Last night was an NPS employee's birthday, so he held a bonfire outside the dorm to celebrate. Everyone from the dorm was there, as well as some locals and NPS employees who live elsewhere in Mammoth. The bonfire was really fun. I met a lot of really nice people and enjoyed hanging out with my dormmates.
Today I went hiking with a group of people from the dorm. We went to Monument Geyser Basin, just South of Madison. Unlike the other geyser basins I have been to so far, this one was off the boardwalk and completely on trail. The path began gradually, following alongside a calm river.
After about half a mile, the trail began climbing steeply through burned forest. The weather had been threatening all afternoon, and just over a mile into the hike, it started to rain and hail. The hail definitely hurt, even through my rain jacket. Luckily, the rain and hail stopped just as we came to a scenic overlook of a large canyon.
The trail starts to climb steeply
Me at the scenic overlook, just after the hail stopped
The geyser basin was just a few minutes away from the scenic overlook, and it was really pretty. There was one especially interesting formation in the basin, which is a tall, thin smoking geyser.
A nice mountain view from the geyser basin
Our hiking group - Nick, Erica, Emily, Maeve, Andrew, Me, Chris
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