Wild World Encounter, Around The Next Bend...July 3, 2018
Maybe you have been following along with my National Park road trip posts and have enjoyed the photos and stories.
As you know by now, I love watching the animals and am happy to share time with them. However, maybe it's because of the various volcanoes currently erupting around the world, but I remain intrigued by Yellowstone's Super Volcano which is heating and fueling the energy for over 10,000 hydrothermal features of colorful hot springs, pools, geysers and mudpots. And it's all happening right under my feet and in front of my eyes. We have been able to spend some time hiking around a few of these showcases, which are as extremely wild and just as famous, abundant and diverse as the wildlife. At times we are the only ones on a trail, at the more popular ones the crowds seem like Bogoyke Market.
In many places the mixture of bacteria, minerals, heat and water creates magnificently strange multi-colored layers of new earth and fogs of heated steam which are perfect conditions for the heat-loving microbes that call it home. Watching the ever changing colors becomes mesmerizing as the crowds of people and landscape vanish for a moment or two behind the volcanic powered steam.
Many of those hot springs and pools have temperatures hot enough to blister skin and water acidic enough to dissolve bones. This thermal volcanic landscape is constantly changing to the point where you never know where the weight of animals and people can and will break through the earth's thin crust, often leading to injury or death. Yet, every year, people find the desire to touch is too tempting for their own safety. Thus, it is critical to read the warning signs and stay on the trail.
So, when will the next volcanic eruption occur? No one can answer exactly, the last time was over 640,000 years ago and many people think it is overdue. Scientists are constantly monitoring the volcano's strange rumblings...and their guess is... anytime, but probably not for thousands of years, but they say it will be catastrophic when it does blow. With this type of time range, it is no wonder Yellowstone's Super Volcano is called a sleeping beast. Let's hope it keeps sleeping for a long time.
With Peace & Love,