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Old Faithful
Tuesday 16th of August 2011 07:46 AM

By Kim L. Fritzemeier

KFRM Central Kansas Reporter

Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line

Do you remember those little flip books when you were a kid? You put your thumb along the right side and ruffle the pages of the book, making it look like you're watching a movie.

I could make my own flip book with the photos I took of Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone. Then I wouldn't need to pay $4.50 from the Yellowstone gift shop. Actually, I didn't buy a flip book, though I did rifle through one when we were standing in line.

But I did take several of my 568 photos before, during and after Old Faithful's eruption.

(We have a family joke about overzealous photography. When I merrily click away, my family will remind me of my priceless set of photos of the Rose Parade in Pasadena. They were taken on a family vacation when I was a fifth grader. There are dozens of photos of the brilliantly-colored, flower-filled floats ... all in black and white. In my parents' defense, it was much cheaper to develop black and white film back in the day.)

While my Old Faithful photos aren't in black and white, they aren't the best. The sky was filled with fluffy white clouds, so the plume blended into the background. And as the geyser erupted, there were dark clouds racing up behind us, casting a shadow. But we weren't going to wait another 90 minutes for the next eruption, so it just had to be good enough. (And Randy is again thankful for the advent of digital photography. He couldn't afford me otherwise.)

I'm guessing the guy to Randy's left got better photos than I did. He had three cameras with him, including the long lens. I'm sure there were hundreds of photos taken of that particular eruption, since most of the people in the semi-circle around Old Faithful had cameras with them.

It is one of those stops in Yellowstone that you have to make, since Old Faithful is easily the most famous of the attractions. But it wasn't my favorite by a long shot.

These were contenders:

Blue Star Spring near Old Faithful. What can I say? I love blue.

The vivid colors at the Grand Prismatic Spring are the result of pigmented bacteria. Who knew bacteria and minerals could be so pretty?

Hundreds of yellow water lilies filled the Isa Lake at the Continental Divide, elevation 8,262 feet.

The sign said we were standing at the peaked roof of the continent and the upper watershed for two of the nation's most extensive drainage systems - the Snake and Columbia Rivers and the Missouri and Mississippi. Isa Lake drains in two different directions.

As the sun was setting, a storm was rolling in as we drove along Yellowstone Lake and back to our motel in Jackson, Wyo.

But my favorite snapshots in our 12-hour excursion into the park was the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

America the Beautiful? Yes, it truly is.


   Respond to this Entry
Response 1
Tuesday 16th of August 2011 01:15:52 PM
Submitted by: Bob
I remember when I went there as a kid. I want to go again. Can you still see the results of the forest fire from several years ago.
Response 2
Wednesday 17th of August 2011 08:21:01 AM
Submitted by: Kim
Yes, you can definitely still see the effects of the 1988 forest fire. (We were surprised it had been so long ago. I guess time gets away from us!) But it also reminded us of the effects of burning a pasture around here. Even though there were areas that looked like the pick-up-sticks you played with as a kid - with dried up lodge pine tree trunks lying in every direction from that fire 20-plus years ago - there was a lot of green growth coming up to replace it. I would definitely recommend another trip to Yellowstone. We only had a day to do it. We pushed hard to see a lot in 12 hours, but we could definitely spent more days there. Beautiful! I think it would also be pretty in the fall.

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