20150128

California's Old Faithful? Yes! Monday, 1/26/15


I picked up a copy of RV World the last time we were in Camping World, and inside this edition was a write-up on California's Old Faithful in Calistoga, CA.  What?  I read the article and said to Jimmy, "This is so close to where we live, we should go there."  Violà, here we are!  We didn't get an early start THIS morning 'cause the temp was a nippy 38°.

Wine Country -- it's such a beautiful part of the state. Approximately 30 miles from our Elks RV site in Napa to Calistoga, our drive to the geyser was a joy.  Beautiful dormant vineyards line Hwy 29 with their perfectly spaced grids stretching up into gently sloping hills, all painted spring green by last month's rains and covered with flowering yellow mustard, make the drive gorgeous.  Fabulous and stately homes or wine-tasting "castles" perch on hillsides or nearer the road, tho we didn't go in.  Some of them are outrageously pretentious.
  



The wine train was on the move this morning, and the engineer waved.  We always wave, too!


We arrived in Calistoga at lunchtime and stopped at the fine restaurant pictured above for a yummy lunch. The food was as good as the last time we ate here.  Excellent chips and dip. Calistoga is an historic and idyllic town, known for its mineral springs and the water that comes from its springs, and ...


 So, here we are at last on a delightful afternoon.
We did not know that this "Old Faithful" Geyser is one of only three in the world.


Because of recent rains, this geyser "blew" often, like every ten minutes.  No where near as large or impressive as Yellowstone's Old Faithful, it was, nevertheless, cool to watch it blast hot water up to 75 feet in the air.  


Jimmy with imposing Mt St Helena (4,331') in the background, tallest mountain in Napa County. We know that there are trails you can hike (but not us) to the top where you can see all the way north to Mt Shasta and west to the Pacific Ocean.


The people who own/run Old Faithful are smart by adding the farm animals, because once you've seen the geyser spout, what else is there to entertain you for your admission money?  


Honestly, these were THE weirdest things I've ever seen.


This guy seemed to enjoy Jimmy's attention to its horn ... one of it's FOUR horns!


And then there were these guys.  Cute li'l babies running -- really running like kids do -- fun to watch.
There were a lot of little ones hopping and jumping around.


Typical kids, getting into stuff.


We were talking to the caretaker (above) about the fainting goats.  "Do they really faint?"  It's a phenomenon where they don't lose consciousness or actually faint.  "They're myotonic goats, whose muscles freeze for roughly ten seconds when the goat feels panic.  Though painless, this generally results in the animal's collapsing," sez Wikipedia.  The caretaker said, "watch."  He went inside the large pen, yelled at the goat, and down it went, it's back legs stretched out behind him, for (like they said) about ten seconds.  Then it got up and ambled away.  I hope it isn't cruel, because it sure was funny!


One last look at the steaming geyser, as the sun begins it's descent into the west.


What can I say?  The End?  Nope. (this picture makes me laugh every time I see it!)

We've seen two "Old Faithful" geysers.  Maybe you're thinking, where is the third one?  New Zealand, we hear, tho we cannot find anything else about it.  Two out of three.  Guess we'll have to go to New Zealand to discover the third one for ourselves!

The End!

5 comments:

  1. That last picture deserves a good subtitle, but I just can't think of one... ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't think of a good one either. Just looking at that goofy face with his blue eyes and horizontal pupils makes me giggle!

      Delete
  2. Anonymous4:55 PM

    I remember the chicken quesadillas very well. We had fun at our outside table then took a walk around the side street and came to the museum that had a Disney collection. Fun times with fun people. Anne

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very interesting about the geysers....

    ReplyDelete

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