Saturday, October 15, 2011

Senor Bubble.

Graham and I recently hiked out into the Bechler River region (the southwestern corner of the park).  The area in general has the reputation of being fairly busy with traffic but also as being one of the more interesting backcountry places to hike.  

Lone Star Geyser.

We started out along the Lone Star trail, which we skied pretty commonly in the winter.  When we were about 50 yards from the clearing of Lone Star Geyser, it started to erupt.  We could feel the mist of the water so we started running to catch the tail end of it.  I’ve probably been out there 15 times and have never seen a lot of activity although it is has a fairly frequent eruption interval (3 hours). 


The rest of our hike that afternoon was through small geothermal areas or old growth forest (probably about 160 years old).  The dragonflies seemed to congregate in the thermal areas where mating dances were occurring on fallen over logs covered with thermophiles.  (Thermophiles are heat loving micro-organisms that thrive in the hot waters in the park and give many of the springs their bright colors.) 
Shoshone Geyser Basin.

The next morning, we took a short detour to the Shoshone Geyser basin.  It was really cool to see such undisturbed thermal features.  Walking around the Upper Geyser basin usually makes me a little sad because you can tell where objects have been thrown into the pools (or where the pools were damaged during the process of cleaning them out).  I would have loved to spend the day out here exploring the area but we still had 8 miles to hike before our destination for that night.

We stopped back at our site to pick up our packs and have lunch.  The next stretch of trail was all through old growth forest and over a (mostly) gradual hill.  I had been wearing my raincoat due to the large amount of mosquitoes that were feasting on me, but it made me super dehydrated.  The hike was significantly harder than it should have been and I had no energy – despite drinking over 4 liters of water in about 4 miles.  I protested against going all the way to our site and we set up camp with some nice guys that were on a multi-night backpacking trip.  Thankfully they didn’t mind sharing the site with us.


That night we woke up to a electrical storm and a drizzling rain.  I had left my boots outside the tent and didn’t want to unzip the tent to grab them due to having zipper issues (our tent officially went out of commission on this trip).  Thus, I finished the hike in my sandals and had to pack my wet boots out. 
My super white legs in Mr. Bubble.
We got up early and hiked out to Mr. Bubble, a thermal feature that you can soak in.  It was a really relaxing way to start our day and a treat to experience without anyone else there.  Graham did burn his foot by stepping in an area that was entirely too hot, but not anything too bad.  Across the river was another (much hotter) Hot Spring, supposedly Grandpa Bubble, which was beautifully bubbling away.

Grandpa Bubble.

After relaxing, we started out the 15 miles back to the truck.  It was an amazing trip.  Although we had a few minor mishaps and were utterly exhausted by the time we got back, it was well worth the effort.  

No comments:

Post a Comment