Daddy's Christmas Angel

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Inn at Old Faithful - A Journey to Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National ParkWhen we visited Yellowstone National Park in 2006, our daughter arranged for us to stay at the Inn at Old Faithful. What a marvelous experience! We had a room located directly across from the famous geyser and could check the schedule of expected eruption times so we didn't miss seeing it.

The rustic Inn was built in 1903-04 when Theodore Roosevelt was president. Yellowstone, located on a plateau in midst of 10,000 foot mountain ranges, was established as a park 31 years earlier, and at the time we did not yet have the wonderful National Park Service that is so helpful to visitors today. In those days, travelers to the park had few accommodations for the brave guests who journeyed by horse or by stagecoach along rough and muddy roads where robbery was a definite threat.

Robert C. Reamer was the young architect for the difficult project of building the Inn at Old Faithful. From the local setting, he chose logs, stone, and twisted beams for the project. With his crew, they worked through the winter to meet a goal to open the Inn for the summer 1904 tourist season. It's amazing to realize they did this work despite the fact the park is snow-covered seven or eight months of the year and the snow can drift as high as 20 feet. So even though the men were dealing with brutal winter weather in 1903-04, they used the snow to their advantage by skidding logs and stones over it to the construction site. Stones for the foundation and the massive fireplace at the inn came from quarries at the Black Sand Basin five miles away.

Staying in the Inn at Old Faithful is a special treat for visitors to Yellowstone. Sadly, most of the photographs I took on that part of our trip are lost somewhere in my computer files. Hopefully, they will resurface eventually. I did find photos of some of nearby mudpots which create a beautiful and unforgettable terrain. Between the geysers and the mudpots, no wonder early 19th century visitors were willing to face the dangers to reach Yellowstone and the exotic Inn at Old Faithful. Anyone planning a trip to Yellowstone would be wise to make reservations far ahead of time at the Inn and to request a room overlooking Old Faithful.

"Blue and Ochre at Yellowstone" photo ©Mary Montague Sikes


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Building it during the winter - that must've been rough.
I've seen the lodge but didn't go inside. If I ever make it back there, I will.

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

So much to see and so much to do in these parks. I love the stories behind these old hotels. Thanks for visiting, Alex!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I would love to stay at that inn. I remember visiting Old Faithful and there were a lot of buffalo roaming around the inn.

Chris said...

Hi Mary, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Diane, there were buffalo everywhere when we were visiting. Thanks for visiting!

Chris, thank you. I'm glad you are following, and I have followed you as well!