|She's so cooperative.|
I was looking forward to this most iconic piece of the park. When we got there, though, I was a little beat down. We spent forever in the packed gift shop, stood in line for the bathroom twice, and having already promised Cate ice cream I had to stand in a line about 15 people deep. I was so ready to get out of there. We stood and waited for Old Faithful to erupt with about a hundred other people all with cameras at the ready. Though Cate had been excited to see the geyser when we got there, by the time the water starting spewing, she was already over it.
If you’re going to Old Faithful, here’s my advice: watch it with the crowd if you must, but then get on the trail behind it as quickly as possible. There is a fraction of the people there, and you can still have a great view of the most famous geyser as you hike. Once we got on the trail, I was able to see it more as an element of amazing natural beauty and less like an attraction at an amusement park. Plus, the geysers and hot springs along that trail are pretty amazing in their own rights. It’s so strange to be walking by what looks like a small pond and to see it boiling as if it were a pot on a stove. Pictures don’t even begin to capture it: the sound of trickling, rolling, or spewing water, the smell of sulfur, the oranges, blues, and greens of thriving micro organisms. Some of the springs look like a cave turned inside out. Some of them look like the cenotes we’ve seen in Mexico, with crystal clear water. Some of them look like a boiling mud puddle. It’s amazing the depths of the diversity of the world we live in. It made me feel the way I do when I stand next to the ocean: small. In a good way.