t2.bmp (300054 bytes)  Thermal Features

 

 

West Thumb
This is really an impressive, scary area.  The bubbling, boiling hot springs continually billow clouds of rotten-egg stinky steam.  Everywhere signs warn you not to step off the path because the crust is thin and you can fall thru and be cooked.

Along the top of the photo, you can see part of Yellowstone Lake, which is like a cold benign neighbor to these hot springs.

It's amazing that grass & wildflowers grow right up to the edge of these features.

"Life will find a way," Lou quoted from Jurassic Park as we strolled by.

I guess we were there at a nice time, because the boardwalk was not always jammed with people.
Stinky stinky steam cloud.  Hold your breath and walk faster... but gosh with this elevation, don't walk too fast.
I've cooked spaghetti in a pot of boiling water that didn't roil and roll and splash as much as this little hole in the ground.
The cloud here obscures the totally unexpected Caribbean blues and greens of these deep hot springs.  We could see quite a way down into the spring.  

The walls are lined with white lumpy rock, deposited as the water comes up thru the underlying rock which it has dissolved of minerals.

More of the same, but with orange areas which remind us of the kitchen counters in our first house.  The orange is either minerals (iron) or a bacterial mat.  We both sort of zoned out during part of the tour.
You look off into the grassy treed area and think, "I could stroll thru there nicely," but then you notice the death steam clouds...
Take me back to Aruba for some snorkeling, man!

 

The white along the edge reminds Lou of the salt around a margarita.

Great shot of that lumpy white rock that lines the pools.
Our guide Kevin said he had never seen this geyser go off during his three summers of leading tours.  Could not name it.  It really blew!
We are looking at Yellowstone Lake, very close to the shore.  

People used to catch fish and without even taking them off the hook, dangle them into this boiling water (dark circle) to cook the fish.

Really wore down the cone around the dark circle, plus they tested and found an unhealthy concentration of arsenic  there...

Another hot spot in the lake near the shore.

 

Madison and Norris area
Bubbling white sandy mud pot.  We were lucky that it had rained and these were active.
Fumarole!  This is a spot where hot gas blows out.  Noisy. Powerful.
Hints of yellow.  Pretty.

 

Parking Lot
A hot spring opened up in this parking lot so recently that they hadn't even had time to do more than erect a temporary fence.  

This really underlined for us that the natural processes are in charge here, and that visitors and the park service are at the mercy of nature's plumbing system.

Just eating away at the pavement!  

I'd hate to have been parking over this puppy when it started to break thru.

 

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