Monday, July 30, 2012

Afton's Fresh Water Geyser

afton geyser
















Yesterday we went to Afton to see the fresh water geyser, in Bridger National Forest. This is one of the world's largest fresh water geysers. Last year we hiked back to see it but the water level was so high that it did not let the geyser operate like it should. Plus there was still a huge snow bank that covered some of the trails leading up to the geyser. Last year I was able to go under the ice bank and the roof of it was translucent and it let the sun shine through. It was really cool (figuratively and literally). Here is the story and pictures on last year's trip to the geyser, in case you missed it.

This year the coast was clear to get up there but you needed to be part mountain goat. One area was a little scary....the ground was wornP7290041 smooth and it was at a pretty steep incline. I made it all the way up to geyser and when you look down, wow....I was a long way up ! If you click on this picture and zoom in, Linda is that little dot down on the right hand side. She decided she didn't want to make the trek up there so she took Boomer and found a comfy rock to sit on.

There was thick green moss, on the rocks in the stream, in the canyon where the geyser was because the sun never gets to that area. It was really pretty. Turns out the geyser, which was supposed to squirt out every 12-18 minutes, wasn't getting enough water or something because it didn't do anything the whole time I was there. Last year too much water...this year too little.....sigh...perhaps next year it will be just right !

Boomer enjoyed taking a dip in the cool mountain water and the hike up to the geyser.

P7290047 afton geyser 2

afton geyser 4


The geyser is supposed to come out that "belly button" looking hole on the side of the canyon wall.







On the way out, an older gentleman stopped and showed us what he had found on the ground. afton geyser shellsThey are shells from when the water levels have gotten really high and then once they recede, they leave the shell on the rocks. Can't imagine what it looks like in the canyon when the water is THAT high...cause it was on the side of the mountain where we found these. It was fun looking for them as we hiked back out to the parking lot.

Had a great day...always fun to go exploring in the areas where we're working. At the start of the hiking trail, they have these signs posted.



Seems that there are some species of plants that are really invasive and have somehow found their way into the area. The musk thistle (Hmmm, could this be one that I photographed yesterday....oops. Purely for educational purposes...) has 120,000 seeds per plant and the seeds can survive in the ground for 10 years. Nasty stuff ! P7290052















afton geyser 3

Fast forward to today....We were in Afton working and I was walking back to the car. A woman was walking past me on my left and stubbed her toe on an uneven part of the sidewalk and fell to the ground...hitting her one knee really, really hard. I heard a loud smack when her knee hit the concrete. Her husband rushed over and tried to help her. From the language that I heard him speaking I knew he wasn't American but tried to lend some assistance. I had seen a large group of motorcyclists park along the street and the group dispersed to check out the shops in downtown Afton. A couple of their traveling companions came over and  we tried to assist the woman but when she didn't respond, I realized she had passed out. I ran up the street and hollered for Linda and she came over. Turns out the group was from Switzerland, here doing a bike tour and the injured woman was the one who spoke the best English. She was diabetic and her blood sugar had dropped causing her to pass out. Linda tended to her, in her usual great nursing manner and eventually several of the guys helped her to her feet so she could sit in a chair. We told them there was a hospital just down the street (only about a 1/2 mile away) and from the sound her knee made when she hit the ground, I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't break her knee cap. We saw when they all got on their bikes to leave that the woman had been put in the truck that was following the group. We hope that she is ok.....her memories of Afton might not be too fond.

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