Yellowstone became the world’s first National Park in 1872 as the result of great foresight on the part of many people. The uniqueness of the geothermal landscape needed to be protected for future generations and saved from the destructive affects of mining or oil and gas drilling or too much development and commercialization. The park receives close to three million visitors every year. It is 3,500 sq. miles of wilderness, canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs, and geyers. Our first day at Yellowstone was spent walking the 2 miles of boardwalks and trails at Norris Geyser Basin, which is the hottest and most changeable area in the park; primarily because three volcanic fault lines intersect there (one of the faults had an eruption of 7.4 on the Richter Scale in 1959).
Yellowstone National Park is estimated to have over 10,000 thermal features and almost 1,300 different geyers have erupted at one time or another, with 465 of them active during an average year. We climbed the Monument Trail to get a look at the view. On the way to Norris Geyser Basin we stopped at the steaming ‘chimney.’ And the Gibson Geyser Basin. Emerald Spring at Norris Basin. Interesting formations on the shoreline.
Steamboat Geyser is constantly venting steam and is the world’s tallest geyer having sent 95.5° C ( 204°F ) steam soaring 120m (390′) into the air. It usually erupts about once a year but has had as many as 50 years between eruptions. Steamboat has no particular schedule or pattern but does have frequent smaller eruptions of accumulated steam and water.
Cistern Spring Pearl Geyser This dead stump looks very much like some kind of lobster-like sea creature.Unlike the rest of the park, the waters from Norris Basin are acidic, not alkaline, so a different class of bacterial thermophiles live at Norris creating formations, patterns, and colours unlike those in other areas of the park. Yellow Funnel Spring. One of the many colours of the water at Norris Geyser Basin. Black Growler Steam Vent There were so many pools of water with lovely colours and unusual forms and shapes in the bottom or around the edges. Here is another weird root creature. This panorama shot shows just a small area of Norris Basin.Pinwheel Geyser is located at the end of Procelain Basin (one of the sections of Norris) and from there we were walking the back of the boardwalk loop toward the truck.
Over the course of our first day at Yellowstone I took almost 350 photos. After weeding and deleting my file for the day contains 171 pictures. Of those I have included about 90 in this blog. I know this a lot, but you must understand by now that I love to preserve my memories in ‘film.’ I have really enjoyed walking the trails of Norris again for this blog. I warn you that the next three entries will be similar.