pretty cold in the morning. Frost is on the ground. The secret is to wear layers. I wear a t-shirt over a base layer and a windbreaker or pullover. By around 10 AM, I'm down to a base layer and t-shirt. By noon, just the t-shirt. At 3 PM, I'm naked. It was noon yesterday when we reached the end of a 2.6 mile hike at Fairy Falls. We shot photos of chipmunks mostly and the falls. But 5.2 miles took its toll on my feet. Even with hiking boots. On our way back, Adam climbed up the hill to shoot an overview of Grand Prismatic Spring, which I'll show you next week. It's super cool.
Afterward, we grabbed a picnic lunch and headed over to Lake Lodge about 40 miles away. This is another log-constructed building. Somebody ran Romex over the top of horizontal logs under the front porch. Looks like a code violation, the Romex out in the open like that. This lodge sits directly across from Lake Yellowstone. At this time of year, it was very quiet, hardly anybody there. Ditto at Fishing Bridge, a few miles away. Definitely a good time of year to visit Yellowstone.
But it saddens me to see so much deferred maintenance at Lake Lodge. The windows need to be painted and reglazed. Maybe they could organize a group of volunteers to come in the spring, before the crowds arrive? This is what happens when funding is taken away from parks. People will pay double the price of admission to Yellowstone to go see actors stuffed into fake animal outfits parade around for a day, but they'll scream bloody murder if they have to pay more than $25 a week to go to a National Park.
The photo above is of Adam walking along a path toward Lake Yellowstone. The photos below are Fairy Falls, Lake Lodge front porch, Lake Yellowstone shoreline, and Fishing Bridge. You can't fish from Fishing Bridge anymore because Cutthroat Trout breed underneath it. I looked at a photo of the bridge on the information plaque from 1962, and it was bumper-to-bumper visitors. Not so in October.
Photos: Elizabeth Weintraub