It was freezing summer morning with ice all along the trail leading up to Old Faithful. The Old Faithful astrologers had said an eruption was due at seven in the morning. A small, eager and anxious crowd had gathered on the boardwalks to witness the eruption. Give or take ten minutes they say when predictions for eruptions are published. The ten minutes were taken and the ten minutes were given but there were no signs of an eruption. Old Faithful was turning out to be not so faithful after all. I really began to doubt the claims of predictable eruptions when the clock hit half past seven. There was serious danger of my fingers turning into miniature glaciers, but the other Old Faithful, our good friend the Sun, decided to peek out from the dark side and shower us with its benevolent, life-saving light and warmth. With the waiting now a little more bearable, waiting for the geyser to fire would be tolerated for a little more time. The crowds were getting bigger and everyone seemed to have the same question in mind. And then someone shouted - "There it is." - and we all saw in amazement a massive eruption that measured three feet and lasted two seconds.
"That's it? That was the eruption?" someone wisecracked
"Bigger ones are always preceded by smaller eruptions." someone responded.
Most first time geyser watchers probably thought that the wisecrack was right for once. And just when the doubts were gaining foothold Old Faithful comes alive with a roar. It is more or less like a broken water pipe in the city streets really. And it lasts just for a few minutes unlike the several hours in the cities. Whatever. Pictures fail to describe the magnificence. Words fail too. And High-definition videos will fall short too. You just have to be there to see a geyser erupt. You may appreciate it then.
Old Faithful - just after an eruption
A quiet, cold morning around Old Faithful geyser
The geyser basin looks like fog in the forest.
Old Faithful begins an eruption
And starts shooting up into the skies
The highest point during the eruption
Near the end of the eruption a minute or two after it began