If you’re still searching for an EarthCache to find in order to earn your Nature Lover souvenir for the Seven Souvenirs of August, consider visiting a place that doesn’t even look like it belongs on Earth. EarthCaches bring geocachers to geologic formations and require them to answer questions about that formation in order to make the find. The Grand Prismatic Spring (or as the CO of this EarthCache points out: “GPS” for short) is the largest hot spring in the United States and third-largest in the world. However, what really draws the crowds are the amazing colors throughout the formation, caused by bacteria and mineral-rich water.
“The Grand Prismatic Spring is my favorite place on the planet. The longer I sit there on the boardwalk, the further away my troubles seem. We get so used to seeing streets, houses, power lines, and cars in our daily lives that these things become our Normal. Geocaching offers us caching options in pretty much every environment on the planet, and I’m a big sucker for the strange and glorious spots. I love being reminded that I live on a planet filled with rare and beautiful geologic features. The Grand Prismatic Spring offers a fascinating variant on the deadly beauty of volcanoes: the magma is underground, but we can see its effects on the steaming groundwater in the beautiful pools that dot Yellowstone National Park. Walking right up to something as resplendent as the Grand Prismatic Spring, knowing I’m standing atop a subterranean volcano all the while, gave me such a thrill that all I wanted to do was share it. We civilized folks just don’t get to experience surreal moments very often, and I wanted to let others know there was something worth pulling off the road for, something amazing to experience and think about.
Every time I read a new log telling me how awestruck the cachers were when they looked out over the spring for the first time, or how they’d never have pulled into the parking lot except for the EarthCache symbol on the map, I get all warm and fuzzy. Our lives are collections of experiences great and small. I’m both thrilled and humbled that so many people who share my hobby have also shared my enjoyment of this place I adore so much, taking home from their travels a little piece of joy and fun, and maybe a little snippet of knowledge, too.
I’ve been a geocacher for over nine years, and I’ve made tons of fun and exciting memories with friends and strangers who hunt for Tupperware in the woods with me. Geocaching can bring out the best and most generous in us, and my life has been changed for the better by all those I’ve met and cached with over the years. I’ve raised my kids to enjoy the hunt and to follow the arrow toward adventure. I’ve had so much fun geocaching that I was inspired to write novels in a second genre: mystery. Under my pen name Morgan C. Talbot, I’ve written the world’s only geocaching mystery series, combining my love of stories with my favorite hobby. The Caching Out series was picked up for publication two years ago, and I’ve gotten the same exceptional, positive feedback for my books as I have for my EarthCaches. My writing career has continued to grow and gain its own souvenirs, and I have the inspiration of the geocaching community to thank for their early encouragement. No matter how far I roam in this world, geocaching will always be close to my heart, and loaded into my Garmin.”
What geocachers are saying:
“What an amazing view from the road with all the colored mist rising! Spent a good two hours here. Such vivid color!” – Mommabre
“The Grand Prismatic Spring is truly one of the most amazing things in the natural world. When we planned our trip to Yellowstone this was one of the things I knew we definitely had to show the kids, and it was an absolutely perfect day to see it.” – bergmannfamily
“Grand Prismatic has always been one of my favorite stops in Yellowstone — the colors are always fantastic. Thanks for giving us a reason to come out to visit again.” – NepoKama
What incredible natural formations have you seen while EarthCaching? Tell us or post photos in the comments.
Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog.