Articles

Geyser Envy

People visit Yellowstone National Park to see Old Faithful.  They see other sights there, too, but that cash cow moneymaker that those park ranger fatcats make those piles of money with is Old Faithful.  They even built a lodge overlooking the thing.

I enjoyed watching Old Faithful erupt, sure.  I would think it difficult to find someone who doesn’t like watching boiling hot water shoot out of the earth hundreds of feet in the air.  That’s pretty cool.  (By the way, if you know someone who hates geysers, don’t be his friend.  He’s got problems).  But what I didn’t enjoy was the fact there was a perfectly good geyser very close to Old Faithful that no stopped to look at: Castle Geyser.

A really solid geyser.  It has character, this geyser.  But no one will ever know, because they’re focused on the established geyser and the well-known tricks that geyser can do.  They don’t want to take a chance with this scrappy, unknown geyser.  But Castle Geyser’s got dreams, darn it!

It’s got a bad location, that’s the problem.  Right next to the most famous geyser in the world!  Sadly, that means it’ll always play second banana to the Big Man.  Always opening, never headlining.  How can anyone live a successful geyser life under the massive shadow of Old Faithful?  It’s flashy, it’s punctual, it’s iconic.  You can’t compete with that.  Well, I’m rooting for you, Castle Geyser.  You’ll get your shot one day, and not your regular, “every 10-12 hours” one.

09
Oct 2012
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
DISCUSSION No Comments
Images

In case you didn’t know, don’t stand on a geyser

Geysers are dangerous, sure.  Giant spigots of hot gas.  Yeah, that’s gonna hurt if you get too close.  I guess some people don’t know that, though.  So Yellowstone has installed these incredible signs within the National Park warning visitors what could happen if you wander off the path and onto one of these steam gushers.  But the picture tells such a deeper story than just the horrible consequences of hugging a geyser.  Let’s break it down:

First, you got the kid.  Okay, he’s the rule breaker.  The troublemaker.  Went off the path—a long way off the path, by the looks of it—and stepped on a geyser.  His hat’s midair, which makes me think the geyser had burned him mere seconds before, and he jumped from the shock of getting burned.  I’d jump, too, especially if I were wearing shorts like his.  Though, his knee-high tube socks at least protected his shins.

The kid is the only necessary part of the picture.  But the artist doesn’t stop with him.

Next, we have the woman, most likely the boy’s mother.  She is standing there on the path in shock, pointing at her injured child and screaming.  Now, it’s true people sometimes freeze up when they go into shock, but this kid had enough time to run off the path and up to a geyser.  Was the mother in shock during that entire amount of time?  Seriously, watch your kid.  A kid that age isn’t going to know about geyser danger.  That’s why you, the parental guardian, are there to supervise them.

The plot builds to a dramatic conclusion with the guy walking away.  I haven’t quite figured him out.  He could be just another visitor to the park, but he’s walking away.  If a woman and child are screaming within earshot, wouldn’t he at least look in the direction of the screaming, even if he were a stranger?  What I fear is he’s the father of the burning child.  The man works twelve hour days as a tool and die maker and has been growing apart from his family because of the long hours.  Struggling to keep his family in tact, he used what few vacation days he has to go on a road trip with his wife and son.  But he could only get time off in August, so it’s hot, it’s crowded, and his kid’s been whining the whole time.  After another outburst from the little brat, the father decides a geyser burn will teach the kid a thing or two about appreciating how good you have it.

Or maybe the man is deaf, but I don’t think the artist would be that specific in his backstory.

22
Sep 2011
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
DISCUSSION No Comments
Video

Norris Geyser Basin: blowin’ off some steam

Yellowstone was the first area of American wilderness declared a national park, and with good reason. The topography varies dramatically throughout its millions of acres. One area especially dramatic is the Norris Geyser Basin. It might not get as much publicity as Old Faithful, but it’s actually got a lot more geothermal activity than that one geezer geyser, which means it’s a much more substantial destination to visit in Yellowstone. And it’s more photogenic, which for the average traveler means a lot. So grab a big memory card and check it out.

03
Mar 2010
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
DISCUSSION 1 Comment
Video

Wyoming’s Grand Tetons: they’re real, and they’re spectacular

When you’re in the nearby town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, you get the feeling you’re in a wild west theme park with all the cowboy merchandise.  Once you get on top of the Grand Tetons, though, whether you’re there to ski or just look at the nature around you, it starts to feel like a national park instead of Wyoming’s version of Disney World.

02
Mar 2010
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
DISCUSSION No Comments