At a hot spring where the spectacular travertine is worth the name, I could not help appreciating the nature.
The earliest life living now is a plant.
Except in the case of clonal growth, the earliest life is considered one of bristlecone pines that grows wild in Inyo National Forest, California.
They are over 4,800 years old, and looks undulating due to the strong wind, violent cold, and drying about 10,000 feet up in the mountains.
The extreme environmental conditions have protected them from foreign enemies for long periods of time.
Travertine Hot Springs
It is over two hour's drive from the national forest to a famous hot spring gushing in nature.
The place is relatively accessible.
Around the parking lot, some hot springs are bubbling, but you need a few minutes' hiking to the main pools, along a limestone wall.
At the ridgeline of the rocky hill, there is a channel of extremely hot water (around 160 degrees F).
In the ending point, you will see several pools fed by water of moderate temperature.
The color of the water looks ashy due to the plenty deposits.
Looking back from the pools with a view, you would notice the huge rock face itself was the travertine.
A travertine means a calcium carbonate crystal that derives from water from a spring, especially a hot spring.
It is often seen that a kind of moss colonize on the surface, which creates the characteristic porous body.
The lyrics of the national anthem of Japan represents the scene, the calcium carbonate binds small pebbles into one, after long periods of time.
May your reign
Continue for a thousand, eight thousand generations,
Until the pebbles
Grow into boulders
Lush with moss
There are different interpretations about who "you" are.
I am not interested in such political arguments, and only have a sense of awe to the nature.
Travertine Hot Springs, Bridgeport, California, USA
- Walk-in: Yes
- Lodging: No