Saturday, September 6

Hot stuff!

Yellowstone National Park sits atop a dormant volcano. Almost half the park’s surface area consists of a giant volcanic caldera almost 75kms across. It last erupted in an earth-shattering explosion more than 640,000 years ago. Its ash fell across half of the continental USA, while in the park itself the ash fell so thickly massive cliffs were created.

Today, geothermal activity can be found throughout the park. Perhaps the most famous of these hotspots is Old Faithful geyser. Garry and I are off to see this wonder tomorrow. Today we had to content ourselves with the less impressive Norris geyser basin.

It’s home to the park’s largest geyser, the Steamboat geyser. It erupts infrequently. When it does, its plume rises more than 91 metres into the air. It last erupted in 2005. That is, until two nights ago when it erupted again in a massive blast. When we arrived this morning, the vent was still blasting jets of superheated steam.

Nearby we also witnessed the Constant geyser in action. It erupted twice while we were there, albeit for 10-15 seconds at a time. We waited for some of its larger neighbours to burst into life. However, we were out of luck. The remained stubbornly silent. Although in a distant corner we did manage to see a small venting geyser roaring away.

While the geysers were a bit of a disappointment, our first sight of the day wasn’t. We visited the Grand Canyon’s north rim where you can walk right up to the rim of its iconic falls. We were lucky enough to have the brink of Upper falls to ourselves for almost ten minutes. Without doubt though, the highlight of the day was Lookout Point. This overlook offered a truly postcard perfect view of Lower Falls in its entire splendour.

1 comment:

Rhonda said...

I'm sure you are both having a wonderful time. Perfect weather (it's rained here most of the week and more expected) and seeing all those animals--how exciting. Dad asks if you saw Yogi??? Well done Gaz for not going on that dangerous path-proud of you.
It looks like a wonderful part of the world.