Crossing the Divide into Yellowstone National Park

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Sunday, June 10, 2012

"...a thousand Yellowstone wonders are calling. Look up and down and round about you."
                                                                -John Muir

June 10 and we are on our way to breakfast. What is this white stuff in the air? Snow! Really? We were amazed! A lecture after breakfast prepared us for our later-in-the-day trip to Yellowstone NP. Our guide, Roger, had been a park ranger in Yellowstone for some 20 years and so had his wife, Carol, our coordinator. They were both so knowledgeable and passionate about the areas we were about to explore. In "Geology 101" Roger reminded us of a boiled egg as an analogy for the earth's layers: yolk=core, white=mantle, shell=crust; the proportions very similar. Some of the most interesting facts about Yellowstone are the names and descriptions of the thermal features: geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and fumeroles---more on those later.

After the lecture we were headed for Yellowstone! As our bus climbed in elevation, we were seeing heavier snowfall and then driving through beautiful frosty landscapes. I thought I was in Narnia, where it's always winter! We made a stop at the Continental Divide, where we got off the bus and took pictures. I guess many folks on this trip were pretty ho-hum about the snow but for Floridians like us, it was an awesome surprise! Once again sack lunches were eaten on the bus.

The Old Faithful Inn is old and famous and we were very excited to be staying there, if only for two nights. It is said that its style is known as "parkitecture."  We were disappointed to hear that the huge fireplace which is the focal point of the lobby was being renovated. Sure enough it was shrouded in plastic. The Old Faithful Inn inspired the Wilderness Hotel at Disney World so we figured we would have to visit it when we got back to Orlando just to compare the two. We arrived at the Inn just in time to observe Old Faithful erupting---a greatly anticipated sight!  When we got to our room on the 3rd floor, we discovered we had a perfect view so we watched the second eruption of that famous geyser while sipping wine and sitting on our bed. Does it get much better than that?!

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