[Geysers] geyser report 03/12/ Tad's last trip

Seeyellowstone at aol.com Seeyellowstone at aol.com
Sat Mar 13 05:48:46 PST 2010

Finally, they are letting us drive in on wheels (without even plowing),  
after a week of driving on 20 miles of pavement one way to Old Faithful on  
rubber track snowcoaches.  This year has one of the lowest snowpacks I have  
ever seen.  There is only a couple of feet of snow on top of Craig Pass and  
Sylvan Pass, and less just about every where else.  The snowpack looks like  
late May early June in the OF/ West Yellowstone areas.  I would be  
surprised if there is any snow on the ground come opening day in April, unless  it 
starts snowing.
Today was a very emotional trip.  One of my good friends, Greg  Bonemeyer's 
sister, Mary or "Tad" who many of you may know, has been  given only a few 
weeks to live.  Mary Patten (Bonemeyer), known as Tad or  Tadpole worked at 
the Ham stores in Old Faithful & Fishing Bridge for 10  years and was at the 
Lower & Upper Ham in the late '80's.  I have known  Mary and Greg since 
Greg called me from his home in Salt Lake City a couple of weeks ago to  
tell me the news about Mary's cancer.  He asked her if she had any last  
wishes, and of course her wish was to see Yellowstone, one more time.   Mary, who 
lives in Big Sky still, myself, Greg, and Greg's family  made Mary's final 
trip to Old Faithful yesterday on 03/12/10.  
The park was very quiet without the noise from the snowmobiles and rubber  
track snowcoaches that have been traveling on the pavement, and it was a 
cool  but beautiful day. The entire day was a near private experience in the 
We had to make a quick trip because of Mary's lack of energy.  The  first 
geyser we noticed was Grand's plume, which was ie  at 10:43. When I pointed 
out the plume from the highway, Mary quickly  mentioned that Grand was her 
favorite geyser, and I so wished I could get the  van to a place where we 
could get a good view.
Although I got spoken to for driving the van on the snowmobile trail to the 
 Visitor's Center Parking lot (I had missed the sign that said no wheeled  
vehicles beyond this point by turning before the sign, to travel behind the  
Snowlodge, so that I could miss the severe bumps on the front side).  I'm  
glad I did it, because Mary was barely able to walk to Old Faithful and  
back.  While waiting for Old Faithful, we had Riverside's plume at 11:20 ie.  
Old Faithful had a beautiful  eruption at about 11:28 (I didn't look at my 
On the way back, we had Great Fountain ie at 12:02.   Although Mary was 
unable to walk the boardwalk at the Paintpots, she wanted her  nephews to see 
the trail, as it was their first visit to Yellowstone.   While on the 
boardwalk, we caught the start of Fountain at 12:07, just as we  were rounding the 
corner at the fumerole.
We then hurried back to the van so that we could drive Mary to a point on  
the highway where she could see Fountain. We had also viewed a couple of  
bull elk, the first bulls I have seen in the Interior all winter.  It was  
really a great day and I was glad to be able to help Mary with her final wish.  
She really enjoyed her final day in the park, on a private trip with her 
family  and friend (me).
I want to thank Brad Loomis at the Traveler's Service Center in West  
Yellowstone for donating the van for us, as Yellowstone Tour Guides, which I  
operate, does not have a winter permit. I of course donated  my wage.  I have 
also got the thank the geysers, for putting on a  great show for Mary's last 
trip.  5 major geysers (including Old Faithful)  is a great geyser day in 
the winter, even if three of them were just steam  plumes in the distance.
Jim Holstein
Yellowstone Tour Guides
I will try to get Tad's email in the next couple of days when  I go down to 
see her, in case there is any of you that remember  her.  
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