Just a short walk through the pines delivers the hopeful geyser gazer to Steamboat Geyser and an oversized viewing platform which welcomes the wishful. Steamboat’s eruptions shoot 300 feet skyward, making it the tallest active geyser in the world.
At least that’s what I’ve heard. I’ve never seen it erupt. I probably never will.
Steamboat is what park geologists call unpredictable, with gaps between eruptions as short as four days and as long as fifty years. Fifty year is a long time to wait.
As the pine-lined path nears the geyser, steam hovers above the trees, sometimes accompanied by the splashes of a short, minor burst – dangling carrots that raise the hopes.
Against this backdrop of steam and spurting thermal water, Steamboat’s interpretive sign presents the facts of its erratic eruption pattern to a disappointed touring public; people who have traveled for hours by car…
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