Day 7 continued: Norris Geyser Basin

Dear readers, apologies for the sudden disappearance late last week. Other obligations do intrude sometimes on my blogging.

Anyway: Yellowstone. Geysers!

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After our morning and lunchtime in the Canyon area, we headed back to the western side of the park to visit the Norris Geyser Basin. Norris is the hottest thermal area in the park, owing to its location at the junction of three fault lines that were formed by the Yellowstone caldera eruption 640,000 years ago. There are a great number of hot springs, geysers, and bubbling pools to be seen.

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With a quick stop at the visitor center, we were oriented and ready to rumble.

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There are signs all over the place warning visitors – in many languages – not to step off the boardwalk. Tragically, a young child was killed about 40 years ago on a visit to the park after stepping off the walkway and into a thermal feature. While the safety concerns are deadly serious, we found this artistic rendering goofy:

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My people were good about watching the geysers from a safe place.

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We saw a couple of mud pots in the Norris area. They smell terrible.

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In fact, pretty much all of the thermal features smell bad. You’ll be walking along, minding your own business, when suddenly you are enveloped in a hot cloud of sulfur. Strange, and not very pleasant.

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Like our hiking day at Mammoth, we saw some ominous clouds and a smattering of rain, which chased away many of the other visitors. With our rain gear in hand, we had no worries. And it turned out not to rain very much at all, so once again we nearly had the place to ourselves.

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Tomorrow: More geysers at Old Faithful.