If you are just now tuning in, please visit the previous post, Yellowstone National Park, Part I, for the first half of the journey.
After resting at Mammoth Hot Springs our next stop is Obsidian Cliff. This is interesting because obsidian was one of the materials Native Americans used to make projectile points. It is clear and as hard as sharp as glass.
Now we are starting to get to the really interesting stuff, the geysers (pronounced guy-zers NOT gee-zers. If you tell me about all the geezers you’ve seen, I think you’ve been hanging out at the Irma.) Norris Geyser Basin has some amazing sights:
The colours are produced by micro-bacteria which lives in the warm water. Unfortunately, these sights also inspire warnings:
It seems like it would be self evident, but people think they should go traipsing around in the thermal areas and they get badly burned. Stay on the path!
Come on, come on. Get back in the car. Things only get better. We can stop at Gibbons Falls and cool off from the hot springs.
The Fountain Paint Pots are next.
Just when you think things couldn’t get more spectacular, we get to Midway Geyser Basin:
Grand Prismatic Spring (left) and Excelsior Geyser (Top). Grand Prismatic Spring displays a stunning rainbow of colors created by species of thermophilac (heat-loving) bacteria that thrive in narrow temperature ranges. The blue water in the center is too hot to support any bacterial life, while the outer orange rings are the coolest water. Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest spring in the United States and the third-largest in the world.
Hurry! Old Faithful is about to errupt and we don’t want to wait another 91 minutes to see it! That’s right. Old Faithful Geyser errupts every 91 minutes. You can set your watch by it.
If you are exhausted, we can stop at the Old Faithful Inn for some refreshments.
Old Faithful Inn opened in 1904 and today it reigns as the largest log hotel in the world. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1987. One year later it was nearly destroyed in the forest fires that rampaged through the park.
Our last stop is the Lone Star Geyser.
This also requires something of a hike so I’ve never seen it.
This concludes the scenery portion of the guided tour. I know you’ve been asking, “But what about the ANIMALS?” Hold your horses. Part III of the tour is all about the animals of Yellowstone National Park.