The following is a true story, only the names have been changed, to protect the guilty.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Boiling Spring

Mike and the gang
 A couple weeks ago my neighbor/friend/my kid's friend's dad, tells me about an odd place not too far from our houses that has quicksand and a strange boiling spring. He tells me he has known about this place only in legend since he was a kid, and now he has met someone who will take us there! Upon hearing this, I instantly conjure an image of myself in full khaki attire, with lots of pockets, a pith helmet, little, round,tortoise shell spectacles, sporting a cane with a sword hidden in the scabbard, and being accompanied by Gilligan, from Gilligan's Island. "I'm in", I reply.

The two separate springs are apparent in this pic
A few days later Mike and I round up the boys, and some snacks, and set out on our adventure. We meet a woman that Mike works with, as well as her two young children, in a nice suburban neighborhood. Her son, age five, leads the group of eight right from their house. It's a long, two block walk down a mowed trial to a primitive trail along a small creek. Eureka, we've found it ! In a large shallow pool are two springs, which every so often appear to boil. The pool is only 6-8 inches deep and sandy. The water is very clear and cold. The springs can be approached to within 12-18 inches of the suspended boiling sand/water mixture, and is quite firm until you hit a definite drop-off point

We all have fun playing in the creek and trying to figure out just what is happening here. It's obviously a spring , but how deep is it, can we swim in it, and why is there no cloudy sediment coming out of it ? We agree to come back at a different date with "equipment".  On our first outing,  we also try and locate the fabled quicksand, to no avail. We now have two reasons to make a trip back.

The boys checking what is in the tin can.


Hand crafted testing devices.
 About a week and a half later we come back with equipment, and  re-enforcement's, my Dad and Randy, as well as the original crew. Mike has constructed a device which will take a sample of sand directly from the center of the spring. It's super high tech, made from a tin can, and attached to the end of a metal pole. He has also constructed a deep spring measuring device, a 12" spike tied to some twine. It's twenty-five feet long, and did not hit bottom when we tested it.
The log test

This was about as big as it gets.

I want to swim in this, it feels weird.
 We did not find quicksand like Gilligan would have fallen into, but located another "boiling spring", this time in the middle of the creek. The other two springs we found were in a tributary to this creek, and seemed to dam up a pool of standing water from the sand it was spewing forth. This spring was not as noticeable from the creek bank, and I'm glad we didn't let the kids play in the water before we found this. This one too seemed bottomless, based on probing and dropping of the twined spike. The water in all three of the springs was very cold, further indication that it was coming from deep within the ground. I found it interesting that there was no sediment clouding the creek down stream of the spring, the sand was simply suspended in the rising water and falling back into itself. No doubt we will be back, either to swim in it, or later in the fall when the vegetation has died back we can go looking for more oddities in the area.
The way out.


1 comment:

  1. holy frecking cooowl man. its like a mid west yeller stone!