the cave, it has the appearance of an opening to a subterranean lake.  A small, hot stream flows from it.  The water is continually washing its ten or twelve feet of shore, like an agitated lake.  the bright pebbles in the bottom, the clean sand, and the smooth, white, flat stones left in regular ripples on its margin, together with the green, mossy sides of the cave, and the musical monotones of the rippling waters, almost lead one to think it the entrance to an enchanted lake.
    A hundred yards above this spring, upon the side of a hill, was another entirely different in character.  It was really a small volcano, throwing mud instead of lava.  Intermittent thumps, like the discharge of artillery, could be heard, at intervals of from fifteen to thirty seconds, for the distance of a mile.  At every pulsation, think, white clouds of steam came rolling out, and mud was thrown from the crater, gradually enlarging the mound which surrounded it.  While we were watching this spring the mud was only thrown over the rim of the crater, but from the clay clinging to the branches of surrounding trees, especially on the upper side of the spring, it was evidently thrown, at times, to a height of two hundred feet.  A circle, a hundred yards in diameter, was also well bespattered.
    Between the last-mentioned spring and the river is a boiling spring, a placid pond, a deep, dry funnel, or an active geyser, according to the time of one's visit.  In the course of a day we saw it in all its protean shapes.  When in its funnel form, one would not dream that, from the small opening in the bottom, twenty or thirty feet below, would come a power capable of filling with water the funnel, which at the top is thirty feet by forty, and then so agitating it that the water would be splashed to a height of from thirty to fifty feet.  If one saw it when the waters were troubled, he would be scarcely less astonished to hear it give one convulsive throb, and then see it quietly settle down in a single instant to the smooth surface of a placid pool.  When the waters retired we went into the funnel, and found it rough, efflorescent, and composed of rock and hardened sulphur.
    Though very different in character from the geysers afterward seen on the head-waters of the Madison River, and far less grand, this one was very peculiar, and we saw nothing resembling it during the rest of the trip. Go to next page

Go back to Table of Contents
Go back to Yellowstone Historical Almanac
Go back to Yellowstone History Guide
Go back to The Magic of Yellowstone front page
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15
Page 16