What did we see besides the lone bison? More cool hydrothermal features, like Roaring Mountain..You can hear this mountain hiss. Heat loving bacteria are slowly eating away this mountain. How can this be possible? Here's the explanation which we thought was interesting! (Sparky didn't want to have to spell the name of that bacteria, laughs E.)
And here's Roaring Mountain, having a hissy fit!
The loop drive we took today was from the west entrance into the park to the four way stop, then left towards Mammoth Hot Springs, a northern route through the park versus the southern route (Old Faithful) that we took on Day 1 in the park.
Temperatures of the pools and geysers are above 200 degrees here, and you could feel the heat even though air temps were in the low sixties the day we went. Every year springs, geysers and basins change at Norris. It's one of the most unpredictable areas in the park. What you see one year might not be there the next. The chemistry of the water underground is always changing, causing changes in colors and water on top of the ground.
There's a lot of bacteria and viruses in the park's hydrothermal features, that's what causes the many different colors in the water runoff and the water surrounding the pools. There are signs that say, "TOXIC GASES exist in Yellowstone. Dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide have been measured in some hydrothermal areas. If you feel sick, leave the area immediately." Scary stuff, but guess they have to warn you. We didn't feel any adverse effects and people have been coming to Yellowstone for many many years, but it does make you stop and wonder as you gaze down into the pools loaded with bacteria! Some areas were VERY stinky, others not so much! Nothing worse than remembering the odors in chemistry lab in high school!
I love the names of some of these geysers...Palpitator Spring, Porkchop Geyser, Whirligig Geyser, Puff 'n Stuff Geyser, and more.
|Orange Spring Mound|
We really enjoyed our drive today through the north and western side of the park....hope you enjoyed the drive with us! We're going to go hunting for bison herds tomorrow.....There haven't been any on the western side of the park, despite blinking yellow warning signs warning of bison.....we hear they are on the other side of the park...we'll go check it out for you! :-) See you later...