|Mel and Reggie Yemma snowshoeing near Old Faithful in Yellowstone 2007|
Old Faithful spews thousands of gallons of steaming water right on schedule, but Miguel isn’t the least bit interested. He just lumbers by us searching for lunch.
That’s probably because Miguel, so named by my two daughters, is a 1,800-pound bison who sees Old Faithful every day. Yellowstone National Park’s (www.nps.gov/yell) most famous geyser has rarely missed an eruption — roughly every 92 minutes — in the past 120 years. Bison, for their part, were nearly extinct at the turn of the 20th century. Today, there are some 3,500 in the park.
We’re having one of those I-can’t-believe-what-we’re-seeing moments, as we snowshoe on trails around Old Faithful on a cold but sunny winter afternoon. Did you know Yellowstone has more thermal features than anywhere in the world — some 10,000 geysers, bubbling mud pots, hot springs and more? That’s half of the world’s hydrothermal features!
There’s no better time to see them — and the park’s wildlife — than winter when you won’t be fighting the crowds. That’s what we told Gertrude, another bison we encountered snowshoeing around the Geyser Basin. (Gertrude ignored us too.)
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