Friday, October 20, 2017

Yellowstone's gorgeous geysers are a spouting wonder of the world

Yellowstone's extraordinary geysers erupt at various times around the clock.  The  Grand Prismatic Basin is a good place
to see geysers if your enjoy a hike. So is Upper Geyser Basin, because of the frequency of the "blasts" and plumes. 


Photographer and counselor Rick Cosgriffe makes his annual fall pilgrimage, 
as behind him clouds, geysers and waterfalls merge in steam and spray.
Stage Coach Inn is perfect base for geyser hopping  


TRAPPER JOHN Colter must have thought he was hallucinating. Or that he'd died and gone to you-know-where.
A thermal pool at the Norris Geyser Basin reveals gorgeous greens and golds.

 When he happened on the wonderland of eysers, hotpots and warm bubbling springs in 1808, he may have doubted his eyes. Or thought the end of the world was near. (I always think of the three Weird Sisters in the opening of "Macbeth."Even now, after nearly 100 trips to Yellowstone National Park, geysers, mud pots, molten pools astonish with their vivid colors, scents and shapes. So check in to the vintage, well located and historic Stage Coach Inn in West Yellowstone -- and begin your nearby geyser hopping adventure.

Yellowstone's geysers and hot pots offer an artist's array of color.

NOTHING LIKE a geyser to make you feel small, insignificant and aware of your "lowly cog" status in the  the universe. Yellowstone, mostly in Wyoming but claimed by Montanans as ours, is the world's best place to see geysers. Oh, sure, they exist in Chile, Iceland and New Zealand, but not on the spectacular scale as the Yellowstone geyser bonanza.

SO WHAT is a geyser? Simply put: a hot spring in which water intermittently boils, sending a tall column of water and steam into the air.

The Stage Coach Inn in West Yellowstone offers a perfect stay
with a lovely breakfast, comfy rooms and great location.
Black and white image makes the steam of these
eerie Yellowstone geysers even more surreal.

Trapper Joe Meek stumbled upon what is now known as the Norris Geyser basin area in 1829. His stories of fire, brimstone and boiling pots were met with unbelief.  In the 1830s, mountain man Jim Bridger began exploring the Yellowstone region. Few believed his reports of petrified birds and trees and waterfalls "spouting upwards."  

Take a turn-off from the beaten path, to discover beautiful pools, geysers. 
From left, clockwise, Bruce Keller, Rick Cosgriffe, Christene (Cookie) Meyers
and Elliana Broscious enjoy a recent Yellowstone outing on the geyser trail, 
A RAFT OF explorers followed,  traversing the strange and wonderful geyser basins, pondering the park's glories.  After Colter, naturalists developed a way to log the various thermal features and the term “geyser,” came into being. The term originated in Iceland in the late 18th century.  It comes from the word, geysir, the name of a particular spring in Iceland, and is related to geysa meaning "to gush." Some of Yellowstone's geysers erupt every 10 minutes or so.  When I was a child, Old Faithful was just that, sending gorgeous plumes as high as a hotel, every hour -- give or take a minute. Today she erupts every 35 to 120 minutes, seldom going over over 180 feet. She is still the park's most famous spouter, having erupted more than a million times since Yellowstone debuted as the world's first national park in 1872.
Yellowstone's "big four" include geysers, hot springs,
fumaroles and mudpots. A fumarole is an opening  
through which hot sulfurous gases emerge.
Hot pots and geysers north of Gibbon 
Falls, before the junction to Canyon.
place to see geysers and mud pots is Artists' Paintpots, gurgling pastel-colored mud and springs, bubbling, dancing and hissing under a blanket of steam. Besides Old Faithful, Castle Geyser and Riverside Geyser are other popular ones to show off the unique geothermal features of  

Yellowstone's steaming vents, eruptions and hot springs.  The "big four" features are geysers,  hot  springs, fumaroles and mudpots.
Yellowstone claims 500 geysers, half of the world's total number, located in nine unique and varied geyser basins within the park. Steamboat in the Norris Basin is the world's tallest
Book your geyser-hopping hotel at:

From left, great niece Elliana, Keller, Cookie's brother Rick, with Nick
and Nora sacked out on the bed at a Bozeman Hot Springs cabin.

COMING UP: Traveling with family and pets can be a delight if you plan correctly.  Be sure to have plenty of dry, warm clothes if it's a winter trip, and make certain the young have enough distractions -- natural and otherwise -- to keep them engaged. Here, part of our family enjoys a night in a rustic cabin at Bozeman Hot Springs, enroute to a weekend in Yellowstone National Park. Even the Yorkies are snug this chilly autumn night. Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us Fridays for each week's post, with a fresh look at nature, family, critters, the arts and travel.


  1. Fun. Thanks for sharing the details of your Yellowstone sojourn.

  2. We have not been to America for years but your story and photos inspire us.....maybe next year. Thanks for the push.....lovely piece.

  3. North Carolina Park FansOctober 24, 2017 at 4:17 PM

    Wonderfully spirited. Captures the magnificence of fun, family, nature.

  4. We always enjoy your nature pieces, and we'll take your advice about the Stage Coach Inn next visit. It looks delightful!