June 9, 2016

"A 23-year-old man who walked off a boardwalk and slipped and fell into a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park has died..."

"... rangers said on Wednesday."
The man, Colin Nathaniel Scott, of Portland, Ore., had walked about 225 yards away from established trails near Porkchop Geyser on Tuesday. His sister saw him slip and fall into Norris Geyser Basin, a thermal feature, and reported the accident, Yellowstone officials said in a statement.
I've been to Yellowstone. Here's a picture I took:

P1070061

42 comments:

traditionalguy said...

That is not a place to walk around in at night.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Into the hot spring and out of the gene pool.

Brando said...

Yeouch, what a way to go. But someone who reached age 22 should be smart enough to not wander off the designated trails. They don't put up those warning signs for nothing.

jph62 said...

I wonder if he ever ate lobster.

Bob Boyd said...

Is that Meade? In shorts? What's he doing?
Helluva way to go, boiled alive in a pair of shorts.

Amadeus 48 said...

Meade would never do that. And if he had, his loving and sensible wife would have put their marriage on the line ON THE SPOT RIGHT NOW! She feels that strongly about shorts.

The Drill SGT said...

Can anyone parse who walked off a boardwalk

and had walked about 225 yards away from established trails

at 225 yards away, stepping off a boardwalk seems irrelevant to the story.

It seems he was way off the reservation as we might say in the West...

PS: The boardwalks are there to protect the springs from visitors as much as the visitors from the springs.

I hope they got him out before he shat in the spring

The Drill SGT said...

She feels that strongly about shorts.

so is it briefs rather than boxers at Meade-House?

Tank said...

We were there about fifteen years ago. The week before we got there two park employees died the same way. Surprisingly, nothing was closed. It seemed quite obvious that certain areas were dangerous. I mean, when the ground is slurping and bubbling and emitting foul (really foul) odors, not a place to be a wise guy and go too close.

We also saw numerous people interacting with Bison, despite signs warning not to.

Quaestor said...

Hipster romanticism strikes again!

coupe said...

He saved a lot of money on a funeral. It's not like you can recover the body or anything.

Although his final resting place smells just like they say Hell smells like in the Bible.

I guess he impressed his sister with his daring skills.

Simon Kenton said...

"I hope they got him out before he shat in the spring"

Rangers - I was one - used to talk.

1) you didn't carry a body down Half Dome at Yosemite. Well after dark, the area of the valley immediately beneath the pitch was cleared and there was an accident. The result was, as in Five Easy Pieces, "flatter 'n' a tortilla."

2) In a sense he shat in the spring, though the material was sterilized almost the instant the abdomen burst. What you recover from those springs is bones, calcined bones.

gspencer said...

"Stay on the established trails"

You law-and-order fascists!

chickelit said...

His legs were scalded first thanks to his shorts.

Roughcoat said...

Yeouch, what a way to go. But someone who reached age 22 should be smart enough to not wander off the designated trails.

On the contrary, the early-mid 20s are when we reach peak stupidity. At that point in our passage through life we think we know it all and have no real grasp of what we don't know. Making matters worse, we still think we're invulnerable and we our impulse control is not yet fully developed. In other words, we're terribly immature and have none of the wisdom that only comes with age. We don't think things through and we make lots of mistakes as a result. We do stupid reckless things because we don't really think anything bad will or can happen to us. It's amazing most of us survive our 20s. Obviously, some of us don't: some of us, e.g., blunder into hot springs.

Full disclosure: I was very stupid in my 20s. I shouldn't have survived. I had several near-death experiences, several near-fatal (and extremely painful) physical mishaps. All because I was stupid and reckless. Now, every day, I thank God that I'm alive and in good health. I actually do thank God for that in my prayers, every day. I can't believe that I survived my 20s without divine intervention. There's no other good explanation.

jeff said...

Knowing our federal bureaucrats, a year from now the family will receive a ticket for trespassing.

Michael K said...

"On the contrary, the early-mid 20s are when we reach peak stupidity."

This explains the Bernie phenomenon pretty well. Although these days the period of stupidity extends into the 30s.

Laslo Spatula said...

Another man entranced by a warm hole and finding his doom.

I am Laslo.

ddh said...

Michael K., as a society, we are doing all we can to extend adolescence. Under Obamacare, for example, some young people are children as late as 26 years.

T J Sawyer said...

A very entertaining book:

Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park

I feel lucky to have survived after treating buffalo on the trail as if they were stray cattle. It turns out they are probably more dangerous than the bears.

Lyle Smith said...

Mother Earth loves to eat her own.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Everytime I do the Vernal / Nevada Falls hike in Yosemite, I see 1) the signs reminding everyone how many people have died on (or more precisely, just off) that trail, and 2) people off the trail. I only get agitated and intervene when the careless hikers are young kids, with or without parents.
It's got to be one of the most fatal sites in any Natl. park, but I've never seen or heard any evidence that that park is making it harder to die there.
One day many years ago I did the Grand Canyon (Kaibab - river - Bright Angel). On the last leg up from Indian Garden to the rim, the trail was packed with people walking out. Almost no one had water, food, or light. Long story short - by the time we got out, I had given away several liters of water, two flashlights, and been offered $ 20 for a cookie. The last thing you see before you get out is a big sign warning inbound hikers to carry water, food, and light. Sigh.

John said...

Agree with tank.

We were just there monday and ignoring all the danger warnings is just plain stupid.

Chris N said...

And people in their 20's tend to be at peak physical and mental risk-taking, and a few of those have produced some of the best kpnowledge we have.

This guy?

All I know is that he appeared to have left the marked trail, wandered around the hot springs, fell in one, and unfortunately, but not unpredictably, died.

walter said...

He's in a better place.

Bill Peschel said...

I'm reminded of visiting Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Bavaria. It's now a very nice restaurant with fantastic views of the Alps from the terrace.

What impressed me most was that the terrace was situated on a relatively flat surface, recessed down about three feet and surrounded by a ring of natural rock formations. It was possible to climb on the rocks and walk around, right up to the edge. This, in the face of sudden gusts of wind from unpredictable directions, including up from below.

No rails, no fences, no warning signs, as if the Germans were saying, "If your stupid enough to climb out and fall, it's your own damn fault."

Being half-German myself, I appreciated that.

coupe said...

In Iceland there is no nanny. You can walk right up to a geyser. There was this really neat spring that was cold on one side and boiling hot on the other.

So I bent over and stuck my finger on the cold side. Holy cow, it was ice cold. Then I put my finger 2 inches away on the hot side, and jumped up and was waving my finger and shaking it, because it felt like a piranha had latched onto it.

The tour guide was laughing. He said that only Americans do that. He never once saw a European or Orientals do what Americans do.

It's a conundrum...

sk2322 said...

@Fred Drinkwater

I have roughly the same experience with hikers as you do on the Grand Canyon trail. Except I'm in the Palm Springs area and hike frequently on the desert hills hiking trails year-round. I frequently run into tourists who disregard the numerous warning signs with no water, no hat, no supplies on trails in 100+ heat. They usually look/act like zombies on the last leg back. I have given up warning people, instead I just keep an eye out for people in distress.

Paul Snively said...

7th grade, I walked into science class one day, and there was a hot plate, which I decided to determine whether was on or not by placing my palm on it. Good news: it was off. Bad news: my teacher, Mr. Jones, saw me. Laughing, he asked: "Do you always check hot plates by touching them?"

Embarrassing, but he was right to laugh at me. I was a fool.

Rusty said...

Nature isn't actively out to get you. However it does take advantage of the inattentive and the stupid.

Some big Canadian forest product company is suing Greenpeace under the RICO statutes.

Michael Brand said...

I was there in the 80s when a guy let his dog off leash and the mutt leapt into a hot spring. Then the dude dove in to rescue the pooch. The guy eventually climbed out but was dead within hours.

Roughcoat said...

When I lived in Colorado and went solitary camping in the high country I would pack an over-abundance of supplies (including food, water, water purifying tablets and device, extra clothing, waterproof matches, etc., etc.) even for short trips. I also packed a gun, a very powerful .44 magnum or .357 magnum, and I wore it on my hip for swift and easy use and for all the world to see. In preparing for these outings I always had, in the back of my mind, a memory of the 1960 Starved Rock murders in the Illinois state park of that name: 3 women hikers murdered by a psychopath hick who stalked them along the trail. I remember the haunting (and haunted?) photograph taken by one of the victims just before she was killed, a photo of the surrounding forest with the killer, a ghostlike figure, wearing a sinister hoodie leaning out from behind a nearby tree prior to attacking them. That photo scared the shit out me. It was creepy.

Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Put your trust in God but keep your powder dry. Fear God, and dread naught.

Fustigator said...

Soup's on! I wonder if it will taste like chicken broth?

Gabriel said...

Terrible way to go.

But a good reason to raise your children with the experience of occasional non-fatal, humiliating and/or painful failure, so that they when they are legal adults they exercise some caution.

jimbino said...


I see the White guy in your picture. You never see a Black, Native American or Hispanic guy in any tourist photos of our national public lands because, while they as Amerikans are part owners of them, they seem never to visit. Forget "reparations." Why don't we simply refund to all our disenfranchised minorities their part of the patrimony and annual expenses wasted to maintain these White Country Clubs?

Yancey Ward said...

Laslo for the win!

tim in vermont said...

Morons can't live forever, and who would want them to?

tim in vermont said...

Sorry, jimbino, but us white folks are not going to be gone in your lifetime. Why not move to a country where you like the color of the people better? That's what I would do were I a racist like yourself.

eddie willers said...

Going for his PhD....

How could be so stupid?

...in psychology.

Got it.

Sigivald said...

Why don't we simply refund to all our disenfranchised minorities their part of the patrimony and annual expenses wasted to maintain these White Country Clubs?

Is someone preventing them from going to them?

The irony here is that you want to shut down the Parks because Only Icky White People Use Them, and Racism!!!!!!

(Mostly yours, I suspect, from the way you think Everyone Who Isn't White [or Asian?] is disenfranchised, in clear contravention of every other plausible use of the word.)

I want to shut them down because it's not actually in the proper remit of the Federal Government to run parks (no enumerated power gives Congress the power to run, own, operate, regulate, or control a vast series of parks - or even a single swing set outside of DC or a military base, in fact).

(Also, I can see how the Indians might have all those parklands as their patrimony, sure. Except maybe things like the DC parks that are all National Buildings and stuff.

But what part of Some Hispanic Dude's patrimony is a park that none of his ancestors ever had anything to do with that land? (Some argument might be made for some Hispanic Dudes in specific and some parks in the Southwest, natch.)

Or Some Black Dude? American blacks descended from slaves have some rightful historical beefs, but not "the white man stole our land".

Sigivald said...

The tour guide was laughing. He said that only Americans do that. He never once saw a European or Orientals do what Americans do.

Which is odd, since European tourists in America are legendary for Stupid Human Tricks around the National Parks.

"Don't pet the cactus!"

(http://cdn.loveyourrv.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Cholla-Garden-Warning-Sign.jpg)

James Pawlak said...

Another candidate for the "Darwin Reward".