Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 41 YNP, FB/CG Found my Rings, Virginia Cascades, Fountain Paint Pots, Firehole Canyon Drive, Fountain Flat Drive, Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake Sandbar,

Captain’s Blog


Yellowstone National Park

Fishing Bridge, Wyoming

Fishing Bridge RV Park

July 13, 2009

I’m not sure who knows this but I have been frantically searching for my wedding ring, solitaire diamond and anniversary ring for the last year. I put them someplace and could not remember where. I had thought I put them in a white box and put them someplace “safe” but had no recollection after that. The rings all needed to be sized so I hadn’t been wearing them. I had been looking for a piece of clothing that I had put in a drawer and I could not find the item so I pulled out the bottom drawer of the bureau in the bedroom of the MH and on the floor was the small manila envelope with all three rings inside. Beside the envelope was the cosmetic bag I had been looking for as well. I must have pushed them out of the back of the drawer when I was emptying out the MH last May. Boy was I happy and glad to have my rings back.


Finding my rings started the day off perfectly so I anticipated another glorious day. We headed out to the Virginia Cascades DriveIMG_0753 and weren’t disappointed. The water soaring down the mountainside was beautiful as was the waterfall.IMG_0806

Next we went to the Fountain Paint Pots in the lower Geyser Basin. We walked the boardwalk and again found that although we were still viewing geysers, hot springs, mudpots and fumaroles no two were exactly alike. Some may be wondering why we felt it necessary to visit and view all of the different thermal areas - the diversity among the same elements is the reason.

The bottom of Silex spring IMG_0814 is lined in silica that forms the terraces of the spring. The activity of Silex Spring changes periodically. It had been dormant for 21 years but since 2000 it has erupted so frequently that it has destroyed the microbial mats around it.

At Fountain Paint PotsRon testing Water the composition of the mud was very thick and clay-like bubbling up with some force. No color here just gray. We passed several fumaroles which hissed and roared from the stem vents.

Red Spouter, which originated with the Hebgen Lake Earthquake, exhibits the behavior of all four thermal features. In the spring and summer its pools splash muddy water with a red tone (exactly what we saw). Later in the summer when the water table is low red spouter becomes a hissing Fumarole.

There are too many other geysers in the basin to mention. All unique in their own way and always leaving us awed.IMG_0768

We took the Firehole canyon drive and again were amazed by the number of thermal pools, geysers and steam vents one after the other. The thermal activity in this area is beyond imagination.

Next we took the Fountain Flat Drive IMG_0832 with its own set of unusual features. The topography was flat with some thermal activity running into the Yellowstone River. There were masses of dead trees that we found out later succumbed to rises in the water of the thermal areas. We stopped and had lunch by the river. I forgot to mention that the wind was blowing at around 30 MPH all day making the air very cold. Ron bad hair day!

The next stop was the Midway Geyser Basin, the most spectacular, in our opinion. The hot water and minerals causing variations of color cascading over the terraces provided a awesome entrance to the Basin. The walkway was shrouded in a misty haze from the steam rising from the thermal pools. The wind was blowing incredibly hard sending the waves of steam right into your face.  At times visibility was no more then two feet. Through the haze you could see bright aqua-blues rising from the thermal pools. The sight of the blue haze floating above the pools was breathtaking and nothing like we’ve ever seen before. The largest of these thermal pools is the IMG_0819 Grand Prismatic Spring measuring 200 feet across with temperatures of 160 degrees. This particular pool pumps 500 gallons per minute into the Firehole River.  Another pool in the Midway Geyser Basin equally as beautiful but not as big as the Grand Prismatic SpringIMG_0883 had a waterfall and pumps 5000 gallons of water per minute into the Firehole River. It was difficult to break away from the magnificent spectacle before our eyes but we had to finally walk away and wonder at the beauty of it all.Cat clinbing hill








Our next stop was to walk along the sandbar on Yellowstone Lake.IMG_0896 IMG_0904 When we arrived at the lake the wind gusts were really difficult to handle but we walked the small spit of land anyway. The lake was responding to the wind like an ocean with crashing waves against the sandbar. We had to give it up and head back to the car. The temperature was dropping rapidly and the wind was making it difficult to breath.

It is hard to believe that tomorrow is our last full day here. It has been one week already. There are a couple of other things we would like to do before we leave and hopefully we will get them in tomorrow.

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