Nature

Mammoth Hot Springs – № 2

“You can always back up
and pick a new fork.”

Kary Mullis


What’s the connection between Kary Mullis and Yellowstone National Park, you ask?

Well, Thermus aquaticus, a thermophilic, chemotroph bacterium was discovered in Yellowstone National Park. A number of enzymes were identified in this organism that likes to grow in 70 °C warm water. Make that 70 °C hot water. One of the enzymes, Taq polymerase, was later used in a technique called PCR, which revolutionized molecular biology. PCR is the brainchild of Kary Mullis.

If you want to read more about Kary Mullis, beware! You might find some strange believes and come across extraterrestrials in the form of a green fluorescent raccoon.

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On the Road

Liard River Hot Springs

This is the third time I drive the Alaska Highway. A must stop on this long haul is Liard River Hot Springs. When I go to heaven, I give up the seven virgins or singing “Hosianna” all day, if I can have a place like this on my cloud.

In the summer the spring is surrounded by lush ferns and horsetails. A lingering morning fog may add to the magic of this place. The water is odorless and clear. The bottom of the pool is covered with gentle pebbles.

I recommend starting with the lower pool. The water is warm on top and cooler at the bottom. A cold spring is feeding into the hot water. This makes for a unique bathing experience. Once you are warmed up, you are ready for the hot upper pool. Let’s see how close you want to come to the hot source.

Next time I visit this place will be in winter. Google for some amazing pictures!

Maybe that’s what I want on my cloud. A cabin with Yukon winter weather and a hot spring right outside my deck. Until then, I will have to revisit Liard River Hot Springs and other wonders of Nature.

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