Note to Self: It’s Not Nice to Piss Off Mother Nature!

by Bob Sparrow


Revenge of Mother Nature

Last week while at Yellowstone National Park, I made the obligatory stop at ‘Old Faithful’, waiting nearly an hour-and-a-half in 90-degree heat for the great eruption. I was summarily disappointed when a paltry stream of hot water and steam limped out of a hole in the ground for about  a minute, issuing an odor of rotten eggs. In a previous blog I compared it to the excitement of a car radiator heating over and suggested that travelers should absolutely take in the beautiful flora and fauna of the park, but not go out of the way to see ‘Old Faithful’, which has become . . . irregular.

Well, it seems that Mother Nature reads our blog and was not the least bit amused by my characterization of her most famous geyser. The day after I got home from the trip, I was working in my home-office, which overlooks my back yard, when I heard a gushing sound coming from outside.  I looked out the window and saw water shooting up out of my lawn and into the air some 25 feet – I had ‘Old Faithful’ right there in my back yard (and in my neighbors back yard as well). I had a broken sprinkler line. I turned off the main water valve and looked skyward and promised not to bash ‘Old Faithful’ again.

2014-07-26 17.32.41

Being as ‘faithful’ as ever!

So I’ve included this wonderful picture that I took of this geographical wonder and have discovered through some additional research that while we were told at the time that the geyser erupts ever 26 minutes, I’ve come to learn that it is suppose to erupt every 91 minutes, which is about what it did when we were there. I won’t remind you that it still smelled bad and it only lasted a minute or so.  What’s that gurgling sound?  Oh shit, gotta go.


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Grand Teton National Park

by Bob Sparrow


Jackson Hole tram

Sorry this is late (you weren’t awake anyway!); no I wasn’t off somewhere with Sandra Bullock, she never called, if you can believe that! It’s been a very busy couple of days. Friday we took the tram to the top of the Grand Teton Ski Resort – visibility was 70 miles! It was spectacular! That evening we went to a dinner show of ‘Paint Your Wagon’, which was surprisingly quite good.

The next morning Linda’s sister called from Rochester to let us know that their father, Warren, had had a heart attack the night before. He’s 90 and has had a quadruple by-pass, but has otherwise been in very good health. The prognosis was not good and the doctor’s suggested that the family come as soon as possible. So Saturday morning Linda flew out of Jackson Hole into Rochester, MN. The news is good – they put in a stent and he is doing miraculously well, in fact went home on Sunday! Linda will be flying back to Missoula, MT on Monday to rejoin us; we’ll pick her up as we’re passing through on our way to Flathead Lake, MT.  Thanks to those who were aware of this – your prayers worked.

Gang at Jenny Lake

‘Hoodwink Hikers’ at Jenny Lake

Meanwhile, the seven of us drove to Jenny Lake, which is named after a Shoshone Indian woman who married an Englishman named Richard “Beaver Dick” Leigh. I’m not making this stuff up! The lake is at the base of the Grand Teton Mountains and spectacularly beautiful and serene. Some took a boat and some of us hiked around the lake to ‘Hidden Falls’ and half way up to ‘Inspiration Point’ where we got half inspired to have a wine, bread and cheese lunch on the shores of Cottonwood Creek that flows out of Jenny Lake (apparently the picture is not available at this time).




Just as exciting to watch

After lunch we continued up the road another 50 miles to Yellowstone Nat’l Park where we drove directly to ‘Old Faithful’ and waited, and waited. As we sat waiting along with a thousand other ‘tourists’, it took an hour-and-a-half to see this ‘every 26 minute eruption’ erupt. For me it was like sitting at the roadside waiting for your radiator to explode – it’s hot water and steam coming out of the ground for crying out loud.  The big deal was that it did it so consistently, it was so regular, predictable . . . faithful!  Not so much anymore.  I put a check mark by ‘see Old Faithful’ and we drove another 30 miles to West Yellowstone where we had dinner around 10:00 p.m. and crashed.

We’ll be playing around Yellowstone today and then doing a pub-crawl in West Yellowstone – so if I’m late again . . . sorry.