during the past year discovered, near the head of the Snake River, a basin which he believed, from casual observation, to contain nearly as many springs and geysers as the Lower Geyser Basin on the Fire Hole.
    A party of tourists from Bozeman also discovered a similar basin between Mammoth Springs at Gardiner's River and the Fire Hole Basin. The whole country is full of interest, and presents to tourists a rare opportunity for exploration, and to scientific men a wonderful field of investigation.
    The destructive and reproductive agencies at work in all this region are not the least marvelous of its phenomena. The two years which have elapsed since the first discoveries in this region have wrought marked changes. In that period old geysers have ceased to act, and new ones have been produced; small geysers have increased in size, while large ones have decreased their volume. The same may be said of the springs. Many that were clear two years ago are now muddy caldrons, their contents boiled down to a thick paste. The mud volcano, which on my first visit was in active operation, had entirely disappeared, and when Professor Hayden visited the spot the following year, its only remains were hillocks of mud and a shapeless hole thrice the former size of the crater. Large pine trees, 125 feet high, which grew near the edge of the crater in 1870, had been completely in engulfed by it at the time of its destruction, before the summer of 1871.
    The reproductive power of the waters of the Mammoth Springs at Gardiner's River is very wonderful. This is the only group of calcareous springs yet discovered in the park. All the others are siliceous. The different pools formed by water of these springs in the descent of the mountain, the frozen cascades, the corrugated borders, all most exquisitely and delicately formed of lime deposit, may, if broken up for specimens, or worn out by age, or abandoned by the falling water, all be speedily restored to their beauty by exposing for a few days the injured parts to the action of the waters.
    The whole hill-side may by this process be improved and made to assume any form, at the pleasure of the most fantastic fancy. During the past summer little ornaments of wire, baskets, and other objects, wound with cloth, have by suspension in these springs, for a period of eight or ten days, been taken therefrom the most beautifully incrusted with a coating of crystallized lime, pure as alabaster, of half an inch in thickness. At any point, by penetrating the crusted surface made by the flowing of these springs, a vapor bath is easily obtained.
    I cannot close this report without returning my thanks to Colonel Baker, commandant at Fort Ellis, and to Captain Putnam, commandant at Fort Hall, for their kindness in furnishing camp equipage and guns for myself and my assistant, and for many other attentions; to Professor Hayden, for transportation and for unnumbered personal kindnesses; and to Captain Stevenson and the members of the United States geological survey, for the assistance rendered by them upon all occasions, and to the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroad Companies for the courtesy of free passes for myself and assistant. Their liberality will not soon be forgotten. My assistant, Mr. Charles L. Spencer, will also accept this public tender of my thanks for the able services he rendered on a trip which was both protracted and toilsome, and afforded him no other recompense for his assistance than an opportunity to see the wonders of the park.
    I desire, also, to add my testimony to that of Dr. Hayden, in praise of the accuracy and artistic skill with which that accomplished artist, Thomas Moran, has depicted the grandeur, both in general appearance Go to next page

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