Algae-filled crystal clear stream.
come here too!
Old Faithful teases us.
The crowds gather.
There she goes...!
Oh.. oh.. look...
Yellowstone National Park - Mammoth Hot Springs
September 6-10, 2007 -- We drove into the main north entrance to
Yellowstone National Park and arrived at Mammoth Hot Springs. I
had never thought about how Yellowstone got its name, but when I
saw the colorful mineral deposits surrounding me it was obvious.
Steam billowed into the air from the hot springs and the smell of
sulphur wafted over us in waves. The minerals solidify into
stairstep formations and drippy solid lumps.
There is a mystical quality to this area. The water looks passive
and serene, but the mist and steam drifting above the surface
belie something more sinister brewing below.
I saw a fast flowing stream
filled with bright green plant
life. it was crystal clear and
looked like it must be ice
cold. Without even
thinking I put my hand in
the water - and yanked it
right out! The water was
hot hot hot!
There are mazes of
Mammoth Hot Springs,
some passing old defunct
springs and others skirting
pools of steaming mineral
water. The minerals harden
into all kinds of shapes, from
elaborate staircases to very
tall pinnacles. Some of the
springs bubble under vast
lakes punctuated by dead
trees. Up close the
minerals are a kaleidescope
In some areas the minerals harden in waves, like a frozen orange
ocean. In other areas mini-waterfalls dribble minerals over an edge.
At one lookout we found a professional photographer
using a huge format camera under a draped hood. Our
quickie snapshots of anything and everything around us
seemed amateurish next to his deliberate methodology.
Other areas of the park feature
geysers as well as hot springs.
And no visit to Yellowstone is
complete without a spin past Old
It erupts every 90 minutes or so,
and with less promptness and
splendor than 50 years ago when
an earthquake shifted things below the surface. The
crowds gather, however, and there were several
hundred people for our showing. We were lucky and
got a big burst after the geyser teased us with a series
of smaller sprays.
After enjoying much of what Yellowstone has to offer -- but realizing we'll have to return several times to see it all --
we made our way south into Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming.