Mirrored beauty of majestic "Old Faithful," east to Continental Divide, Yellowstone Park, U.S.A.
figureposted on 01.01.1904, 00:00 authored by No Author
You are in the Upper Geyser Basin, nearly sixty miles from the northern entrance to the Park (off at your left). The water here is a pool that drains off into the Firehole River. There is hardly another spot on earth where you can see the terrible and the beautiful aspects of Nature so closely associated. The steam banner that "Old Faithful" is waving, 150 feet in the air, tells unmistakably of the existence of horrible heat in the rocks down below. Every sixty-three minutes, with the regularity of a clock, 1,500,000 gallons of boiling water come spouting up in this way from the fiery bowels of the earth and fall in a deadly shower, gradually coating the ground with a crackly deposit of silica ("geyserite"), which they had held in solution. The lesser steam clouds farther over are rising from smaller springs of the same general sort. This whole region was shaped long ago by volcanic action. The ground right here is almost 7,000 feet above sea-level, constituting a great plateau of rock once belched up in molten form from the same regions that now heat Old Faithful's water. The ridge of land straight ahead at the east is part of the water-shed whose location right there helps decide the course and volume of two great river systems. The streams on the south side of that height join the Snake River and the Columbia and finally reach the Pacific Ocean. The streams on the farther side enter the Yellowstone, flow to the Missouri and the Mississippi and reach the Gulf of Mexico. (See Encyclopaedia articles on "Geysers"; also H. M. Chittenden's "Yellowstone National Park.") From Notes of Travel, No. 13, copyright, 1904, by Underwood & Underwood.