Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)
TITLE: A Special Vacation
By Grace Merkey
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From July 9-14, 2000, it was my privilege and blessing to visit this amazing park. Nineteen family members, our children and grandchildren and my husband’s sister, enjoyed this wonderful experience together. We missed the three who were unable to join us.
Upon entering the park we were excited to see a grizzly bear not far from the road. He didn’t seem excited to see us. We greatly appreciated the campers for sleeping and food preparation. Menus were well planned and all made a contribution to bringing the food needed. Something about eating in the open air in a scenic spot makes things taste better. My husband’s birthday was celebrated on the 12th of July and his special favorite, homemade ice cream, made with an old fashioned crank ice cream freezer. Its possible some of the rest of us might claim this as our favorite food also. In fact, it was decided to make more the next day.
Old Faithful was viewed several times. Though it is not the largest, highest or most regular geyser in the park, it is certainly consistent. It has varied very little in the last 100 years. It erupts 18 to 21 times a day but not necessarily on the hour. It has two patterns of eruptions. Short ones last 1 ½ -2 minutes and long ones 3-5 minutes. The height varies from 106 to 184 feet. The wind sometimes blows the top off. Seven-thousand five hundred gallons of water are discharged each eruption.
Some people were near enough other geysers to have a shower. Their age seemed to be a factor in the enjoyment of this. The smell of sulphur was not so pleasant. We had to pay for taking a normal shower but decided it was well worth it. We saw some beautiful waterfalls, some of which required a rather long hike which not everyone chose to do. We were thrilled to see wildlife from time to time. This included a glimpse of a black bear. Watching a herd of elk playing in the water was a special treat. My husband wondered how long it would take for others to stop along the road if you did. Once when we thought we saw a moose and stopped, very soon others stopped also. Unfortunately, it was just a dark spot. Later, we did see a moose and her calf. Not far from camp we saw a herd of buffalo. Once we saw a beaver. Other sightings, although from a distance, were a joy. One day one of our granddaughters found a perfect arrowhead. It was hard to turn in, but she did, of course.
What a great blessing to spend time in this beautiful part of God’s creation, especially with people you love.
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