Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yellowstone Thermals, Part I

Yellowstone reportedly has as many as 10,000 thermal features other than Old Faithful. This is a mudpot called Mud Volcano.

A fumarole on the Fountain Paint Pot Nature Trail.

Soda Butte in Lamar Valley.

Mammoth Hot Springs was a bit of a disappointment, mainly because most of the features were pretty dry so they weren't as colorful or dynamic as others.

This one was an exception; I believe it's the Cleopatra Terrace. I should really take better notes...

The Geyser Hill Loop Trail around Old Faithful showcased many colorful, bubbling springs.

Bacterial mats and algae flourished in much of the hot, mineral-rich waters.

Zak and I stopped at Solitary Geyser on our way to Observation Point. It erupts every four to seven minutes, and when we were there it started with a hiccup, added a belch and finished with a vomit. This is the tail end of the belch.

This was really disturbing to see. I'm not sure if these folks didn't understand all the numerous instructions not to EVER leave the boardwalk, or just didn't care. But I really hoped their kid didn't end up paying for their carelessness.

Taryn points out what could happen if you walk in a thermal area. Apparently at least one child has died this way. Frightening to think about.

Click here for Part II.

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