Exploring the Firehole…


Submitted APRIL 2014


Ask a Kid

We start at Old Faithful,… Yes,… I know,… but ‘ask a kid’.. OK? When I told this story to ff, before I could hardly get the next words out of my mouth, after saying, wwwh was Old Faithful, he chuckled and said, “did you run up there and look down the hole?” LOL

NO, thats NOT where the chest is to be, this is just the beginning Forrest …. haha.

Yellowstone National Park sign at the North Entrance; Jim Peaco; October 1992

(In my defense, steam and boiling water are tossed into the air 180 feet high, and it might be a little cooler (warm) as it halts at the top before it returns to the ground (halt = temporary lack of motion) . And there are over 300 hot springs and thermal Geysers that flow into the FireHole River, and most of them do so between where Old Faithful is and where the FireHole Falls are located, a distance of 8 to 10 miles I guess.)

So from there the FireHole river runs north in somewhat of a canyon, and then one of the Geyser basins (Middle ?) has a famous mud pot. If you’ve seen it you know, it is bubbling like gravy cooking in a big pot. It looked more grey than Brown when I visted it, but in ttotc book, at the restaurant, he hated to wash those giant kettles used to make brown gravy, and won’t eat any still to this day.

And he and Grandma have a ‘private joke’ name for Frosty the manager, its the Ruler, (note capital R in ttotc book). So a ‘private joke’ about ‘Brown gravey’ at that resturant could be its weird source and that ‘joke source’ is from that mud pot, hoB. ( lol here.)

Another hoB on this route is found at Biscut Basin , its just before the mud pot basin, and the ‘mule shoe’ bend of FireHole is between them.

Its a hot pool, named Avoca. Its a poem, Molly B loved the poem so much she named her land Avoca, 400 acres, where she later built her second home (a summer home) near Denver and this one also is in the Natl Registery as is her other Denver Home.

The author is Thomas Moore and Avoca is Irish for, of all things, Meeting of the Waters. To me the poem descibes a pefrect place to ‘hid’ something, much like someone we all know. If you haven’t read it, you MUST, if you don’t then you should QUIT the chase !! J/K

From there you find yourself in a caldera, and giant volcano, not a place for the meek, and if it errupts again as it is expected too one day the end is really ever drawing nigh. And of course, there is John Coulter. Its thought that he gave the name of hell to another part of Yellowstone Park, a part whose thermal springs have now died down, but the Old Faithful area also got tagged with the name of Coulters Hell.

Then you come to Nez Perce creek ( Nez Perce Trail is another story). No paddle up your creek, meant don’t go up a creek, and boats are not allowed in this and a few other NP streams About 8 miles up the creek at high elevation is a Lake , and its near there that the last person killed by a Grizzly was hiking. When I was at the trail head, the last time (The ‘another story’) it was not open to “Human” use, could not hike it untill there was less chance of a bear finding you. That was in July. Oh, you, may know, one bridge going over the Nez Perce near by, is called the ‘Old Freight Bridge’ .

If you take a paved road towards the south from the picnic area you can visit Ojo Caliente, where FF, Dal, hundreds of other ppl, and I have been in its warm waters. There were 3 teens swimming there one day, and I asked them if they noticed a metal box about so by so wide as I held my hands 10 inches apart. FF laughred at that part of the story also. Ojo Caliente could also be the well where THOR gave up his eye to gain wisdom. Thor learned that Life goes on, which In a nutshell, is what ff also learned. (remember ff was praying thanks to THOR) in ttotc book.

From the spring or well, If you know where to look, (which could be another ‘finding a blaze”) you can spot Fairy Falls which will be about 2 miles south away from the hot springs. It is harder to spot in the late afernoon. Try with binoculars first, the right side is white, the falls are 100 foot fall.

To continue on, go north and take a paved road that is just south of Madison Junction, Firehole Falls Road. This road was closed when we first got to it, May 24th, part of it had washed away, wasn’t closed due to snow. (this route is from Old Faithful to the North)

Firehole Falls

Firehole Falls

So, if you’ve been wise (Thor ‘s well) you’ve found FireHole Falls, it was one of a ‘my blazes’, you are to look quickly down. If you try to walk down to the river and cross that log jam to get to that little cave that the News Reporter from Santa Fe has shown in a video, you may Very Well CEASE your LIFE, not only ceasing your quest, it looked very dangerous to me.

But I had a plan before I got there, If you face towards the falls, there are two knolls behind you. (I found them at home on street view of Google Earth) ( and that wasn’t a real cave, just a cresent shaped hole)

So, to look quickly down, first I was Going UP, The quickest way to go up was from these knolls, then from a better vantage point I could see around the Falls with binoculars and then search the top of each knoll. Plus, they where on the ‘other side of a street’, from the water fall blaze, and FF ‘can too cross the street if he wanted too’ in the Old Biddies story. And its a one way street to (maybe) go with that story about which side of the street we and ppl in Europe drive on when he muttered things about the Coriolis effect.

A knoll

A knoll

Well one knoll is very steep, I made it to the top, but i’m sure ff could not, and I wasn’t carrying 20# of stuff. I do not think I could have made it carrying 10#’s. I am sure ff knows the spot, half way up it has a natural rock formation that is like a staircase, not steps, but bannisters that go up and then takes a left and brings you near the top. It was a great view, but the egdes are very steep, and the street is directly below one edge of the cliff.

View from the knoll top

View from the knoll top

The north most knoll was just right for ‘old man’ climbing, but no chest was to be found. Both knolls have had heavy foot traffic, so, many others have climbed them.

Thats it for that spot.