On the way down to Old Faithful we passed a number of other geological curiosities, so we decided to make an extended journey back to the campground taking time to see some of these on the way. The first was a couple of pools, (I’d say each around ninety metres across and fifty deep). On the road approaching you can see steam rising from them, strangely tinted with a soft blue haze in some places and orange in others. As with most of these stops your path is dictated by wooden walkways which both preserve the geological integrity of the site and protect the public from harm. They may sound a little restrictive but the precautions feel right when in this environment. Both of the pools are roughly circular in shape with deep caverns that are pure bright blue/turquoise. As the surface emits steam into the cold air, it looks as though the earth has stolen the sky and decided to release the clouds. The upper most of these pools is also edged with dark orange, red and yellow particles and is aptly named the prismatic pool. Standing on the gangplanks I am surrounded by hot steam which only intensifies the experience into a haze of colour and energy. Reading one of the information signs it suggests that scientific study of the microbes and particles, which make these incredible hues, now suggests that it is in just these types of pools that life on earth started. It is also advancing our knowledge of what might provide the basis of life on other planets. Funny that, because another planet is exactly what they look like.
We moved onto the Lower Geyser Basin, it has a notable geyser and bubbling pools of mud belching steam into the air. As the sun lowers in the sky we are treated to the sight of the geyser in silhouette and the tiny droplets of water shine like crystals. Two stops more on the way home along Firehole River, we decided on a milky coffee on the bank of Firehole River, in th heat of the late evening and were joined by some Buffalo with Andrew making a hasty retreat from their path after being stared down. Then an incredible sunset, which is the first I’ve seen with an identical palette to Moran’s, I always assumed he may have been exaggerating, it would appear not.
Tomorrow Mammoth Hot Springs.