Liane at Old Faithful : Soapbox Liane's final blog entry from her reporting trip to Yellowstone National Park
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Liane at Old Faithful

Sitting at the Denver airport waiting for a plane. On the way to the airport, we stopped to pick up some stereo sound of a babbling brook, a spouting geyser, and the blub blub of a mud pot.

Yesterday was an amazing day. We went to Old Faithful. It's very strange. Benches are arranged around the geyser like an amphitheater and the visitors fill up the benches and wait for it to go off. Times of eruption are posted at the Old Faithful Inn - the rangers time the eruption, then calculate when it will go off again - usually an hour and a half later. The number of accents and languages heard here is very high. French, Australian, Russian, German, Japanese..the lady at the Old Faithful Inn says that international travel is way up this year.

We also climbed to the "widows' walk at the very top of the Inn. There we talked with Jeff Henry, who took great photos of the 88 fire as it approached. He said it sounded like jet planes, and the smoke was suffocating. Turns out the Inn had recently installed a "deluge" fire sprinkler system, which with the help of countless firefighters saved the place which is over 100 years old and make of lodge pole pine.

We almost were late for the appointment. There was a 45 minute backup behind a big old bison who just swerved along the middle of the road.
Aside from the mountains, meadows, forests, waterfalls, and rivers - the most spectacular feature of this place are the geo thermals - geysers, etc. There is a place called Porcelain Lake - it looks frozen, but it is all salt and steam with a few sky blue pools. Very inviting, very dangerous. That stuff can eat your boots off.

And saving the best for last, I found a beaded belt in the Madison Hotel gift shop in West, Montana. Blue beads spell out Yellowstone Park. Yes!! The only downside is that it is too small to wear. Oh well, it will make a nice addition to my collection.