Saturday, April 11, 2009

Napa Valley, Part II

We had originally thought we might try out another winery after Sterling. But then we decided we'd save that for another day and do something else. So, after the vineyard, we drove the last four miles to California's Old Faithful Geyser.It's kinda the worst tourist trap that I've ever been to. As in, there's a hokey sign for the place, and the directive signs are really old and faded out pain on planks of wood. As you walk up to the building, there are other advertisements. The gift shop has a lot of unrelated crap, especially for kids. There is a seismograph machine, though. And a guestbook, which we signed.
You pay $8, then walk through into the "backyard." There are exhibits of goats, llamas, and sheep. And quarter machines in case you want to feed them.The geyser is a mini lake with some rocks. Surrounding it on one half are picnic tables and benches.
There's a "well" off to the other side. I put it in quotes because it's non-functioning, as they've covered up the hole long ago.There's a small building with a tv going inside. It talks about the geyser, and there are pictures, drawings, paintings, and newspaper clippings posted on the walls. There are similar paintings on the shed that houses the restroom.
On average, the geyser goes off for a few minutes every forty minutes. However, it's affected by a lot of different variables, like the weather, the time of year, and whether an earthquake is coming soon. When we were there, however, it was going off like every 8-10 minutes, lasting maybe a minute. So we watched it three or four times, from various angles. Kinda neat. It was the first time I had every seen a geyser like this, and we both learned quite a bit about geysers. I won't bore you to tears, but I will add that there are only three "faithful" geysers... this one, the one in Wyoming, and one in New Zealand.So yeah... lots of pics. I took a video, but I took it upright. AKA, I need to rotate it 90 degrees, but my Windows Movie Maker is repeatedly failing, and since Jonathan isn't right next to me to fix it, that'll have to come later. :-\ You can see in the bottom pic that the sun makes a rainbow off the geyser. :)Next time we're up this way, we may do a vineyard and then the Petrified Forest, since that's only another three miles from the Geyser. :)

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