Geysers/hot springs, Yellowstone National Park
Favorite thing: The geysers of Yellowstone provide the spectacle and high drama but they are by no means the only attraction of the park. I was also fascinated by the colourful details of the various hot springs and mud pools, and took great pleasure in trying to capture these colours with my camera. So do make sure you look down at your feet as you cross the boardwalks to see this other side of Yellowstone.
Favorite thing: If you have seen my Lassen National Park page--you know that I call that place a geothermic playground. But as nice as Lassen is--it cannot hold a candle to Yellowstone. This place is the premier spot on the planet for geysers, fumaroles, vents and mudpots (including Iceland). My best advice is to pretend that you are a kid and approach Yellowstone with a sense of wonderment and awe.
I have a lot of memories of the trip we took in 1948. Yellowstone was one of the most outstanding of them, and one of the places that I liked best was Morning Glory pool. I did not see it in 2010 - it used to be right on the road, but now it requires more walking than I could do. My grandson went to see it, and his pictures show that it is surrounded by an orange and yellow bacteria mat. So it is probably as well that I just have my father's pictures to enhance my memory, and didn't go see it this time.
Other memories that I have include my father using a schedule that the park service gave him to see what geysers were going to erupt, and going to wait for them. And also walking the boardwalk of Biscuit Basin. We could have done that this time, but it was closed.
Visit some geysers other than Old Faithful
Fondest memory: Old Faithful is great, but the best thing we did in Yellowstone was stop to see some of the other geysers in the area. We witnessed Fan and Mortar Geyser erupting, which hadn't erupted in 8 years! (It is in the upper basin near the Morning Glory pool.) There was a team of scientists there thinking that it may or may not erupt sometime that day. It teased us with small spurts and bubbles for quite some time, while we debated to wait & see if it was going to happen. What a thrill when it actually started going! The water was spraying above our heads and in all directions against the blue sky. So, I guess my point is, try to see something in addition to the old standards - you might just witness something rare.
Fondest memory: We knew going in that timing is everything when trying to view Old Faithful...it's not going to erupt every hour on the hour. So after finding out that we had arrived early, we settled in for the show. About 30 minutes after we arrived, the show began...but guess what? Our camera batteries died, so no picture. Lucky for us, there were a couple photo shops in town, so we head there the next morning, picked up some new batteries and went back to Old Faithful to take the pictures. So as the saying goes, "timing is everything.”
Fondest memory: Hot Springs are similar to geysers, but their underground channels are large enough to allow rapid circulation of water. Rising hot water releases heat energy by evaporation or hot water runoff, while convection currents return the cooler water to the underground system, thus maintaining equilibrium. The microorganisms which live in and around the hot springs often make the pools very colorful.
Favorite thing: Old Faithful is far from the only geyser in the park. Geyser basins in the park include Norris Geyser Basin, Lower Geyser Basin, and West Thumb Geyser Basin.
Favorite thing: The major factors that contribute to the colors in a hot spring or thermal pool are the minerals and algae.