Dominion of New York

Sanity Breaks

October 1, 2012

5 Reasons You Should Go to Yellowstone

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Written by: Michael Starkey

3. Cliff Geyser and Black Sand Basin

Old Faithful was impressive, but it was an umarked side attraction, Black Sand Basin, that really caught our eye.

After we left Old Faithful, we made a wrong turn that turned out to be very fortunate. First, it brought us face-to-face with a small group of bison who were slowly crossing the road. We stopped the car and let them cross at their own pace. We snapped a few photos, but we were so close that we had to focus on not angering them as we inched along. Then we pulled into a side road to turn around. We saw some steam rising to the sky down the road a bit, so we drove down to it.

What we saw was absolutely amazing. Bubbling pools of crystal clear blue boiling water and steaming ponds were just a few steps away. We had stumbled upon a field of dozens of geothermal features. The most dramatic was a medium-sized geyser called “Cliff Geyser,” featured in the video below.


About the Author

Michael Starkey
Michael Starkey
Michael Starkey is an engineer 9-5, but in his spare time he writes about music and cultural history. His work includes "'Mercy, Mercy Me, The Ecology': Environmental Themes in Black Music" and "Hidden from Sight: African Americans and the Wilderness", presented at the annual conference of American Society of Environmental History, in 2006 and 2007 respectively. He is currently working on a book based on his master's thesis, "Wilderness, Race, and African Americans: An Environmental History from Slavery to Jim Crow." Michael lives and work in New York, NY. He currently resides in East Harlem with his wife and splits his work time between offices in Queens and Manhattan. He enjoys bicycling, listening to music, and playing soccer.


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, left to right. Photo courtesy of Flickr/Azipaybarah