"Judge, then, what must have been our astonishment, as we entered the basin at mid-afternoon of our second day's travel, to see in the clear sunlight, at no great distance, an immense volume of clear, sparkling water projected into the air to the height of one hundred and twenty-five feet. 'Geysers! geysers!' exclaimed one of our company, and, spurring our jaded horses, we soon gathered around this wonderful phenomenon. It was indeed a perfect geyser. The aperture through which the jet was projected was an irregular oval, three feet by seven in diameter. The margin of sinter was curiously piled up, and the exterior crust was filled with little hollows full of water, in which were small globules of sediment, some having gathered around bits of wood and other nuclei. This geyser is elevated thirty feet above the level of the surrounding plain, and the crater rises five or six feet above the mound. It spouted at regular intervals nine times during our stay, the columns of boiling water being thrown from ninety to one hundred and twenty-five feet at each discharge, which lasted from fifteen to twenty minutes. We gave it the name of 'Old Faithful.'" (Nathaniel P. Langford)
The United States is full of natural wonders, but few rival Yellowstone National Park, which is full of features that led Native Americans to believe the land was possessed by spirits and compelled people who heard accounts from white explorers to assume the explorers had suffered hallucinations. Today, of course, all Americans are instantly familiar with the name Old Faithful, and even among those who have never visited the park, Yellowstone is practically synonymous with its geysers.
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