Friday, 11 November 2016

Vacation 2016 Day 9

Edited to add: This is part of a series. The Vacation 2016 story begins here.

Aug 30

We had to leave our tiny cabins on this day, but not the park. I had booked two cabins for two more nights at the Lake Village area. Even though I booked our accommodations 10 months in advance, these were the only 4 days in a row that had 2 cabins available. I assume if you care you will look on a map to see the places I'm talking about, but anyway... The park roads make a figure 8, more or less, with a sprout out in 5 directions to the various entrances. Our first stay was at "Tower-Roosevelt," on the northeast side. Lake Village is in the middle of the east side of the lower loop of the "8."

So our 2nd full day in the park we packed up (I had cleaned the van the night before) and went on a long winding trip to the new place, stopping at some of the major geological features of the park.
I also got a craving for nachos, but cheese dip was nowhere to be found. Finally got a jar of salsa and a bag of tortilla chips, and that was refreshing. Yeah, most days we ate cheese crackers for lunch and Vienna sausages or ham sandwiches for supper. I tried to keep us in fresh fruit, though canned oranges were also popular, and carrot sticks and chips helped round out the meals.

But back to the sightseeing. We looked at more hot springs, mudpots, waterfalls, the Sheepeater Cliffs, and finally wound our way to Old Faithful. Here's another thing about Yellowstone. Old Faithful has to be one of the top 3 attractions, but it's a good 2 hours from any other major stop. And, though the eruptions are predictable, the ONLY place to find out when the next eruption is due is AT the "Old Faithful Village." (There's another thing. The park has its own little language. There are pulloffs and picnic areas scattered here and there, but the major tourist spots are called villages. Some are larger than others, but most have a central parking area, a lodge or restaurant, and a store and/or gas station, post office, ranger station, or museum).
 Anyway... when we arrived, we walked straight over to the geyser, where a nice paved area with new composite-wood benches waited for our viewing pleasure. Several people were seated, waiting, so we picked out a spot and settled in to wait and see what to do next. I heard some folks talking about the time, and realized it was about 30 minutes until the eruption. So some of us went in to the bathrooms, etc.  We got to see and video the eruption, and it was very nice. Then we looked around in the Inn, and poked into the shop. While I was in line to check out, a tv was playing a slideshow of park information, and I caught a slide out of the corner of my eye that indicated the next eruption of Old Faithful was 2 o'clock the following day. I don't know if it was am or pm, but I know if the park management expects people to be able to see its most famous sight, they need to do a better job of providing information. We got "lucky" and were able to see it with a reasonable wait time. But what if we had decided to walk around one more hot spot on the way over? Then we'd be stuck with tired and discouraged children (not to mention adults), trying to decide if we come back tomorrow or go on with our plans of seeing Jackson. You know? It's not like you can just pop over there and get back on the road.
We wanted to eat some "wild" meat, and hoped to find something at the Old Faithful village, but the big Inn required reservations, and neither of the other two restaurants had anything. So it was picnic again, and on to our new cabins at the Lake village.

The Lake was a big attraction back in the day, and there is a big historical hotel there, but we stayed in cabins around back. Once again, the boys got a bigger room, but the girls' room was nicer. Both had electric heat and indoor plumbing.


Wil said...

"...they need to do a better job of providing information..."

I've found this to be true at several places I've visited in the past few years. One would think that with almost universal internet access that this process would be easier than it used to be (and *sometimes* it is), but often it seems very difficult to find out simple information.

As an example, before our Portland trip, I googled quite a bit to make a list of various tourist attractions -- as well as parks with playgrounds where we could take our children for breaks -- and other interesting things to see. But while we were there, I kept running across things that made me say: "I wish THIS had been listed somewhere". I didn't know about the "Portland Aerial Tram" until my last day in the area, and didn't know what it was until after we arrived back home.

As for the Old Faithful eruption not being until the "next day", that seems odd. Most online sources say its regular eruptions are every 90 minutes or so. "Its average interval between eruptions is about 91 minutes, varying from 65 - 92 minutes" -- from and another page says it's anywhere from 68 to 94 minutes between eruptions: ...

So I think you'd have been okay if you missed one.

MamaOlive said...

Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm feeling the love.