Gerald Fogarty waited his entire life to see “Old Faithful,” the world-famous geyser attraction that brings visitors from around the globe to Yellowstone National Park.
The geothermal wonder erupts with a blast of steam and water at more or less regular intervals, delighting over three million spectators each year. “I finally decided to be a part of it,” said Fogarty, 68. “I meant to get here all through the years, but one thing or another kept me from coming and I never did find the time.”
The now-retired warehouse manager is taking full advantage of his new schedule by doing the things he’s always wanted to do, exactly when he wants to do them. “I lived in Baltimore all my life, so Yellowstone was far away and a big trip on my salary,” explained Fogarty. “I couldn’t just pick up and go anytime I felt like it, but I saved up my money and looked forward to this for a long time. To go there in person – that was a goal I wanted to get to.”
Fogarty rented a car and decided to make the trip a cross-country adventure. “I saw some sights, yes I did, and I stayed in a Motel 6 and ate some different food and wanted ‘Old Faithful’ to be the icing on the cake at the end,” recalled the retiree. “I heard these stories about the geyser going off every hour on the hour, so I got there and I waited. I stayed there for an hour and ten minutes and nothing happened,” said Fogarty. “So I walked back to my car and went to find the head office to ask for a refund.”
The myth that “Old Faithful” erupts “every hour on the hour” is just that — a legend told over the years, when in actuality, the intervals between geyser eruptions can be as short as 35 minutes, or as long as 2 hours. When informed of this by Park personnel, Fogarty replied, “I’m on a schedule and I don’t have time to waste anymore. They never talked about a time interval or whatever fancy thing they call it. I got out of there before they started blaming everything on that global warming nonsense. What’s so faithful about that? It’s bad faith, is what it is!” said Fogarty, storming off in a huff.
The Park declined to comment on whether they refunded Fogarty’s entry fee, but released a statement, which read in part:
Yellowstone National Park offers the opportunity for millions to enjoy the Earth’s natural wonders. We strive to provide the most enjoyable experience for our visitors. Mr. Fogarty is welcome to return to the Park at anytime, and we sincerely hope he extends the duration of his next visit with us.
A previous trip to Niagara Falls, including a boat tour on the “Maid Of The Mist” also proved disappointing for Fogarty. “Too wet,” he explained. “Even with the rain poncho, I just got too damn wet.”