OT: Back from Yellowstone National Park
- Hi Everybody,
Our family has just returned from a two-week camping trip featuring
one week at Yellowstone National Park. It is mostly in the state of
Wyoming, USA. Our first national park and (they claim) the world's
first national park, Yellowstone is most famous for the geyser, "Old
Faithful." The geo-thermal landscapes in this park are just stunning,
and the scenery at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is
outstanding. Pranlobha took lots of photos and I am sure she can be
persuaded to put some up on her gallery when she can find time. We'll
keep you posted on that.
Yellowstone Park is said to contain 2/3 of all the world's geo-
thermal features, with more than 60 geysers, and I don't know how
many thermal hot springs, fumaroles, and other steaming what-nots.
Many times while walking through flat, white, steaming basin-lands I
was watching for dinosaurs. It was so primeval and other-worldly.
Many of the springs are so hot they approach (and even exceed)
boiling point. They steam constantly. Most of them are magnificent
shades of my blue, which also happens to be my favorite color.
Brightly colored heat-loving bacterium called "thermophiles" live in
the run-off waters. Different thermophiles grow in different water
temperatures. So, a breathlessly beautiful blue pool may be
encircled by brilliant green, yellow, and rust-colored thermophiles.
In one famous pool, ("Grand Prismatic Spring") the steam above took
on the colors of the pool. So a vibrant blue mist hung and curled
above the blue waters. Where the mist hung over yellow thermophiles,
it became yellow.
There are lots of images of aerial views of Grand Prismatic Springs
on the web, but here's one I chose at random. Notice the boardwalk
with people walking on it - we were there!
Some of the geysers erupt on what seems to be a totally random
schedule, and others (such as Old Faithful) are somewhat predictable
("give or take two hours" for instance.) I really enjoyed the
chances I had to hang around some of the famous geysers waiting for
them to erupt. There is lots of suspense, subtle changes that let
you know something is coming, and then each one puts on a different
kind of show. They each seem to have their own, distinct
personalities. It reminded me of watching fireworks.
And the *sounds* these geysers make! Growling, roaring, soaring
power-jets, with water falling like heavy rain in pools and run-
offs. (Afterall, what goes up, must come down.)
It was also fascinating to learn that water in these erupting geysers
is thought to have fallen as rain hundreds of years of years ago.
And there it was, bursting high into the air, seeing the light of day
for the first time in centuries.
It was truly inspiring to see these unique aspects of our mother
earth's power and beauty.
By the way, did you know there are "Geyser Gazers?" And some even
call themselves "Geyser Gazer Geezers." It is a whole sub-culture.
Who knew? But I can surely understand the addictive quality of
Okay, okay, I'll stop "gushing" about Yellowstone now!