Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Old Faithful Winter Day 2

I'd be quite willing to wake every morning and look out my back window at snow and trees encircling me.

And boil some water for coffee.

The next photo shows Aurum Geyser erupting. Notice the engulfed handrail of the adjoining boardwalk.

My geyser timing continued to be very lucky during my visit because that one only erupts once every 2 1/2 to 5 hours. But imagine how unlucky you would be if you happened to be standing on that boardwalk where I found the snow and ice turned into mush when I reached it. Sometimes a hot shower isn't what you want in the morning.

I had a lucky weekend for geysers but not for hiking. My plan for this day was to go up to Biscuit and Black Sand Basins and see if I could feel the ground near Black Sand Pool thumping underfoot as a couple people had told me to experience. I started out on the most direct route but bison soon forced me into a long circuitous detour. Eventually I came out from behind some trees and faced this herd by the river.

I decided I wasn't going to make it to my goal that day and headed back again.

In time to watch some people watching Old Faithful.

Then I decided to take a shortcut to see how things looked at another trailhead I'd been told about but had never hiked. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but when one leg wound up immovable in thigh deep snow I had second thoughts and wondered if I'd rather die from embarrassment calling for help or from exposure overnight. With some gradual twisting, I eventually got myself free but not before my knee started loudly complaining about the whole experience.

Since the bison and the threat of my knee getting worse were curtailing hiking, I decided I'd head home a day early the following day.

That's a real raven, not a sign ornament. We'll get a closer look at one in the next installment.

A side view of my cabin. Yep, I could play Thoreau there.

That night I went on an evening tour, which included a stop at another place I hadn't been, Kepler Cascades, where we listened to the waterfall in the dark. Then on to see some geysers erupting in the light of our headlamps and flashlights. It was fun to get out in the park on a quiet winter night, but didn't make for great photographs.

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