It is the sea that feeds us. It is the sea that clothes us. It cools us with the summer cloud, and warms us with the blazing fires of winter. We make wealth for ourselves and for our children out of its rolling waters, though we may live a thousand leagues away from its shore. Thus the sea, though it bears no harvest on its bosom, yet sustains all the harvest of the world. If like a desert itself, it makes all the other wildernesses of the earth to bud and blossom as the rose. Though its own waters are as salt and wormwood, it makes the clouds of heaven drop with sweetness.
The sea is a perpetual source of health to the world. Without it there could be no drainage for the lands. It is the scavenger of the world. The sea is also set to purify the atmosphere. Thus the sea, instead of being a waste of waters, is the very fountain of life, health and beauty.
Many of you have read of the remarkable geysers of Iceland and the more remarkable ones in New Zealand, of grand canons in Arizona, of deep mountain gorges in Colorado, of stupendous falls in Africa, of lofty mountains covered with snow in Europe, of elevated lakes in South America, of natural bridges in Virginia; but who has ever conceived of having all these wonders in one spot of the earth, and forever free as a great National Park, visited each summer by thousands of native and foreign travelers?
Travelers report that this corner of the earth seems to be not quite finished by the great Creator. Through all this region volcanic action has been exceedingly vigorous. The effect of fire upon the rocks is plainly visible and widely spread. Whole mountains of volcanic rock exist. Floods of lava everywhere abound. The last feeble evidence of this gigantic force is to be seen in the hot springs on Gardiner River and on many other streams, and in the strange action of the geyser basins.
There are sixteen important geysers in this section, and innumerable inferior ones. One geyser is called the “Giantess.” It throws a great mass of water to a small height, surging and splashing in all directions. One of the most noted geysers is called the “Castle Geyser,” because of its size and general appearance. The opening of the geyser tube is circular, and about three feet in diameter.
When this geyser is about to spout, a rumbling is heard as of thousands of tons of stones rolling round and round. Louder and louder grows the noise and disturbance, till it has thrown out a few tons of water and obtained apparent relief.
These are warnings to the observers to retreat to a safe distance. In a few moments the geyser increases in noise, the earth even trembles, and then a great column of water is hurled into the air.