This was a special moment. After one of the worst nights sleep I’d ever had I’d been away from the tent early and been to see Old Faithful. Whilst the geyser itself remains as spectacular as ever (except for the cone which was hacked away for souvenirs by early tourists) the surrounding area has been turned into a geological Disneyland, overrun by coachloads of tourists for whom Yellowstone can be crossed off once they’ve witnessed Old Faithful spouting.
Without a doubt, you have to go and see Old Faithful, a visit to Yellowstone would never be complete without it, but take your time and go and see some of the less well-known geysers and you’ll get to see something truly unique. Getting to Lone Star involves driving 10 minutes past Old Faithful and an hours walk. I was alone for the majority of the walk, apart from squirrels and deer grazing by the river that the path follows. This was good because if nobody was walking away from the geyser it probably meant it hadn’t recently erupted (it has intervals of between 3-4 hours), but bad because I was a little terrified of meeting a bear, and the lack of other walkers increased the possibility of that in my city-slicking mind.
But, I made it to the geyser unscathed, delighted to discover a group of around 20 people already gathered, who told me it was due to erupt within the next hour. And sure enough, 40 minutes later they rhythmic belching and hissing graduated into a fully-fledged jet of scalding water being fired 50 feet into the air, roaring like a small jet plane. It lasted for another 20 minutes or so, then fizzled out. One of the spectators noted the time in the log book, and slowly the group dispersed, witnesses of a unique and beautiful natural display.