Thursday, September 29, 2011

Geysers are cool

I mean, geysers are SOOO cool!

I spent the last week in/on a super volcano! It's kinda creepy thinking about what made Yellowstone the amazing natural wonder that it is... but millions of years ago, this gigantic volcano exploded, leaving the caldera that forms the valleys, canyons, and peaks of Yellowstone park.

The Yellowstone River as viewed from the brink of Lower Falls

It was... beautiful there. I went to see my friend Lori during her last week as an Interp ranger at Old Faithful... I knew I would enjoy hanging out with her and hiking, but I never anticipated that I would dig geysers so much! Each one has its own personality... from the predictability in timing of to the nature of each eruption... I was duly impressed. Some geysers blow off steam and super heated water for hours... while others barely trickle. Here are some of my favorites:

Sponge: This is an eruption for Sponge geyser...
 Yay Sponge! You erupted! It seems like a lot of effort!
White Dome (in the background):
This geyser erupts every 20 or 30 minutes! The geyser in the foreground
(Great Fountain) is less frequent in its displays

Daisy: This geyser makes a chugging sound like a train during its
steam phase (at the end of the eruption cycle).

Grotto: This geyser has a strange shape, probably due to a tree falling into it
and becoming covered with minerals. It will also erupt for extended periods of time,
sometimes up to 24 hours or longer!!
Old Faithful: Not the biggest or the most dramatic
 geyser in the park, but surely the most predictable.
Beehive: This geyser's eruption is higher than Old Faithful's
and if you stand in just the right spot, you can get soaked by
the water as it falls on the boardwalk!

Castle: This geyser can have a dramatic and lengthy steam phase.
And my favorite, Great Fountain: This geyser has a 4 hour window in which
it may erupt. It begins with a trickle, then starts to roil, and then shoots water sky high!
I was lucky enough to catch a "blue bubble" in Great Fountain. According to the Geyser Observation and Study Association website's page on Great Fountain,
"a Blue Bubble occurs when a calm and still pool of water is domed up by a large expanding steam bubble. As the steam bubble rises and expands, the entire 16 foot wide pool of water is lifted and domed outward creating a beautiful blue bubble. Once the steam reaches the surface the water explodes outward and upward."
Have I geeked out enough for you yet? It was completely amazing!

I also learned that there are people who spend weeks, sometimes the whole summer, watching geysers and reporting via walkie talkie to the Old Faithful visitor center with the time of eruptions. They're called "Geyser Gazers," and they get REALLY excited about geysers... I mean... really. Who knew? (Confession: now that I know that GG's exist... I kinda wanna be one.)

More on Yellowstone later... I still have waterfalls and wildlife to cover! So much packed into one week! For now, it's off to bed with me... although I'll have to snuggle with the dog tonight since Noah has to work the overnight shift in the office. Bah. At least Tag doesn't snore!


  1. I'm sure Tag makes an excellent bed buddy. I'm sort of jealous. :)

    And yes, geysers are the coolest! I spent quite a lot of time gaping at them when we were there a few weeks ago. Gah, wouldn't it have been awesome if we'd been at Yellowstone at the same time?

  2. hey- you stole MY favorite geyser! Great Fountain was MY favorite first!!!! Love your pics, though.


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