Friday, February 21, 2014

Norris Basin is like the moon, Epic Yellowstone, Day 2

Epic Yellowstone 2013

Day 2 was all about thermal features that were not geysers.  Springs, flows, steam vents, mud pots, and the organisms that live in them.
One of the larger pools in Norris Basin has this incredible, unbelievable milky blue color.

The first view of Norris basin makes it look like a chunk of the moon just dropped into the middle of forest.

Hey,  my panorama works :)

If you were one of the those early pioneers and came across this?  Troubling!  There is so much ongoing thermal activity that several of the wooden paths were moved as new water seeps pop up.

The micro-organisms do make some great colors that you can see up close

We spent a lot of time in this position.

Some of the pools are very still

some are active, this place has a little of everything.

It is a short walk to Steamboat geyser which went off unexpectedly in July so we wait around a little longer, just in case.  It does just a small bit of gushing for us, but mostly you hear the gurgling boiling bubbling noises.

Just below Steamboat is Cistern Spring

Excellent examples of the 'bobby sock' trees.   As the thermal feature moves into areas of forest, the trees start soaking up the minerals and slowly die.

On this loop there are mostly pools, but all with different combinations of organisms, making them all radically different colors.

There are a couple of steam vents which are not as cool looking, but often sound pretty scary.

Looks like ice!

And finally, a favorite along the trail is Green Dragon Spring.   To see it you first walk on the top of it, which then seems like a very bad idea-will the cavern collapse someday?!?

Definitely one of the best named features, it has the green pool in front, it has steam and scary noises.

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