Friday, October 17, 2014

Yellowstone II

Something a lot of people do not know is that a good portion of Yellowstone National Park is a caldera for an active super volcano. The caldera is so large that geologists did not recognize it for many years -- everywhere they explored and searched, they were already in the caldera. Two of the biggest volcanic eruptions in earth’s history have been at Yellowstone. The last eruption was in 1350 BC. There are 1000 - 3000 earthquakes in the park annually.

Hot pool of blue water

Steam rising from hot pool

A river at the bottom of a canyon.

"You can't roller skate in a buffalo herd, you can't roller skate in a buffalo herd, you can't roller skate in a buffalo herd, but you can be happy if you've a mind to." -- Roger Miller

Stream beside the road inside Yellowstone Park.

The partially molten magma beneath Yellowstone is the cause of the geysers, hot springs, mud pots and
fumaroles. There are about 300 geysers in Yellowstone, one of which is called “Old Faithful”. It is called “Old Faithful” because the water eruptions are somewhat predictable at about 91 minutes between eruptions. There are always park rangers around to tell tourists the schedule and answer questions tourists ask routinely. The rangers have to be patient to answer the same questions all day long.

The day Kathi and I were there we visited “Old Faithful” in the afternoon, so we were tired when we got there. By the time we walked around looking at the hot springs and other small geysers in the area we were more tired. When we found out the schedule for “Old Faithful”, we had just missed the last eruption, so we had an hour and a half to wait. A normal eruption for “Old Faithful” is a water cone about 100 to 180 feet high. It was springtime and a bright sun-shiny day, so I sat on a bench reading park literature while we waited. The hot pools and geysers around us made it very humid and warm. Finally the 91 minutes were up and we stood to watch the eruption. I got my camera ready and nothing happened. We waited and waited and nothing happened. I walked over to the park ranger and he told me the time schedule was approximate. This time it was almost 20 minutes late and then it sputtered a water spout about 40 feet high. I did not bother with a picture. The ranger told me the time for the next eruption, so Kathi and I went to our car and drove home.   

I was a little disappointed, because I figured I would never get to see the majesty of “Old Faithful.” I bet I could find a Video on YouTube, but it would not be like me being there. That was a minor disappointment for all the great sights we saw while we were at Yellowstone. 

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