Remote, peaceful. A real loner.

It isn't as accessible as Yellowstone's Old Faithful, or as reliable, but if you're looking for a thermal encounter without the crowds, then hike on over.You'll find the trailhead on the main road a few miles east of Old Faithful.

No special gear required. Just shoes made for walking and a hungry soul.

The trail is easy, wide and mostly paved. Bicycles are welcome, but make enough noise to avoid frightening human walkers. This looks, feels and smells like bear country.

The only beasts to cross our path, however, were chipmonks that had little fear of two-legged visitors.

Bring the children. Our 4-year-old walked much of the distance and bounced on our shoulders when she got lazy.

Teenagers? Leave the headphones behind - nothing better than walking in such a place to induce talking.

It's a 2 1/2-mile trek through forest and glens before a taste of sulphur arrives on the breeze. The forest opens up and Lone Star Geyser stands some 20 feet high. Steam trails from its opening and hot water spurts forth with mighty grumblings that may hold the secrets of time.

We were lucky. The main show was about to begin.

The grumblings got louder and louder, and the water spouted higher and higher - and the sky weeped a steamy mist for those who gathered to wonder.