I first heard of the strange hidden thermal basin called Fairyland on Paul Rubenstein's web pages. When I read it I thought it interesting and shared it with Laurie. But I didn't really think much else about it. Sometime later I was doing research for a backpacking trip to Yellowstone's Shoshone Geyser Basin and found Wendy's Trip Reports that included her account of her journey to Fairyland. Wendy's writing was gripping and I found myself enjoying all of her trip reports. I was disappointed that Wendy didn't actually make it down into Fairyland. So I wrote to her. We exchanged email on a variety of topics, including Fairyland, and eventually became friends. I thought at that time that a trip to Fairyland might be nice, but I figured it was at least two years away.
Wendy introduced me to the Yellowstone Loons. In this Internet chat group I found others who had been to Fairyland and still others who were just plain loony about Yellowstone. Then opportunity struck. In February Katie decided to attend a church youth conference in Rexburg, ID. If I drove her there, I would have a week to spend in Yellowstone. Laurie didn't want to come for only a week. Suddenly Yellowstone was my oyster and I was answerable to no one. So I emailed my Loon friend Tonya to pick her brains for a good backcountry adventure during that week. We talked about several things, including Heart Lake. Somehow the conversation turned to Fairyland. Tonya and I decided we could make the trip. I made the backcountry reservations and bided my time. I worked hard to get in shape and I lost weight.
Eventually Laurie decided to come along. Original Basin Boy Jake and his girlfriend Leslie wanted to come along. When the word got out, our little group ballooned to eight. I obtained special permission to extend our group size. Slowly people began to drop out because of injury, other commitments or scheduling conflicts at work. Soon it was down to Laurie and me and Jake and Leslie.
Laurie and I aborted the first trip when we failed to find 4B1 or Jake and Leslie. We rescheduled the trip, this time without Laurie. The Fairyland group was now down to just three.
As always click on a thumbnail photograph to get a larger version, usually with commentary. Some of the video is a bit large. I don't know if there is a way to control that on the camera. You will have to decide for yourself if it is worth the wait and the bandwidth.
On to Day 1