Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Park

Here’s a brief interlude for my new readers. Members of my immediate family have seen this before elsewhere, but what the heck, I may as well share with you all.

Related to my recent posts about this year’s field-trip to Yellowstone National Park, I am reminded of a trip my wife and I took last year to Norris Geyser Basin in the same park.

I’ve heard of “communing with nature”, when the natural world seems to speak to you and put you at ease. Well, on this occasion it didn’t just seem to be speaking to me, and it hardly put me at ease. The conversation between me and the park went something like as follows that day. (Forgive all the scrolling, it WAS a several-hour conversation after all. If it bugs you, feel free to say so in the comments…)

Sign:No Restroom in Geyser Basin

Well, okay, I don’t smoke, I didn’t bring a bicycle, we left the dog at home. And I guess we can hold it until later. It’s a small price to pay to go out to nice, happy, peaceful trails, away from, for example, all the annoying road construction.Traffic cone, in the middle of the trailWow! Look at that! Do I spy the Fruiting Body of the rare Yellowstone Giant Orange Holewarning Mushroom?!?!?No, wait…that’s just a traffic cone over a hole in the trail! What the heck? I thought I was getting away from road construction!

Well. Maybe things will get more natural-looking once we get a chance to walk off into the wilderness. Maybe the map’ll show where we can go.

Map of Norris Geyser Basin, with Warning to Stay On Designated Trails
Ah, look at all the lovely trails. Plenty of space to roam around in.
What? I can’t leave the trails?
sign:Stay On Designated Trails

Can’t I take a mere step or two off? Just a little bit???

Sign:Stay on TrailSign:Stay On WalkYeah, yeah, whatever. What are you going to do if I don’t – have me arrested?


Sign:Unlawful to Leave Walkway
What kind of criminal act could possibly be involved with just leaving the silly walkway? Littering? Vandalism?
Sign:It is UNLAWFUL and UNSAFE to: Leave the walkway in thermal areas or throw objects into or deface thermal features

Oh, come on! Look, there’s a beautiful green pool over there, full of no doubt fascinating little animalcules. Can’t I just go over and take a little look?

Sign:Keep Off - Thermal Area
“Thermal Area”? What the heck is that supposed to mean? It’s a little windy and chilly today, maybe I want to be warmed up a little. So, why not? What’s so bad about a “Thermal” area?

Sign:Hazardous Ground - Thin Crust - Boiling Water

What’s that supposed to mean?


Sign:Dangerous Ground -with illustration of kid falling into ground and getting broiled-
Children are prone to explode out of the ground unexpectedly?Walkway shown crossing the top of the steaming opening of Green Dragon SpringWhat the heck? Is Green Dragon Spring actually devouring the ground under that walkway?!?! Oh! I get it – you’re saying the park itself can swallow you up and and cook you?
So everything here is flaming hot death, then, right?

Sign:Warning: Trail My Be Icy

Is there no end to the dangers this place threatens innocent visitors with? Can there possibly be anything else this park can do to us?!?!?


Solfatara: Very Dangerous Landscape spewing Sulfuric Acid Gas!
“Thin Crust”? “Boiling Water”? Broiled flesh cooked in acid? Ice?
Is this a park, or the kitchen at a Chinese restaurant? Is this how “Hot and Sour Soup” is made?!?!? Is there nothing that can stand in this realm of violent burning chemical death without fear!?!?!?
Fearless Geyser

But what of us poor, fragile fleshy people? We aren’t safe here!That does it! I’m getting out of here! No more of these horrible Killer Thermal Death Areas of Doom for me! I think maybe I’ll just go look at the nice cuddly animals that Yellowstone is also famous for.
Sign: Caution - Wild Animals are Unpredictable and Dangerous!
This whole friggin’ place wants to gore, dismember, maul, cook, devour, and digest me! That does it. No more of this dangerous stuff for me – I think I’ll just go read a nice book for a while…

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The Author is (currently) an autodidactic student of Industrial and Environmental microbiology, who is sick of people assuming all microbiology should be medical in nature, and who would really like to be allowed to go to graduate school one of these days now that he's finished his BS in Microbiology (with a bonus AS in Chemistry). He also enjoys exploring the Big Room (the one with the really high blue ceiling and big light that tracks from one side to the other every day) and looking at its contents from unusual mental angles.

4 thoughts on “Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Park”

  1. Ah, thank you for reviving this post here. It’s hysterical. 🙂 What does the sign by Green Dragon Spring actually say? I can see there’s a sign there, but I can’t read it.

  2. The sign by Green Dragon Spring says:

    Green Dragon

    I know – I had trouble getting that picture to come out with sufficient contrast to make out well. The fact that it’s light-green lettering on a light-gray background doesn’t help…

    This (mid-October, that is) IS the best time of year to visit Yellowstone in my opinion. The non-pine-type trees are in full autumn display, there’s a dusting of snow on the mountaintops, most of the tourists are gone for the season, but most of the park is still fully operational.

    Highly recommended, whether you want to be gored, dismembered, mauled, cooked, devoured, and digested, or just watch that happen to someone else…

  3. You win purely for making me laugh out loud the entire way through this post. Yay for emails to the Aerie from Interested Parties, without which I would have gone on blissfully ignorant (well, okay, maybe not blissfully) of your blog.

    Oh, and good luck with the voting. 🙂

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