Irony At Porcelain Basin

So there I was, quickly walking to the Artists Paintpots parking lot, trying to hold it together. Let’s just say, the rumbling grabbing my attention, wasn’t a Geyser. Ordering Chili at lunch, not my best call.

Deep into our second day of exploring Yellowstone National Park, I already knew. Bathrooms with plumbing, were hard to come by.

Bello could tell. The sweat on my brow, the look on my face. We scanned the map for a real bathroom. Best bet, Norris Museum and information center, just ahead.

Bello hit the gas and I closed my eyes, willing the stop to have a decent loo. I dashed from the car, leaving everything behind. Damn Chili.

Mortified, I emerging… a few minutes later. Feeling a little weak, I met up with Bello on the trail. I got one look at the sharp decline ahead and opted not to head back to the car for the camera.

Beginner’s photography lesson four, ALWAYS take your camera! This is what unfolded before my eyes. All I had, was the iPhone in my jacket pocket. Drat!

Porcelain Basin Hot Springs
Porcelain Basin Hot Springs

The irony was not lost on me. One of the most brilliant, sweeping displays of color is Porcelain Basin. Despite my… issues, I still claim it’s one of the best things to see at Yellowstone National Park. Plus you know, there is a decent bathroom with running water, perk!

A tip. After you walk down the first incline, head right and keep going. All the way to the end of the path. The very, very end. We saw many, many people look at the upward climb along the planks, stop, look out over at the Porcelain Basin and head straight.

It’s not surprising, the perspective is lack luster down below. You’ve got to hike up to get this view. Even in my less then optimal condition, I can say, it’s absolutely worth it.

End of the Road at Porcelain Basin
End of the Road at Porcelain Basin

Porcelain Basin Hot Spring gets it’s name from milky mineral deposits that accumulate slowly, less than an inch per century. Although the build up is slow, the changes are rapid in this area of the basin.

In short, accumulating siliceous sinter can seal off a hot springs and geysers. Hot, pressurized water then flows underground to another weak area and blows through it.

Yep, again, irony not lost on me.

If you like colorful photography, make sure you take your camera along for this stop. Oh and if you have a temperamental system yourself, maybe skip the Chili near Old Faithful. Just saying!

Best Yellowstone Stops in Two Days: Upper Geyser Basin, Bison Spotting, Mammoth Hot Springs, Artist Paintpots

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