Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Old Faithful Inn
Jamie and I have a new found appreciation for our home at Old Faithful Inn. The design and construction rival the detail found in many European structures. Although different in style, the craftsmanship is phenomenal.
I have since learned that Old Faithful Inn was constructed in a brisk 13 months - a feat that is hard to believe still to this day. The doors opened to the first guests in June 1904. The Inn originally contained 140 rooms and is known today as the “Old House.”
This magnificent creation is thanks to Robert Reamer, a 29-year-old architect. A pamphlet provided by Xanterra Parks and Resorts states: “The lodgepole pine, including twisting supports, was cut 4 miles south of the site. Five hundred tons of rhyolite rocks were quarried five miles to build the mountainous lobby chimney.”
Everything about Old Faithful Inn is jaw dropping. The lobby measures 76 feet, 6 inches. It is impossible to enter the Inn and not look up at such creation. I have watched over one thousand guests enter the Inn over the last 72 hours and all have fallen victim to the “Old Faithful Inn head-snap!”
The Inn has since been expanded. East and west wings were added to accommodate the overnight requests of tourists in 1913 and 1927 respectively. Jamie and I are in the east wing and have a direct line-of-sight to the Old Faithful geyser. Don’t sweat should you book a room on the west wing. Great viewing of the geyser is made possible by the multiple viewing decks. It is a priceless event to see Old Faithful erupt from within the Old Faithful Inn!
Speaking of Old Faithful Geyser. It erupts more frequently and more consistently than any large geyser in Yellowstone. A century-long history has shown a proven track record for Old Faithful with eruptions occurring approximately every 90 minutes. Each eruption can last anywhere from 1 ½ - 5 minutes tossing 3,700-8,400 gallons of boiling water to heights of 184 feet!
Watching Old Faithful erupt never gets old. We have seen this event firsthand over one dozen times over the past 3 days. After one eruption, I overheard a couple say that they “didn’t need to see anything else in the world because nothing could be more amazing.”
Yellowstone is amazing. There is so much in addition to Old Faithful to stand in awe of. Whether geysers, wildlife, lakes, mountains or one of the most unique lodging places in the world you can find it inside the gates of Wonderland.
Also inside the gates of Wonderland, the food rivals that of the Las Vegas casinos.
Old Faithful Inn houses a premier restaurant known simply as the Old Faithful Dinning Room. The elegance of sandblasted glass creates an illusion of light making it seem as if the sun is setting. A 100-year-old painting by Paco Young capturing Old Faithful erupting as buffalo graze demands ones attention as it hangs on the large dining room chimney.
The menu is just as impressive, from first-course to main-course meals and certainly dessert, one can find the perfect fix for any size appetite.
I found myself eating profound portions of buffalo prime rib, boiled shrimp, Alaskan salmon and lobster pasta these past few days. But perhaps the best dessert I have ever ordered was in the form of their chocolate brownie sundae. My goodness did Jamie and I overdo it attempting to eat a full meal and dessert all in one sitting.
It has been our pleasure to reside these past few days in the east wing of Old Faithful Inn. I invite you to research more this one-of-a-kind structure and hopefully our paths will cross inside the lobby as we do the “Old Faithful head-snap” together!