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

by Bob Sparrow

sprinkler

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.

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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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My Real ‘Next Adventure’

by Bob Sparrow

yogiSince returning from Nepal, I have been asked a number of times about my next adventure; it seems some of you folks take a perverse pleasure in watching me bust my ass in some far-off, third-world country. I am indeed embarking on my next adventure and no, it’s not to Yemen, Somalia, Syria or the Antarctica “just before they close it for the winter” – but thank you Sister Suzanne and several loyal subscribers for your amusing, albeit life-threatening, suggestions. I’m trading in that 26-hour, back-wrenching, butt-numbing flight, for a short hop within the U.S. borders this time. And while this trip may not be as exotic as traveling through Nepal, I’m hoping it will provide a unique look at the spectacular beauty of my favorite part of the country.

I’ll have more company on this adventure, as it will be with couples from ‘the ‘hood’, affectionately, or maybe that’s ‘infectionately’, referred to as the ‘Hoodwink Hikers’. The ‘Hoodwink Hikers’ include our ‘Trail Boss’, Patrick (my Nepal companion) and his wife, Pam; long-time close friends, Mark & Kathy; the comic relief couple, Bob & Jeanne and Linda and me. We are headed to the ‘Intermountain West’ for some hiking and hijinks, not necessarily in that order.

WC

‘The Harvard of the West’

Our plan is to fly into Salt Lake City (home to my son’s and my alma mater, Westminster College, or as we alums like to refer to it, the Harvard of the West), take the beautiful drive from Salt Lake to the Old West town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which sits in the shadow of the Grand Teton Mountains. We’ll spend a couple of days cavorting in the surrounding environs then head to Yellowstone Nat’l Park. Once we’ve seen ‘Old Faithful’ and Yogi Bear (or is that in Jellystone Nat’l Park?) we’ll continue north to join another couple from the ‘hood, Mike & Tanis, who have a second home on Flathead Lake in Polson, Montana. We figure to wear out our welcome there after a couple of days, so we’ll be heading further north to Lake McDonald, which is in scenic Glacier Nat’l Park, where we’ll do some hiking. Some will hike and some will take a tour bus on the picturesque road over the Continental Divide called, ‘Going To The Sun Road’ (sounds long . . . and hot!). We’ll then journey on to Many (pronounced Manny) Glacier for a night.

Jackson Hole

Exclusive Hotel in Jackson Hole

Our final stop will be so far north that it’s south . . . south Canada – a place called Prince of Wales in Alberta, where we’ll stay in a majestic old ‘railroad hotel’ in the Canadian Rockies. We will then drive back to Kalispell, Montana (assuming they will let us back into the country) and fly home.

That’s the plan, but anyone who’s been following our blog, knows that sometimes we deviate from the plan – and with this group of deviates, no plan is safe. Connectivity permitting, I’ll try to post what we actually do and maybe even include some videos, if my son shows me how to do that before we leave. Hope you tag along and enjoy the trip. As always you’re welcome to send me your comments while you’re sitting comfortably on your couch at home eating Bon Bons and I’m busting my ass on that Draconian-sounding road to the center of our solar system.

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