Incredible heights and depths of the canon N.E. from Artists' Point. Yellowstone Park, U.S.A.
figureposted on 01.01.1904, 00:00 by No Author
You are looking down nearly a quarter of a mile and across the terrific gorge which the Yellowstone River has carved for itself through the solid volcanic rock (rhyolite) of the plateau. The Falls are behind you now and you are facing towards Montana; those farthest heights are outside the Park limits. Yellowstone lake is about twenty miles away at your right and the principal geyser basins some forty or fifty miles distant behind you. Kipling, in his American Notes, once described this place in his own impressive way: "All that I can say is that without warning or preparation I looked into a gulf seventeen hundred feet deep with eagles and fishhawks encircling far below. And the sides of that gulf were one wild welter of color-crimson, emerald, cobalt, ochre, amber, honey splashed with port wine, snow-white, vermilion, lemon and silver-gray in wide washes. The sides did not fall sheer, but were graven by time and water and air into monstrous heads of kings, dead chiefs-men and women of the old time. So far below that no sound of its strife could reach us the Yellowstone River ran, a fingerwide strip of jade green." All these rocks laid bare in the cleft and the canon are of volcanic origin, the accumulation of what were once fiery liquid masses ejected from a great volcano. That was long ages ago, but the famous geysers and boiling springs show that even now, when the woods grow green as yonder, the fires down in the heart of the earth still burn! (See H. M. Chittenden's "Yellowstone National Park," also encyclopaedia articles on the subject.) From Notes of Travel, No. 13, copyright, 1904, by Underwood & Underwood.