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Lie Down with Geysers

June 24, 2017

The day began with shouts and cries of “Hurry up!” and “Run towards the Beehive!” Many of us were unsure why we began running to see bees, but Megan and Melissa assured us that it was worth it to run and see the geyser named Beehive. After a brisk walk we made it to the river to see our first of 11 eruptions today in the Upper Geyser Basin.

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Beehive Geyser eruption

While we were walking around the geysers, Ranger Rebecca joined us and was kind enough to share all of her expertise, explaining how the geyser system works and why it was so important to protect – Yellowstone is home to the largest concentration of geysers in the world and is listed as a World Heritage Sight. She even let us help with some data collection on one of the thermal features. The geysers themselves were a continually beautiful sight. We saw geysers that produced rainbows in their sprays of water and steam, geysers that rumbled and drained the previously spewed water back down into their abyss, and even felt the deep, bass thump of some geysers.

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Lion Geyser with a rainbow!

Later on, we were led to a hot spring a fair distance away from all the others. We immediately noticed its blue pool, and streams of orange flowing from it that are created by the thermophiles (heat-loving microorganisms) that live in the hot water. Megan lay down and said that it was “nap time”. Many of us reacted with curiosity, but did as we were instructed and laid down on the ground surrounding the hot spring. After only a few short seconds we soon understood our peculiar directions when we felt the ground shake beneath us. Again and again we felt the earth rumbling and thumping under us, caused by the force of small steam explosions occurring in the water column of the spring. Finally after another few bumps, we heard the gases rising up from the hot spring pool in front of us as bubbles burst at the surface. Several of us described the sensation as akin to an angry neighbor that lives the floor below you, slamming the door and stomping their feet. It was a multi-sensory experience to see, hear, feel, and smell the hot springs, one that will never be forgotten.

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Geyser basin “nap time” – feeling the thumping of Black Sand Pool

In the afternoon we started heading north again towards Mammoth Hot Springs. We made several stops in other thermal basins to see dazzling pools of many colors and to learn about the mudpots at Fountain Paint Pots. One of our last activities of the day was a refreshing head dunk in the Firehole River. This woke everyone up from a long day of walking and revitalized our determination to have a spectacular last day of exploration in the park tomorrow!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Ronald Heinze permalink
    June 25, 2017 8:33 am

    Did you feel the earthquakes that happened during the beginning of your week?

    • June 28, 2017 7:23 pm

      Hi Ronald,
      There was a fairly big earthquake (~4.5) before we got there. We didn’t feel any earthquakes while we were in Yellowstone, though.

  2. Nicole Bailey permalink
    June 25, 2017 9:27 am

    What are the temperature ranges for the hot springs?

    • June 28, 2017 7:26 pm

      We brought at infrared thermometer and measured temperatures ranging from about 120 to about 190 degrees F.

  3. Stacy Hill permalink
    June 25, 2017 7:49 pm

    We didn’t get to see the mammoth hot springs, we ran out of time but stones favorite was the crazy mud pots!

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