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Published: August 28th 2013
After a truly awful night of sleep, we dragged ourselves out of bed for some coffee and kicked off another day of sight seeing. Jon’s bites were bad and he was awfully uncomfortable. His elbow had swollen up and his skin was hot to the touch around two of the bites on his arm. I made two requests of him - 1) stop scratching! and 2) don’t tell your mother!
We walked down to watch Old Faithful
erupt again. This time we had a front row seat on the bleachers set up for viewing. We met a nice couple from Ohio traveling with their 10 year old grand daughter. What a nice thing to do together. Even better - this couple had been to Wales. Woop. Woop. The geyser erupted. People clapped... etc etc. But then, a family of bison started skirting the viewing perimeter. Suddenly the park patrol were out in force trying to keep the idiot tourists from moving in too closely to the wild, I repeat WILD, animals nearby. Seriously. People don’t think. We exited stage left and headed on a walk of the surrounding area to see the various geysers and hot springs. Yellowstone has the
This puppy can shoot between 4 and 8 thousand gallons of boiling hot water about 150 feet up into the air.
most geysers and hot springs anywhere in the world and this area has the highest concentration them. We saw some amazing formations. My favourite was the Blue Star Spring or the Beehive geyser. Jon’s favourite was the Pump Geyser.
We’d seen the sights and were preparing to head out on our next adventure when I caught Jon itching again! So, we went straight to the medical clinic. Better safe than sorry and that red swollen elbow was looking pretty bad. The doctor had a look at the symptoms and was 50:50 on his diagnosis. It was either a) a secondary infection resulting from all the scratching of the bug bites which would need to be treated with very expensive antibiotics or b) a sun burn. Hmmmm..... oddly, the red swollen area stopped where his t-shirt started. Hmmmm.... oddly, the elbow that was red was the elbow that rests on the window sill when driving a car (a US car). Just in case, we bought the expensive meds but decided to hold off on taking them just in case this was a sunburn. I love expensive medications dispensed by the doctor that prescribed them. Love it.
I also loved
the nurse. A fellow Illinoian who moved to Yellowstone when she saw the nurse job description seeking medical professionals prepared to deal with snake bites, thermal burns and the everyday turn of the mill bison goring. We asked how often she actually had to deal with these issues given all of the brochures in the waiting room were for various STDs and HIV prevention (must be a side effect of slipping in those hot springs). Her response you ask... “Not often enough” That’s my kind of nurse. The morbid blood thirsty kind.
Once this medical crisis had been averted. We headed over to the Grand Prismatic Spring
. This was by far the most amazingly beautiful natural geological feature either of us had ever seen. We walked the boardwalk to get an up close view then headed for a trail up the mountain to get a bird’s eye view as well. We’re not entirely convinced we were on a trail but there were at least two other people around so we went for it and we were pretty sure... As we were enjoying and soaking in the view, we saw two goons walking out to the edge of the hot
spring. That water is about 77 degrees fahrenheit and the ground surrounding the spring is very brittle. At that altitude, water boils at 93 degrees - so this is f’ing hot! We did think that nurse may get her wish sooner rather than later. Even worse, I was torn between wishing them safely back to the trail and the nagging curiosity of what would actually happen to them if they went in. Maybe I should become a nurse in Yellowstone too!
On our way to the Lake Hotel
, we crossed the Continental Divide
at over 8,000 ft. So, we got out and took a pic in the dress. Even better, cars pulled over to get pictures of us too and a little girl was very shy but very excited to see us. The hotel was beautiful. Definitely, our favourite in the park and a welcome feeling of luxury after the last week of random hotels and motels. The lounge was spacious, cozy and welcoming - complete with a live quartet. The hotel’s restaurant was ace too. When we return to Yellowstone, we will base ourselves here - no doubt.
p.s. Happy Birthday Dad!
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