P138H – Fly Geyser – Black Rock Desert, NV

I know what you’re thinking… but yes, this really does exist! Believe me, I could hardly believe it myself when I was photographing it. This is a small geyser in the Black Rock Desert just north of Pyramid Lake, NV.

Several years ago I was approached by a guy at one of my shows who told me about this amazing geyser that was on his grandfathers land in Nevada. He said I really had to go photograph it. I kind of blew him off, but the next year he found me again and he insisted that I really had to go photograph this geyser. He gave me the name of his grandfather and later that year, on Thanksgiving day, a photographer friend and I decided to go photograph it. We were at Mono Lake at the time we decided to do it so it took us several hours to get there. We only knew approximately where it was so we stopped off at a gas station and asked anyone we could find. After a few minutes of getting inconsistent information, a police officer came into the station so I decided to ask him. He told me he knew where it was but that it was on private land and inaccessible. However, once I told him the name of the owner, he loosened up and told me where it was but that the owner was out of town for the holiday weekend. The police officer also mentioned that he was planning to be driving through that area around 6:30… so I got the hint that we shouldn’t be there by the time of his return. Yes, it did require us to scale the fence since the owner was out of town.

The geyser was probably about a half mile from the road. It was probably about 10 feet tall, and yes it was truly surreal. We were there about three hours photographing it from various angles and the geyser never stopped flowing. The geyser glowed orange from the sulfur in the ground and green from the algae, and there were hot spring pools all around it. There must have been a lot of lime in the water because of the interesting travertine that were created. As the sun set, the orange and green colors became even more intense, so I continued photographing it from all angles again.

The entire experience was certainly one I’ll never forget. It’s unfortunate now that the land was sold a few years ago to someone who has completely blocked it off and does not want anyone on his land. It’s sad to think that it can’t be enjoyed by others any longer.

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