As the rose, we were still on the road and almost to the southern entrance to Yellowstone National Park. There was no time to rest for the drivers. We needed to tour the park and start heading east to stay on schedule. The beauty of the park was immediately noticeable. We made several stops to see the sights. Yellowstone Lake was huge. The winds across it made breakers almost like those on the ocean. The falls at Yellowstone were beautiful. Two falls graced the river close together and an impressive amount of water flowed and roared past.
We visited several hot springs where the basins were of different colors from the algae that grew in the hot water. Many bubbling paint pots surrounded areas of solid land. Paint pots are areas that are made of mud and a vent of hot water and steam comes from underneath and makes the mud bubble and pop. Like the hot springs, the paint pots were able to cook a person’s foot should they slip into one.
But the biggest attraction was the geyser, Old Faithful. It can shoot boiling water 106 to 185 feet into the air with its volume 3700 to 8500 gallons nearly every hour. While we waited for it to erupt, we walked through the old hotel. There was a massive fireplace whose chimney rose at least four stories in height and its face was covered by a large pendulum clock. Rustic stairs and antlered sconce lights festooned the lobby. We ate lunch in a nearby cafeteria and then drove through more of the park before heading to our overnight campsite.
The campsite was at a church just outside the eastern entrance to the park. It was the Wapiti Valley church. We were greeted by the pastor and were told that we could cook, shower, and sleep in the basement of their sanctuary.
The building was built from the material that was found on the lot. The timbers, wood, and stones were incorporated into the design and the construction. The views were remarkable. Behind, the church snuggled against a hill and across the highway in front were mountains. The meal was quickly prepared, dishes washed, and showers were finished. The drivers were tired and everyone turned in early.
We were wakened in the middle of the night when a mouse invaded the sleeping quarters of the women and it had to be chased out of the building before tiredness overcame the fear and slumber claimed us all.