Wetting the camera is always a goal at EDA Surf. When the Yellowstone guide said, “My dude, you’re going to get vaporized, no chance!” My plans of finding the bluest Yellowstone hot spring and capturing insane visuals had been crushed. My east coast naivety had been exposed. In this world, it is the natural hot spring that stands next to the spitting barrel in the pantheon of desired hydro states. Previous natural hot spring encounters had yielded memorable moments from Tuscany to Rotorua, New Zealand. However, in Yellowstone, it is the contrasting states of the fire and ice that is oh so incredible. When the opportunity of entering the mecca of natural hot springs arose, I thought, “this is the best location for thermal pools in the world, why not go for a dip!?” As I found out, aside from it being against federal law to “hot pot”, just dipping in will kill you, due to the 160-466 degree water and that the PH from the molten lava is as high as acid. This deadly combo evaporated all hopes of swimming, so it was here where I contemplated abandoning the idea for another day of snowboarding Big Sky mountain. But, my trusty snowmobile guide, Art Camouflage (yes that was his real name) assured me that what we were about to go do was nothing short of spectacular and “of bucket list shit.”
In subzero temperatures, Art and I saddled up our snowmobiles and flew in formation over snow banks, through the West Gate into the National Park. As we made tracks deeper along the vaporous Madison River, American bison calmly grazed amidst billowing steam that is the trademark of this 640,000-year-old volcanic crater. Plowing deeper into the Park we found raging waterfalls that sprayed a warm mist aloft melting surrounding snow. As mind blowing as the flowing waterfalls were, it was the tropical blue pools that were of another world. The desire to jump into the crystal turquoise vats was overwhelming, and without hesitation, I turned to Camouflage I said, “Are you sure…vaporized?” Rolling his eyes, he calmly said, “Yes boss, still vaporized.” In the end, the beauty and death here are the positive and negative, just as the spitting barrel of the banzai Pipeline or the paramount peaks of Mt. Everest. However, it is the tranquil and seductive nature of this unique natural form that sets it apart from the rest. These hot pools are the forbidden fruit of the planet’s many watery aesthetic forms.
– Ruttkay / @edasurf
-Click on the image below to see all the EDA Surf images from Yellowstone National Park-