Mountain of "Petrified Water"-Pulpit Terrace of Mammoth Springs and Mammoth Springs Hotel, Yellowstone Park, U.S.A., A
figureposted on 1904-01-01, 00:00 authored by No Author
You are almost entirely surrounded by the high walls of the Rockies as you stand here in the National Park, for its 5500 square miles are taken partly from Wyoming, partly from Montana and partly from Idaho. Just here you are looking N. N. E. Though you are 600 miles in a straight line from the nearest waters of the Pacific Ocean, the nigh mountains around you now help make the Pacific, for a part of their snows and rains roll down to form the Snake River, a tributary of the westward Columbia. Though you are nearly 900 miles from the Gulf of California, the mountains up here help fill it, for they start the Green River running down to swell the fierce and rapid Colorado. Indeed, though you are 1300 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, the mountains of this Yellowstone Park contribute to that too; they send rains by the Yellowstone River down to the Missouri and so on by the Father of Waters. But right here the service of fire as a world-maker is more evident than that performed by water. In past ages the region all about here was covered with volcanic craters where the fiery liquid elements forming the interior of the earth spurted and oozed out in eruptions of lava. Even now, though the earth's surface is cool and solid, there are scattered through the Park, innumerable openings where water comes up boiling hot from contact with rocks at fiery heat somewhere away down below. These curious terraces right beside us are part of an immense mass of rock that has been forming century after century, by the slow, accumulation of material that had been dissolved in the water boiling up through the great geysers. Ages upon ages water has boiled up out of the earth here, leaving as it partly evaporated and partly cooled a little more of this rock-material, a little more and more. Now "terraces" like this where we stand cover nearly two hundred acres. From Descriptive Bulletin No. 1, copyrighted, 1904, by Underwood & Underwood.