Now that Covid is over and has been completely eradicated by the vaccines, it’s time to travel again and see the world, maskless, throwing risk to the side with abandon. Well we all know Covid isn’t completely gone and people will still drum up the fear of new strains so that’s not going away any time soon. So now we can turn from the concept of traveling virtually as an escape to now thinking about cool and weird places to go… in REAL LIFE, really!! And Fly Ranch Geyser in the middle of nowhere Nevada is just such a place.
There is absolutely no reason you would be traveling in this area as a road side stop. It’s two complete driving hours north of Reno and not on a major freeway, in the middle of something called the Black Rock Desert – High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails Conservation Area NCA. The closest town you can base out of is Gerlach, population 106. This may sound like a middle of nowhere Nevada town where the most exciting thing going for it is UFO abductions. But you’d be wrong because it becomes the host town to the Burning Man Festival once a year. Yeah that Burning Man.
So here’s where it is in the world…
The most interesting thing about Fly Geyser is how it came about. Twice there was water drilling, people drilling for water wells, and bam… they hit an underground geothermal vein… and wallah… geysers. The mounds are a result of the mineral build-up in the water and all the cool colors are caused by some bacteria algae growth or some such science shit. Cool right? Right.
Here’s a write-up of provisionally-edited content from the World-Wide-of-Webs:
If we told you that there are six-foot-tall, brightly colored geysers that spew boiling water over five feet into the air in the middle of the Nevada desert, would you believe us? We probably wouldn’t believe us either, but it’s true. Nevada’s Fly Geyser is an accidental manmade wonder that has created a whimsically colored and fantastically shaped desert marvel that is a must-see for Nevadans and visitors alike.
About the Fly Ranch Geyser
The Fly Geyser is located on Fly Ranch, a 3,800-acre parcel of land in Northern Nevada purchased by the Burning Man Project in 2016. It is an amazing site that is located about two hours north of Reno, on the edge of the Nevada Black Rock Desert. The first geyser on the site began to form in 1916 when residents were seeking irrigation water and drilled a well. This well was quickly abandoned when it was discovered that the water inside was too hot, and so began the development of the first geyser. Similarly, the main geyser was created accidentally in 1964 after a geothermal power company drilled a test well at the site. According to later newspaper reports, the well was either left uncapped or was improperly plugged. In either case, the scalding hot water shot from the well hole and calcium carbonate deposits began to form, growing several inches each year. Jump forward several decades, and those deposits have become three large mounds that rise out of a field of tall reeds and grasses. The sediments are now almost 6 feet tall and are multi-colored green and red. The geyser’s trio of travertine cones still spew scalding hot water about four or five feet into the air. Scientists who are familiar with the geyser note that the coloring on the outside of the mounds is the result of thermophilic algae, which flourishes in moist, hot environments. The inside of the mounds even contain quartz, according to Muñoz Saez, and this quartz is growing much more rapidly than any of the other geysers that she has studied in her career. Typically, quartz doesn’t begin to grow for about 10,000 years within geysers, which makes the Fly Geyser even more of a marvel.
Cool places in the world you’d never know about if it wasn’t for the internets.