And by that I mean Mother Earth.
As I understand it, the geyser basin that includes Old Faithful (darn that haze!) contains more than half the active geysers in the world.
We took the boardwalk trail that loops around “behind” Old Faithful to see some of the geysers and fumaroles, hot pools and calcite ice (some of the mineral precipitate from the geothermal water—good with gin, perhaps). Even with the haze: stunning.
Not all the pools are in an exploding mode. Some are quiet. Even for years. Some drain and become “dead.” I loved looking into underground caverns that the water boils through (sometimes over 700°F when it becomes gaseous deep below the surface).
This one had been quiet as we approached, but started boiling and churning right in front of us.
Others oozed steam without a dramatic explosion.
The bison do walk among the geothermals. I saw an amazing photo in the Visitor Center…a crowd of shaggy, winter-furred bison, coated with ice crystals from the steam freezing on them. Just incredible. Long lens.
All the water the geysers and fumaroles generate…where’s it go? Here it drains into the Yellowstone River….
The minerals in the water weaken and kill trees, forbs, grass, many living things. Wind can then topple tree skeletons. Because of the rock/travertine, the trees have particularly shallow roots, pure artistry in their toppled death-throes. This was a pine.
With s’mores ingredients newly at hand, the Nephews launched fire-making with a new fervor. Plus marshmallow-stick creation. Somehow marshmallow became mushroom, so, at our camp they were mushroom-roasting sticks.
Again, a hazy dusk, but not QUITE so thick. Gorgeous though.