Corrie N. Cody Salutes the Old Faithful Inn!
I was privileged last week to spend a weekend in Yellowstone National Park at the Old Faithful Inn. What an amazing, historic place – the architecture alone is impressive, and then when you put it with the setting, oh my!
A little history lesson, first – the Old Faithful Inn (along with the dining room and kitchen wing) was originally built in 1903; an east wing was added in 1914, and 13 years later the west wing was constructed. The Inn was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. I was SO excited, I got to stay in the east wing, and my room looked directly out to the geyser! I just sat in my room, with its fancy Keurig coffee maker and historic atmosphere, and watched Old Faithful go off.
I was also fortunate that I got one of the rooms that actually had its own bathroom… in the original building, folks who stay in those rooms (which are rustic and beautiful) have to share a hallway bathroom!
There are a couple of neat things that I liked about the Old Faithful Inn’s common area – number one, the HUGE fireplace and wrought iron clock in the middle of the lobby! Number two – the different balcony levels. I loved climbing the (slightly tilted) stairs to the second level, where there’s a coffee bar in one corner and a liquor bar in the other, and look down from a comfy chair to the lobby below. I really wanted to climb the stairs to the “Crow’s Nest”, but it was closed – due to the Hebgen Lake earthquake on August 17, 1959, there was pretty significant structural damage to the Old Faithful Inn. The quake collapsed the dining room fireplace chimney, damaged the huge lobby fireplace, partially shook the Inn loose from its foundations, and made the upper levels of the Inn unsafe. Bummer.
The historic dining room was great – a menu with fantastic choices (at surprisingly reasonable prices!), atmosphere, character, and above all, service! My order was taken quickly and pleasantly, the food came right on time, and the dessert was to die for… but they had great healthy choices, too, like mashed cauliflower in place of high-carb mashed potatoes. I was impressed!
Being an early riser, I was privy to a rare sight – hardly ANYONE was out watching the geyser eruption at sunrise the next day. There were a few hardy souls braving the frost-covered boardwalks, and together we witnessed the beauty and wonder of the Old Faithful geyser, lit by the rising sun. The lobby at that time of day is peaceful, as well, and I could really appreciate the lighting and the atmosphere!
If you’ve got kids, or are a science buff, you’ll LOVE the new Old Faithful Visitor Center! While it’s full of interactive displays explaining geysers and their effects on the ecosystem, colorful microbes in mineral pools, and all sorts of other really interesting things, the Visitor Center also boasts an awesome view of the geyser!
Living near Yellowstone, sometimes we locals take for granted the history and educational opportunities that we have right next door… so I was glad that I spent some significant time at one of Yellowstone National Park’s true treasures – the Old Faithful Inn! Don’t miss it next time you’re in the area!
Until next time, I’ll be lovin’ life in Buffalo Bill’s Country