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New visitor center in Yellowstone

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New visitor center in Yellowstone
August 31, 2010 04:46PM
A Cathedral to the Shrine of Nature
Published: August 30, 2010

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — The view from the cathedral-size windows of the $27 million visitor center that opened here last week leads down a paved path toward a gently curved mound of rock. A mist of hissing steam drifts from the mound, but every 90 minutes or so, water starts to spurt fitfully, then more aggressively, until it erupts into a tower as high as 180 feet, whose spray may be spread by the breeze toward the hundreds of viewers gathered to watch the spectacle.

Old Faithful was the name given to this geyser by the 1870 team whose survey of these exotic wilderness lands helped inspire Congress to make Yellowstone a national park — the first land to get that designation. And names given by those early chroniclers still adhere to the geothermal phenomena they cataloged: Beehive Geyser, Mastiff Geyser, Old Faithful.

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