Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Yellowstone: Upper Geyser Basin

Upper Geyser Basin is where you can see Old Faithful. I was afraid since there are so many people, and even a viewing area with benches to sit on, maybe it wouldn't seem that cool. But it WAS cool! We loved it! It's so amazing to see that much water and steam just burst out of the ground—and to think of how consistently the chambers below are filling and pressurizing and emptying.
It felt like a long time waiting for Old Faithful to start. There were lots of little false alarms and small spurts of water first. But the main eruption is so BIG!
There are lots of other great places to hike around in the area. There are a few other predictable geysers, but not as predictable as Old Faithful, and with higher margins of uncertainty. I think you'd have to be staying in Yellowstone a good long time to make it worth waiting for a geyser that has a +/- 3-hour or 6-hour window! Someday, if we ever come without kids maybe! :)

There were clouds overhead on this day, and it made SO much difference in the heat! When the sun went behind a cloud it was very pleasant.
These violently bubbling pots were some of my favorite things. I love the sound and the obvious aliveness of them!
So many beautiful colors from the thermophiles and the mineral deposition!

We saw a coyote or something, crossing the stream. Actually I couldn't see him very well until I looked at this picture more closely! There were lots of people and we were surprised he was even hanging around.

We didn't get to see Daisy geyser erupting, but Daisy was pleased about it anyway.
More wildlife.
This geyser looks a troll with two eyes and a long nose! It's called "Grotto Geyser." Sam said when he went to Yellowstone as a little kid, he didn't get to see Grotto Geyser for some reason, and he's always remembered that and been regretful. Now his life is complete!
Marigold kept trying to stop and trace the letters on the signs with her fingers, and I kept trying to make her keep walking. Finally she asked SO nicely that I couldn't refuse. So here she is tracing "GROTTO GEYSER." And now HER life is complete!
The water droplets were so shining and pretty against the trees.
Interesting deposition of minerals
We were happy to come upon several geysers erupting in this basin, as we had in Norris Geyser Basin. Some types just spurt out a little bit all the time, but the one in this picture was really shooting out a big jet of water and steam. I think this was "Lion Geyser."
The path got wooded in places, and there were lots of pretty wildflowers!
I love the look of these bleached, dead trees against the living ones, too. Some of them have been sort of petrified (mineralized?) from the minerals brought up into them from the ground.
This was a cool geyser that bubbled out from about 20 different holes. ("Spasmodic Geyser," if I remember right?) The top picture is during eruption and the bottom is when we hiked by again an hour later. The water is all drained down into the holes!
This one, "Sawmill Geyser," was nearby, and linked somehow to Spasmodic Geyser. I love stuff like this. I wish I had x-ray vision and could see all the passages and chambers that link together underground! Again, you can see the water covering the area during the eruption, and then totally drained afterwards. I thought this was so cool!
"Bijou Geyser"?
I loved the light as it changed from sun to shadow. Yellowstone is such a beautiful place!

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