44 The Obama Presidency
On Respite from Health-Care Tour, Obama Visits Yellowstone, Calls Old Faithful 'Cool'
By Michael D. Shear
President Obama and his family toured Yellowstone National Park Saturday afternoon, visiting the Old Faithful geyser on a day of majestic blue skies.
Having talked health care at a town hall in Montana Friday, the president, Michelle, Sasha and Malia boarded Marine One for a short flight across the border into Wyoming and into the park.
Along for the ride were Obama's sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and her family. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar also joined the president, who was led through the park by Yellowstone Superintendent Suzanne Lewis and ranger Katy Duffy.
The trip, which was described largely as a private, family event, started at the Black Sand Basin, a striking area where steam bubbling up through sand creates the appearance of an eerie, moonscape-like scene -- but with trees.
After walking along the sand on a wooden path for about 25 minutes, the First Family loaded back up in the motorcade for a 5-minute ride to Old Faithful. They soon arrived at an area behind the geyser.
A fair distance away, a crowd of about 100 or so people were gathered, and gave several cheers when they caught a glimpse of the party.
The president waited for 15 minutes for the inevitable to happen. At 12:16 p.m., the geyser erupted pretty much on schedule, sending steam and water high into the air.
People cheered. The president was heard to say: "Oh, that's pretty good. Cool. Look at that. That's a geyser there."
Posted at 3:35 PM ET on Aug 15, 2009
44 The Obama Presidency
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