When will these people learn? 🤦♂️
On August 7, Yellowstone National Park rangers received reports of a group of 10 people carrying cooking pots and hiking towards the park's biggest geyser region. A ranger was dispatched to the Shoshone Geyser Basin, where they found the group—as well as two whole chickens in a burlap sack, sitting in a hot spring with cookware nearby.
Park safety regulations require those visiting thermal areas to stay on appointed trails and boardwalks for their own safety and to protect wildlife. Bringing food into thermal areas is prohibited. Visitors are banned from throwing anything into thermal features.
It would seem the would-be chicken-cookers erred on all these counts. Three of the group were cited for foot travel in a prohibited area, and one unidentified man from Idaho was summoned to court at Mammoth Hot Springs. He pled guilty to the trespass and for violating closures and use limits. The man was ordered to pay two $600 fines and will serve two years of probation during which time he will be banned from Yellowstone.
The website for Yellowstone says that hot springs "have injured or killed more people in Yellowstone than any other natural feature. Keep your children close and don’t let them run." Thermal features reach an average temperature of 143 degrees Fahrenheit, which is plenty to cause fatal third-degree burns. More treacherous still, the boundary between solid ground and scalding water is often concealed by a thin layer of dirt surrounding a vent, creating a literal boiling trap for rule-breakers.
Yellowstonepark.com has a list of injuries and fatalities due to negligence and trespassing around hot water features, from kids that have fallen in by accident to hapless individuals trying to use one like a jacuzzi.
In the instance of the Idaho man's cooking party, it is fortunate that their goose was cooked metaphorically and legally, and not mortally.
Have you ever seen a hot geyser at Yellowstone? Is there any reaction to the chicken-cooking attempt besides shaking your head? Leave a comment!