Dad stays inside to write, thinking it’s overcast, so I’ll venture outside to the Old Faithful Geyser Loop Trail for over half an hour taking in the soft growing sun, the trickling water, and the rising steam. I’ll return to find Dad still typing away but eager to go as he sees the sun coming in the window.
We’ll average a mile an hour on the Upper Geyser Basin Loop Trail and after overhearing families complain about being here (hurry up, I already saw that, I want to go back to the hotel) I tell Dad I understand why he was afraid to have kids. His response was, “I’m afraid to have adults.”
We saunter along the boardwalk, bending down to capture a variant of angles, colors and formations, paths of light, bubbles of hydrogen sulfide (a toxic gas if concentrated), and to follow the flow of water as temperature, seasons, and decades continue to make subtle changes to this taiga biome.
We take a break to rehydrate and energize before driving into the mess of parked cars or those waiting in line and the horde of people willing to get their selfie-of-proof versus the majority that can barely be bothered to stick their arm out the window or their head from the sunroof for a passing photo.
The car says it’s 76* but it feels like 96*. We’ll spend two more hours outside before making our way back to the Inn where Dad will write while I walk to Biscuit Basin. Humans are so far removed from nature and would rather photograph someone eating ice cream than look at the pigment patterns of the paint pots.
The smell of rotten eggs turns some away but for the two loud families with screaming kids following me I can’t get far enough from them to appreciate the sound of nature without running or turning to shush them. It’s much quieter for a moment with this couple as we watch parent Mountain bluebirds feed their five young.
Past Morning Glory Pool and I can really start to hear the park – a dragonfly, a squirrel, a caterpillar, a flock of geese with their wings moving in unison, and nine baby ducks run-swimming for their life as we startle each other. What could’ve been a two-hour hike turned into 3.5 hours, but that was to be expected given our pace of the day.
I told Caleb I’d be back by 9pm (MDT) and Dad heard by dark. Either way, apologies are in order as I’m 25 minutes late because summer in this region is short, vibrant, and powerful. Even if I had turned around sooner I would’ve had to close my eyes and I find that difficult to do even in bed as I dream about tomorrow.