Saturday, July 16, 2011

Periodic Spring in Afton

Today we went outside of Afton to check out the P7160017periodic spring there. This is the only cold water geyser in the world and actually supplies the town of Afton with its water. It is quite a drive to get to it. Once you leave the blacktop and get on the dirt road, it’s four miles on a pot holed, sometimes narrow road to get back to the parking area.P7160033
The water is very high in this area, due to the excessive snow pack that is still melting. The rivers just fell below flood stage but “Swift Creek”, that comes down through the canyon is sure living up to its name.

Once you get to the parking area, you’ve got about a half mile hike ahead of you, up a path to get to the site of the spring. The water level is so high right now that the “geyser’ part of the spring doesn’t work. Read the sign info above to see how it would normally work. The water is pouring out continuously from the spout, due to the sheer volume of water, so it doesn’t squirt out “periodically”. Was still an amazing thing to see. Thank goodness the water has gone down a little bit as we had to tippy toe along the shoreline to get to the foot bridge that crosses over to the spring. We found a couple of shallow areas where Boomer could get in and get wet. Most of it was so deep and rushing so fast that it wouldn’t have been safe for him to get in.
Look at the snow, where it comes in from the left and ends at the water’s edge. There are wood chips across the top of the snow, maybe where the water had run when it was higher but has now receded, leaving the wood behind.  On the backside of the snow, against the wall of the canyon, there was an opening so you could get back in there and walk under the snow bank. It was really cool (literally and figuratively)!

Entrance to the ice cave… could walk in through the opening, hugging the canyon wall

Standing inside the cave, looking up to the top. The snow had melted and light was pouring in from the top.

The light was coming through the roof of the snow, from outside, illuminating the snow with a funny glow.

The roof of the cave, looking down toward the water’s edge. There is a little opening at the bottom. Won’t be long before all of this will collapse inward. It’s melting quite a bit on these hot days, dripping on anyone inside. The temp inside the cave was very comfortable and quite refreshing, considering how hot it was today.

Looking from the entrance of the snow cave, down towards where Linda and Boomer were waiting. Quite an amazing view from up there.

It was so beautiful to be in that canyon and see this wonder of the world. The roar of the rushing water was deafening……so many gallons of water pouring down through that canyon. One of the women, that was with the group of people who were there the same time as us, said that in the 15 years she’s been coming to Afton to her summer home, she’s never seen the water this high. Had a great day…temps are almost 80 degrees…sunny and a nice breeze. Couldn’t ask for much more than that…

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