Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 42 YSNP, FB/CG, Wash RV, LeHardy’s Rapids, Mud Volcano, Sulfur Caldron, Seagull Point Drive

Captain’s Blog


Yellowstone National Park

Fishing Bridge, Wyoming

Fishing Bridge RV Park

July 14, 2009

Now I need to get that BLOG posted 

Today was our last full day in Yellowstone. We spent the early part of the day preparing the MH for the next leg of our journey. I cleaned the inside and Ron cleaned the outside. He broke the campground rules and washed the MH one section at a time trying not to be too conspicuous about it.

Later in the afternoon we headed out to LeHardy’s Rapids IMG_0917 IMG_0919 and enjoyed the rushing water and fresh air.








We then took a Ranger walk through the Mud Volcano Trail. The Mud Volcano area is near the spot of the greatest uplift and sinking of the volcano floor (not a comforting thought). Many faults converge here and earthquakes are common. The Mud Volcano area is only six miles from our CG and the Ranger told us there were 200 earthquakes recorded in the area between December 2008 and January 2009.

Sulphur Caldron is also located here and the pungent odor of rotten eggs is very prevalent, caused by hydrogen sulfide gas.

Mud volcano is not really a volcano at all. It once was until a violent eruption blew out its side. Now it is a bubbling caldron of dark gray mud-like material.IMG_0924IMG_0928

Dragon’s Mouth Spring surges water and hisses steam like a dragons’ breath. The water was once an emerald green but the drop in temperature has changed the color from green to chalky white.

Along the trail we stopped to view a large area of dead trees atop a hillside. The area is called “Cooking Hillside.” As I said this area has many earthquakes and between 1978-79 a swarm of earthquakes struck the area. The hydrothermal features were altered and soil temperatures increased to nearly 200 degrees cooking the roots of the trees killing them.

Another interesting feature is Sour Lake so named for its acidic or “sour water.” Sour Lake The area looks like a pleasant swimming hole but the water is full of sulphuric acid. 

Across the road from Mud Volcano is one of the most acidic springs in Yellowstone. Sulphur Caldron’IMG_0947 turbulent waters have a Ph of 1-2 which is acidic as car battery acid or stomach fluid. Check out the Buffalo getin a sauna

The mantra here is that the dynamic flows beneath the surface here in Yellowstone make changes to the landscape every day. That is evident in the parking lots around the basins. There are large holes in the pavement the Park Rangers call parking lot pool holesIMG_0930 that have been created by the underground thermal pools. The acid content within the steam have eaten away the concrete and parts of four inch metal grates. 

Across from Sulphur Caldron is a hillside with beautiful trees and green grass. It is actually a buldge iCheck out the bulgen the Earth’s crust that has been increasing by at least 2.5 inches per year. The last big eruption within the Yellowstone Volcanic region was over 630,000 years ago. It is anticipated that this will happen again and the area is overdue at 640,000 years. Nice thought!!! Ther e are 22 seismic stations in the area recording all earthquakes within and around the caldera. If this thing decides to blow without warning no one get out. So what the heck are we doing here anyway!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, it could happen but the beauty of the surroundings and the variety of geological and thermal features make the risk worth taking. We would love to stay longer but have another couple of stops before getting to Kelly’s. Can’t wait to see them all again.

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