I decided to drive to the Grand Prismatic Spring today. It was, as expected, busy. I just went with it and parked down on the side of the road with the rest of the rabid tourists :). It was not as smelly as I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, there were wisps of that over-boiled Easter egg smell, but otherwise it was just steamy. The walkways were very busy and I must admit that I was a bit nervous with the narrowness of the walkway. The tourists not very considerate of the width of the walkway and the near death experience that was right below. I managed to watch them as well as my own feet, and get great pictures along with trying not to worry about the plausibility of a sudden, burning death. I’m being overly dramatic, but it is a very narrow walkway with a lot of people on it trying to get that must have picture.
It was great besides my paranoia :). The drive there and back was not too bad and I got to see a Bison who was right next to the road. You do know that your supposed to stay at least 75 feet away, but everybody was pulled over and standing right next to this huge animal. Luckily for them it was blithely going about its lunch. A few Elk made an appearance, but I was persistent with my mission, the Grand Prismatic Spring. I wasn’t going to let anything slow me down. I’ll leave off Old Faithful for another road trip.
I went to Jackson, WY today. I found a pretty central place to park, free, love it! The first thing was my hunt for breakfast. I found a nice place called the Cowboy Coffee Company. It always makes me all fuzzy when I ask for a dirty chai and I don’t have to say “yes, with a shot of espresso.” They are a good coffee house and I was happily surprised by the quality and quantity of the espresso laden chai I received. There were people with their dogs in the store and a cute little hound that wandered around until it’s person came by and picked it up. When I left the dog was sitting on one of the couches sleeping. That is what I love about Jackson. All the dog friendly places. All you need is a leash and some stores welcome them right on in.
The drive was beautiful. This early in the season the tourist, myself included, craziness hadn’t taken full effect, but I’m waiting for July, then we will see. I got to see a few Elk and the ever present Bison along the Grand Loop Road. My friend Christy and I having never been into Yellowstone before and were unfamiliar with how the roads were organized, completely missed the turnoff for Hayden Valley and headed off toward Old Faithful. We tried to stop at the Prismatic Spring, but it was too crazy. So, on we went. We hit Gibbon Falls and stopped at Madison Junction for the view and a necessary bathroom break. We wanted to see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and it was great, but the pics are on another camera so will have to wait for the next post :).
So, we hit up a very smelly Mud Volcano and the Sulphur Caldron. Imagine Easter time and the fun and silly activity of boiling eggs so to color said eggs bright colors, your seeing it in your mind right? Well, ramp up the smell of hard boiled eggs to 1000, and don’t forget to add the ever present badly burned hard boiled egg smell, and you have the smell from those geysers. But, beyond breathing very carefully and trying to stay away from the shifting cloud of sulfur, it was really cool.
Mud Caldron area
Mud Volcano Map
Sulphur Caldron info
The best part of the Mud Volcano area though had to be the Dragon Mouth Spring. It really sounds like something is growling and steam is constantly gushing out, as you can see from the bottom middle picture. Pretty cool, huh?
It was an interesting day and I”m glad to be back home.
I’m off to Yellowstone today intrepid travel knitters. I have my trusty backpack and plenty of water, I hope. I don’t know if I’ll have the time or sweat-free hands, to pick up and knit a few rows of my shawl, but if the opportunity arrives I will take it.
The wonderful view from Leek’s Pizza.
I had a long day, but it was made so much better with the Huckleberry ice cream that was served for dessert. It was rich and creamy with just a hint of tanginess. I never had this berry before and will choose not to eat them in anything other than pie or ice-cream. It is just like my love-hate relationship with blueberries. I love them when they are fresh, but the instant they start to wither, bleh, the texture bothers me enough to stop eating them. Otherwise, they are lovely. All in all, a good dessert.
Okay, so housekeeping at Signal Mountain Lodge in Grand Teton National Park has been interesting, but it has only been about 4 days of it so far. The first day was torture. I was so sore that I went back to my, for now, roommateless room and took a long shower; and the water pressure sucked. *thought at the time. They really mean it when they say conservation:)* I napped and felt so much better. Who knew that sleeping on my stomach would help my back and legs relax. Dinner was good and met some nice people.
The days passed and I did some hiking along the South Landing trail to the campsite there. The next few days got increasingly better. My body is adjusting to the increased physical activity, yeah weight loss, and the altitude it bothering me a little less each day.
So, on to the title. What is a whistle pig? Well, in Wyoming parlance, it is a ground hog. Here I am at the end of my shift and back at the housekeeping lair unloading the days extra linens and cleaning supplies when someone yells “whistle pig”. There is the intrepid explorer sandwiched between us and the housekeeping office; trapped in the endless hallways. Which way will it go? Towards the sudden appearance of myself or the housekeeping office. We know which way we want it to go and it is not toward the office filled with at least three people and full of toilet paper and the all important coffee supply.
Of course it darts toward the office and gets trapped. No one can find it and all assume it is under the shelves behind the housekeeping managers desk. No attempts to lure it out of its frightened hiding spot is successful. Life goes on and we, or me that is, forget about it and go about our unloading duties. I grabbed some clean towels out of the cart and head back to the office hallway when everybody shouts and I look up in time to see the whistle pig running toward me. I don’t know who was more startled, but it halted for a second and made a mad dash out of the office and away from me. Sigh. The excitement of a housekeepers work day.